It is not that God is slow to act, or that we are trying to persuade God (for prayer is laying hold of His highest willingness). Prayer requires persistence because it is also an act of warfare against ‘the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Eph. 6:12). Such prayer reverses the Fall, in which Adam asserted his independence. In it, we say, ‘Not my will, but yours be done.’ We fight with God to liberate enemy-occupied territory, knowing that while the victory is certain, the length of the battle is not.