A friend gleefully calls churchgoers "God botherers." I do not think of God as ever being bothered by anyone, but this phrase has taught me a lesson.
Bothering involves persistence, really keeping at something or someone until the result comes. Was I persistent in my relationship with God? Was I persistent in praying? Actually not. I was not the best "God-botherer" in the world. Although I would pray with sincere conviction, my prayers were spasmodic. And if the going got tough, I could get discouraged and then apathetic.
Reviewing some times when healings took a while to come about, I began to see that I should be a much better "God-botherer." When healing seems a bit slow and protracted, then that is the time for demanding to see the Truth I know to be there. It's not that God needs to be bothered in order to answer our prayers, but it's that we need to be persistent in our asking and expectation.
I resolved that in my prayers I would keep on and on at God, sticking to the Truth of whatever situation confronted me until I could see right through appearances to my Father-Mother God, who is always right there.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, offered this guidance on being persistent: "By lifting thought above error, or disease, and contending persistently for truth, you destroy error" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 400).
I found a wonderful piece of encouragement in the Bible. One of Jesus' parables in Luke's Gospel relates an account of persistent asking that was successful.
When someone arrived at a friend's house at midnight to ask for food for the unexpected and late arrival of a guest, initially the friend refused. Jesus said: "Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth" (Luke 11:8).
Importune means "to urge or beg with troublesome persistence." So this is the type of asking that succeeds. This is not what I had been doing.
Jesus also said: "I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Luke 11:9-10). I took this as biblical authority that patient, persistent prayer is not only standard but also effective.
My relationship with God has improved so much since I've "bothered" Him more consistently and persistently. Actually, I have come to see that He is not bothered at all by it. Healings have come with such a sense of love and joy that I think He is far from annoyed. Sticking closer to God means I feel that He is so much closer to me, and that is a wonderful plus for anyone.
Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know
that your labour
is not in vain in the Lord.
I Corinthians 15:58