Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray today, teaching them The Lord's Prayer. after they ask him how they should pray. Following this he tells them quite explicitly that prayer isn't a one time thing, but a constant conversation, an ongoing conversation with God.
I don't think this need for persistence is because God doesn't listen to us or purposefully ignores us. I think this persistence has more to do with our frailty and our penchant for asking for things that we don't really need, or perhaps asking for the impossible.
This ongoing dialogue with God is a regular reminder that we are not alone as we walk this journey and that another, more perfect than us, has walked it already and felt the same joys and griefs that we have felt. Prayer can help us take this walk with more confidence.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.