Persistent Prayers

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

I tell you, God will see that they get justice, and quickly. 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 his plea;
All our requests God 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 be slow to answer them? I tell you, God 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 they had received what they were 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 that they get justice, and quickly” (Lk. 18:7). Our 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 Who sees to it all things work for our good.

My cousin had a heart attack and collapsed after discovering that his son (born outside wedlock) who was under the influence of drugs had viciously murdered his fiance’. The siblings of the victim had included him as principal in their charge sheet. Policemen stood guard at his hospital door, ready to whisk him to jail the moment he was sufficiently recovered. It seemed as if the whole world had conspired against him and he did not know where to turn. He had reached the ultimate crossroad in his life, I told him. “The path to the left is despair, and to the right is faith, with persistent prayer. God will never refuse the prayers of a desperate man, lest he falls into despair, so you must believe that your and our prayers will prevail.” My cousin was incarcerated for a year, without bail. We all firmly believed he was innocent of the charges filed against him, and I believe God ha a higher purpose for allowing this tragedy to happen. He was eventually released on bail. St. Paul said, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). The corrupt judge in the parable only rendered a just decision in favor of the widow out of fear– “so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!” (Luke 18:5). On the other hand, God will render a just decision for us– and answer our petitions in behalf of those who are unjustly oppressed– not because we can bribe or influence God, but because of our faith in His loving mercy.

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Jesus’ prophetic question has an ominous ring to it when we consider the lack of faith prevailing in the world today. But are we going to lose faith because of so much injustice around us? Of course not. All the more reason why we should heed the message in today’s Gospel – that we must pray, and pray continuously like the apostles for God to increase our faith! (Luke 17:5)

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 officials 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 courage, prudence, integrity and wisdom. This we pray in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

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