Persistence in Prayer

Luke 18: 1-8
3 Jn 5-8 / Ps 112: 1-6

Will not God then secure the rights of His chosen ones who call out to him day and night?
(Luke 18:7)

If an evil judge could relent
And give justice to a widow’s plea,
With our prayers what can prevent
God’s mercy from coming speedily?

Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18: 1-8)


Our Lord told this parable to His disciples to impress upon them the importance of praying without ceasing until one got what he was praying for. The parable was meant to highlight the fact that if a corrupt judge could relent and give in to the persistence of a widow, how much more would God, a loving and compassionate Father hear the prayers of His children. “Will He be slow to answer them? I tell you, God will see to it that justice is done for them speedily”(Lk. 18:7).

God is a God of justice and equity, Who rewards the virtuous and punishes all wrongs. However, unlike the corrupt judge that Jesus cites in His parable, our God is also a God of mercy and compassion, slow to anger, and forgiving of all our failures and selfish intentions.

The corrupt judge only relented and rendered a just decision in favor of the widow out of fear– “lest she finally come and strike me” (Luke 18:5). On the other hand, God will render a just decision for us (or answer our petitions) not because we can bribe or influence Him, but because of His loving mercy.

Our Lord’s prophetic question has an ominous ring to it when we consider the lack of faith that is so pervasive in the world today. The global recession, high unemployment, wars, graft and corruption — the list of the evils that men do have reached such horrifying proportions that it seems our faith is on the losing end of the battle. Are we going to be terrified by these clear and present dangers today? Of course not. All the more reason that we should heed the message in today’s Gospel – that we must pray, and pray continuously!

Most loving and merciful Father, we fervently pray for Your protection in these uncertain times, when the evil that men do threaten the very stability and peace of our family, our church, and the institutions of society. We pray for the power of your grace, dear God, to influence all our leaders in government, especially those in our justice system to be steadfast in the implementation of their duties, and in resisting the temptations and/or coercions of evil men. Let your Holy Spirit shield them, Lord, with Your gifts of prudence, integrity and wisdom. This we pray in the mighty Name of Jesus. AMEN.

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