In Luke 11:5-11 and Luke 18:1-8 we are taught to faithfully persevere in prayer to God for something we want or need -- to not give up asking. However, Matthew 26:36-42 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-12 teach us that God sometimes refuses our requests, and that at those times we have to simply surrender (i.e. give up asking?). How can we discern what's needed in any given situation, whether it's prevailing prayer or silent surrender? How can we tell whether to keep asking or drop a request? -- Gabriel

Good question, and no easy answer. But let's take 2 Corinthians 12 as a model.

Paul prayed repeatedly that his thorn be removed, three times in all! After that he was content to drop the matter. Thus we see him being persistent and yet open to the will of God. He did not try to manipulate the Lord, forcing his will on the divine will. Perhaps this is a good way to approach your question.