Perseverance in Prayer

Luke 18: 1-8
Wis 18:14-16;19:6-9 / Psa 105

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
(Luke 18:8)

A prayerful heart is tranquil,
Confident that God hears its plea;
All our requests HE will fulfill
If we but pray persistently.

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 what people thought. 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 what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ 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)


Why did our Lord use two characters in His parable that are so obviously disparate in their social and economic positions? In Palestine at that time, widows were considered as the weakest in the social scale, while the judges held considerable power over the citizenry. Our Lord seemed to be portraying a case in court which the poor widow could never win. And yet, in His parable, the judge finally relented, and gave the widow the justice that she was seeking, all because “this widow keeps bothering me,” and after some time he was even afraid that she would “eventually come and attack me.” The widow finally found a way to get the wicked judge (he did not fear God) to decide in her favor.

The point of our Lord’s parable is this: If the unjust and powerful judge could be prevailed upon to grant a weak widow’s plea for justice, how much more would our compassionate and righteous God give us (“His chosen ones”) the justice that we ask for if only we “cry out to Him day and night” in prayer. Our Lord demonstrated the importance of spending quality time with the Father in prayer even though He did not need to ask for anything, being God Himself (Mt.14:23;Lk.11:1;Lk.21:37). He told His apostles, “Pray that you may not be put to the test” (Lk.22:40). He also said, “Whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (Jn.14:13). Prayer then, as we can see, has several purposes, and is in fact indispensable in a Christian’s life.

We go to God in prayer when we seek justice; when we ask for His protection, especially from the devil’s temptations; and when we need to accomplish a mission for His kingdom’s glory. But most of all, we need to pray constantly to God in order to grow in His love, and to understand His will in our life. If effective communication is so important in our marriage to keep the “flame of love” burning and our union strong, shouldn’t we apply the same kind of intimate conversation with our God in prayer? Our relationship with God, after all is more important than all our other relationships in life, including our family. Proverbs 15:8b says, “The prayer of the upright is the Lord’s delight.” Just as a lack of communication between husband and wife will eventually lead to the dying embers of their love, so the lack of time in praying to our God will make our faith grow faint, and prevent the Holy Spirit from working effectively to make us bear fruit.

Lord God, help us to persevere in our prayer time, so that like that widow in our Savior’s parable, we may be able to attain justice and Your will in our life. May we never grow faint or complacent in spending more time with You, Father, as our Lord Jesus taught us. Amen.

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