Q: When should I stop praying for a certain request?
The Lord commanded us to pray always and not give up.
“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)
Does this passage mean that we should keep praying for the same requests, day after day, if we do not see an answer?
I believe it means that as long as we feel burdened by God to pray for a certain need (whatever that need may be), we should keep praying for it. A time will come — if the Lord says “no” — when we will know that it is time to stop praying for the request, because the Lord has said “no”.
The apostle Paul prayed three times that a certain burden be lifted from him.
‘Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”‘ (2 Corinthians 12:8-9a)
In this case, the Lord’s answer was “no.” The Lord communicated this to Paul, perhaps through a dream, a prophet, or an audible message.
When I say “prophet” here, I am not necessarily referring to someone who stands up in the middle of some crowd, and points to you, and says, “Thus says the Lord!” Rather, instead, perhaps Paul was sitting down with a friend one day, and praying with him about this burden, and perhaps the friend received a message from the Lord for Paul through a distinct (clear) inner impression, or thought, in which he then said to Paul, “Brother Paul, I believe the Lord is telling me, He is not going to remove this burden from you. I believe He wants you to know, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’”
I am presenting to you one of many ways in which the Lord could have communicated His will to Paul, and, because you love God, God will also be pleased to communicate His will to you. As you draw close to God, He will draw close to you, and make these things perfectly clear to you.
Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:21)