Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
I have to say at the outset that while Jesus talks about persistence in prayer here, he fully illustrates it in the parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8. The judge is a man who does not fear God or respect man and so the only thing he respects is having his palm greased. When a poor widow comes along and want the judge to act on her behalf he refuses but because of her persistence he gives in because he grows tired of her asking.
There are two things that cause believers to give up in prayer and both of them are faulty views of God. If the unjust judge was willing to provided justice and we being evil know how to give good things to our children then our view of God needs to be modified to someone who is both completely just and good and will absolutely act on our behalf when it is called for to act on our behalf.
We give up because we think that God is not going to answer or not going to act because he is not good or just. We may not say these words but that is what our giving up on praying for something shows. We can only demonstrate our proper understanding of the role of God in prayer by being persistent. By letting him know we are serious and are truly desiring of his help.
Persistence goes back to the process of prayer. We assume that our prayers are about changing God’s mind which they can do but the primary function of prayer is to change us. We will never experience the full transforming quality of prayer for us if we do not persistently engage in it. In time God answers our prayers like a good father. We get what we ask for because we are ready for it in character.
The choice is clear to not understand the transforming power of persistent prayer and continue to pray with little or no effect or become persistent in our prayers so they change us and get results. The choice is yours.