One of the few guarantees of life is that it will be hard, there will be difficulties, and things will go wrong. For Christians, there is also the guarantee there will be persecution, hardship, and spiritual warfare on top. Metaphors for life used in the Bible include a race, a storm, and a harsh wind.

One of the traits and spiritual fruits that God gives to humanity to endure the trials and tribulations of this life is perseverance, which is defined by the dictionary as “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement; Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.”

Both definitions apply to the way this word is used in the Bible. The Christian life requires steadiness, purpose, and consistency. The trials, tribulations, and temptations of living in a fallen world require it, but in the end, there is eternity with the living God. Perseverance can be a difficult strength to call upon, which is why people are encouraged to ask the Holy Spirit for it, rather than relying on their own strength.

Here are five prayers for perseverance:

1. Prayer to Run the Race Well

Holy Father,

Thank you for giving me a life that I can use to glorify You, and serve others. Lord, I know this life will be full of opportunities for me to fail, fall down, and refuse to get back up and finish running the race well, as You servant Paul encouraged us to do. My flesh is weak, and there are many earthly reasons to just live for myself. Lord, I ask You to keep me strong. Help me to persevere and finish the race. Even when things seem like they’re going well, help me to not grow complacent. When things are hard, empower me not to grow weary. Let me praise You in all circumstances, that I may keep my eyes fixed on You, and persevere.

In the Name of Jesus, I pray,

Amen.

2. Prayer to Persevere through a Trial

Holy Father,

Thank you for being with me at all times. You promised You would be with us always, even unto the end of the age, and for that I give You praise. Lord, right now I am surrounded by difficulties. I feel enormous weight and pressure, sorrow and stress. Lord, a big part of me wants to give up. I don’t feel like I can go on in my own power and of my own volition. I want to give up. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit, and give me the perseverance to keep going. Your Word says those who persevere and remain steadfast under trial and love you will receive the crown of life. Right now that wonderful promise seems far away, unreachable, almost impossible. I need Your help to help me keep going. Lord, please, have mercy on Your servant and give me the strength to keep going.

In the Name of Your Son Jesus, I pray,

Amen.

3. Prayer to Persevere and Overcome Temptation

Holy Father,

Thank you for your infinite mercy. Thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die for my sins, pay the price I should pay for my disobedience, and extending me forgiveness. I thank you that You have overcome sin, death, and the grave. I know I have eternal salvation because I have accepted Your offer of salvation, confessed with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, but Father, I still struggle with temptation. The pull of sin and worldly wisdom is so strong. I feel myself weakening, and I keep giving in.

Lord, You know which vices and sins have the strongest hold on my heart. It is a difficult spiritual battle, and I need Your strength and Your Spirit to persevere and overcome. Help me to develop alternative habits, tools and techniques to resist, and help me find more opportunities to pray, so that I can say no to the temptation before me. I know there will always be temptations, and I ask for the strength to persevere to continue to live a righteous life, that I may continue to have a right relationship with You. Holy Spirit, convict me of sins I do not recognize, and give me the strength for the ones set before me.

In the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, I pray,

Amen.

4. Prayer to Persevere in Sharing the Gospel

Holy Father,

Thank you for inviting Your children to be a part of building Your Kingdom, and using us as tools to help show others Your glory. Lord, I know part of my responsibility is to obey the Great Commission, to go out, and be a part of making disciples of all people. Father, sometimes I get nervous, Sometimes I just don’t do a good job. Often, people seem uninterested or even hostile to hearing the good news about eternal life through Your Son. I know Your Word says that some will plant, some will water, some will cultivate, and the Spirit is the one who causes the growth and that Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest.

It can be difficult to keep sharing the Gospel and evangelizing when it feels like nothing is happening. Lord, please give me the perseverance to keep sharing, keep planting, keep watering, and keep obeying the Great Commission. Help me to be on fire for the lost, and to see them the way You see them. People need to accept the Gospel, or they are under eternal condemnation. Lord, please give me the will and the strength to keep sharing it no matter what I experience. Lord, I also ask for perseverance for my brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world who are persecuted for their faith and for sharing the Gospel. Help them feel Your Spirit, and bless them.

In Jesus Name, I pray,

Amen.

5. Prayer to Persevere through an Illness

Holy Father,

Thank you for being the Great Healer. Thank you for being with me at all times, and for understanding my human frailty. I am so thankful to have a God who has spent time enrobed in flesh, knowing my weaknesses. Lord, right now, I am struggling with pain, sickness, and a broken body. In this life there will be struggles because this world is full of disease and hurt because of the Fall, but it can be hard to have a joyful heart when combating the problem within my own body. As I struggle, it can feel like You don’t hear me, because this isn’t healing quickly. Lord, help me persevere while I continue to seek solutions, take medicine, and try to keep living my life. Lord, if it is Your plan and Your will, please heal my body. If it is not, show me how I can glorify You through this illness. May I continue to serve You, even though my body is sick.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen.

Perseverance is an important part of living the Christian life, as everything in the world will try to tempt believers away from the Lord and His will. Prayer, fellowship, and worship are all ways to fill up someone’s cup of energy and persistence when they are feeling low. The Bible also encourages, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

God wants His children to lean on Him for the ability to endure, and at the end of it is glory and Heaven.

Sources

Peterson, Eugene. Perseverance  A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996.

Stewart, Alexander. Perseverance and Salvation What the New Testament Teaches about Work and Faith. Gonzalez: Energion Publications, 2018.

Wilmington, H.L. Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1981.

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Bethany Verrett is a freelance writer and editor. She maintains a faith and lifestyle blog graceandgrowing.com, where she muses about the Lord, life, culture, and ministry.