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I believe that these two concepts are not mutually exclusive. We are to "pray without ceasing". Also, the Bible commends the woman who continually went before the unjust judge. The statement used there is,
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?" (Luke 18:7).
Thus, we are to pray continuously.
However, this does not mean that we carry our burdens with us once our prayers are done. When we are "finished" praying, we need to get back to what we are supposed to be doing. We can't let our problems and burdens keep us from doing what we should. We can't allow them to destroy our health, our ministries, or our relationships with others.
Whenever the burden comes, pray. Pray as long as you believe the Spirit wants you to. When you are finished, get back to living the Christian life. When the Spirit leads you to pray again, pray, and keep repeating the process.
When it's time to pray, pray. When you are done praying, leave your burden with the Lord, until He "burdens" you to pray again.
Here is an illustration. Suppose I want and need a raise at work. I go to the boss and ask for it. Perhaps I spend a great deal of time talking to him about it. Finally, when it is time for me to leave his office, I need to get back to work, and not allow my concern about getting a raise to interfere with my job performance. Perhaps later in the day I will see him again, and I'll mention the raise. Maybe I'll bring it up to him tomorrow and the next day, and continue to do so until he either gives me the raise or tells me to quit asking. However, in between requests, I need to be working diligently at my job, or he will see my slacking performance and never give me the raise. It is my responsibility to ask, but I can not force him to give me the raise, so I just leave it in his hands.
Keep praying, but trust the Lord enough to serve Him while you are waiting for the answer.
Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209