The early church prayed with passion and persistence. When Peter was thrown into prison, "constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church" (Acts 12:5). Another way to translate the word "constant" would be "earnest." It is the same word used to describe the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke's Gospel tells us, "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44). That was a prayer of passion. It was an agonizing prayer. And that is how the early church prayed.
Often the problem is that our prayer has no power in it because there is no heart in it. If we put so little heart into our prayers, we cannot expect God to put much heart into answering them. Someone will tell us about a crisis they are facing, and we will pray, "Oh, Lord, just help them. . . . And then get back to me." We don't pray with passion. We don't pray continuously.
Jesus said, "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" (Matthew 7:7–8). In the original tense of the language, it could be translated, "Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking." In other words, be persistent, and keep at it.
We will pray for something once, twice, or maybe three times and then say, "Well, I guess God isn't going to answer this prayer." God is not irritated by our prayers. Keep praying. The early church prayed with great persistence as they brought their need before God. So let's not give up so easily.