A Prayer for Perseverance in the Faith

Grant, O God, That we may never lose the way through our self-will, and so end up in the far countries of the soul; that we may never abandon the struggle, but that we may endure to the end, and so be saved; that we may never drop out of the race, but that we may ever press forward to the goal of our high calling; that we may never choose the cheap and passing things, and let go the precious things that last forever; that we may never take the easy way, and so leave the right way; that we may never forget that sweat is the price of all things, and that without the cross, there cannot be the crown.

So keep us and strengthen us by your grace that no disobedience and no weakness and no failure may stop us from entering into the blessedness which awaits those who are faithful in all the changes and chances of life down even to the gates of death; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

—William Barclay, Prayers for the Christian Year

Here we see another beautiful example of faith manifesting itself in works. In Barclay’s prayer, perseverance is the key. We struggle, we endure, we fight our sinful nature and the temptations of this life. If we endure to the end, we will be saved. This is not a theology of works-righteousness or a theology of salvation by perseverance. It is a theology of faith that leads to perseverance because we believe the promise of the cross. Our faith leads us to understand that Jesus calls us to be like him, and we acknowledge that this is difficult to impossible without the help of his Holy Spirit living and abiding in us.

Notice too how this should direct our praying. We pray first and foremost because we believe he hears us and will answer us (faith expressed in action). Therefore we pray for him to be present in us to help us persevere and to overcome, to transform us into his very likeness. Faith always manifests itself in works.