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September 15, 2023

Persevere, My Friend!

I don’t know why some things happen to me. Like the time I was expertly postulating on the subject of mind renewal in Detroit, Michigan. Saturday morning was the final four hours of a 10-hour intensive, and about 3 hours into my riveting dissertation, a lady to my right could stand it no longer. My Greek words, in-depth revelation, and captivating presentation had finally nudged her into slumberland. My words do often have a calming effect.

I don’t like to brag, but not everyone can produce such mind-numbing revelation and soul-tranquilizing truth. Profound peace, that’s what it was. It takes years of study and experience to reach this pinnacle of public speaking.

To make the situation even more meaningful, this lady was a gifted snorer. Obviously a professional. The room wasn’t all that large - there were probably 100 people seated around tables accommodating 10 people each - which meant everyone was within earshot of this message - confirming endorsement.

Her first snore wasn’t all that impressive, just a warm-up heard only by those of us within 20-30 feet of her. Thankfully, those seated next to her were wise enough not to awaken her, allowing this nasal “applause” to grow in intensity. Less discerning people would have foolishly roused her, robbing us of the full effect. But those seated around this lady were SHARP, and let it continue.

The second snore was better, becoming more praiseworthy of my wonderful teaching, reaching two-thirds of the room. Those around her, appreciating the stunning effect these snorts of praise would produce, once again allowed her to continue. I was amazed - no one was rude enough to nudge her awake.

The third snore reached full volume, the kind of zzzzzzzzzz’s dreams are made of - one for the record books - awakening everyone to the profundity of my deep and stirring words. All eyes were now on this peaceful woman.

“This,” I shouted, seizing the moment, “is the kind of deep tranquility I’m speaking of. Let the power of my words so stir each of you. Hallelujah!”

The lady, awakened by my shouting, sat up with a start and grunted a loud “Amen!” which added increased weight to my words. Savoring the sweetness of the moment, I decided it was a good time for a coffee break. I could tell, by the smiles and soft chuckles, that everyone agreed.

A recording of this presentation, entitled “Sounds of Serenity,” can be ordered from my product department.


Several years ago in Oklahoma, another lady helped me with one of my messages. I was teaching on the following verses: “That you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12 NASB). “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NASB).

Emphasizing the need for patience and endurance in order to receive answers to our prayers, I shared the following story.

One night a man had a dream in which an angel gave him a guided tour of heaven. He saw the golden streets, beautiful mansions, and millions of saints in this celestial place.

Then he saw a huge building, miles long, which looked out of place. “What is that?” he asked the angel.

“That’s God’s warehouse,” was the response. “It’s where God stores items He had prepared to give people in answer to their prayers. Before He released them, however, the individuals gave up hope, lost their faith, and wavered. Their unbelief prohibited Him from giving them these things, so He stores them in this warehouse.”

“Wow!” said the man, “Can I see inside?”

“Sure,” replied the angel, and proceeded to show the man a building filled with money, houses, cars, boats, clothing, food - just about everything one could imagine.

Just as I was about to make my powerful point - “Don’t give up, casting away your confidence. Stay the course; you don’t want your provision stored in God’s heavenly warehouse,” - a single lady on the front row spoke up. In a mischievous voice, she asked, “Were there any men there?”

I never regained control of the meeting!

I don’t actually know if God has a warehouse, and if He does I doubt there are any men in it. But I do believe it is possible to ask Him for something and fail to receive it because we wavered in the waiting period (James 1:6-7). We must allow perseverance to sustain our intercession, and we will! We will persevere through all waiting and any shaking until we get to the coming fruit. We will!

There are several New Testament words used to describe the concept of perseverance. One of them is found in Hebrews 4:14: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” The words “hold fast” come from one Greek word: krateo.(1) The root word (kratos) has the meaning of power, strength, might and vigor. This word emphasizes the strength with which one holds onto something. The verse is telling us to hold strongly to our “confession,” a word meaning, “say the same thing,” (homologia)(2). Therefore, holding fast to our confession means: with all our strength we hold onto what God says! And we say it with Him!

Another word related to perseverance is found in Hebrews 10:23 and is also translated as “hold fast”: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” In this verse, “hold fast” is a different word, katecho.(3) The root word here, echo, simply means “to have or hold.” The prefix kata is what strengthens the meaning to that of holding onto something intensely. Nothing too profound about that, but, other nuances of meaning are enlightening. This word became a nautical term meaning “to set one’s course” or “hold to a course” (Acts 27:40).

Holding on strongly to what God says by saying and decreeing it, keeps us on course. Saying what He says keeps us from wavering, from being blown off course by adverse winds and adversity. This is why I repeat some things in my posts over and over. For example, “America shall be saved.” Every time we say it, we are maintaining course.

Another meaningful nuance of echo is becoming pregnant. This is actually one of the Greek words for “being with child” (Matthew 1:18). Therefore, holding fast to what God says causes the power of the promise to grow in us - like a baby - until we finally give birth.

“For years, William Wilberforce pushed Britain’s Parliament to abolish slavery. But he became discouraged and was about to give up. His elderly friend, John Wesley, heard of his discouragement and, from his deathbed, called for pen and paper.

“With trembling hand, Wesley wrote: ‘Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God?

‘“Oh, be not weary of well-doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, ‘til even American slavery shall vanish away before it.’

“Wesley died six days later. But Wilberforce fought for forty-five more years and in 1833, three days before his own death, saw slavery abolished in Britain.”(4)

Persevere, my friend!

Pray with me:

Father, thank You for Your promises. You cannot lie. Your Word is true. Your promises unfailing. They contain power. You said they always accomplish what You send them to do (Isaiah 55:11). You actually honor Your words above even Your name (Psalm 138:2).

You have told us, “America shall be saved.” You’ve said the greatest revival in history is coming. You declared that You were building an Ekklesia the gates of hell could not prevail against. We hold fast to these words. The power they contain is growing in us; we are becoming pregnant with them, and through the strength of Holy Spirit, we will give birth to them!

We ask for and decree again - 1 billion or more souls are coming into Your kingdom in this revival. We decree again that miracles are coming in great numbers. We decree that nations will be transformed. We decree that people from every tribe and tongue will be in Your family. We decree that no force can stop this. And we decree, according to the word of the prophets, that this has begun. Amen.

Our decree:

We decree that the words of God will never pass away; they are eternal and all-powerful. Through them, we will stay on course.

Click on the link below to watch the full video.

Portions of today’s post were taken from my book, The Essential Guide to Prayer (published by Baker Books).



1. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1977). Number 2902.

2. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 3671.

3. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1977). Number 2722. 4. Edward K. Rowell, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching: from Leadership Journal (Grand Rapids, MI: Christianity Today, Inc., and Baker Books, 1997), p. 46.


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