Persistent Prayer

Would you describe yourself as persistent?  Or, maybe your more like me and find it easy to give up on certain things?  Today I find myself having to be very persistent at writing this Bible Journal Post.  Sometimes, the words come to me quite easily.  Sometimes, it takes a few days to develop the words I want to say.  And, sometimes, like today, I cannot find the words that need to be written for today’s post.  I have to be persistent in my seeking to write these words.

Have you ever felt discouraged or anxious that God was not listening to your prayers because you did not see the relief or the answer you desired?  We’ve all been there at one time or another.  Today, in Luke 18:1-8 Jesus tells us why we should continue to persist in prayer and not lose heart.  Even when it seems that God is not responding.

We read of the parable of the Persistent Widow.

“There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people.  A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’

Luke 18:2-3

Widows in this first century had very few rights or resources.  Losing your husband and not having family to support you was a sentence of poverty and helplessness.  There was no Social Security or Life Insurance to kick in when needed.  Widows were essentially helpless.  To survive, they had to be persistent and tough.

The widow in this parable has been wronged by an unnamed enemy.  In her town, the judge was corrupt and only cared about his position of power.  He had little interest in God or the people he was placed in charge of.  This judge showed no interest in the widow or in giving her justice.  No matter how he treated her, she showed up day after day.  And day after day, the judge continually denied her her request.  But, finally, after numerous requests, the judge said to himself,

but this woman is driving me crazy.  I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!”

Luke 18:5

The widow finally gets the justice she sought.  Jesus explains His point in telling this parable…

“Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.  Even he rendered a just decision in the end.  So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  

Luke 18:6-7

Are we not similar to the widow?  We do not always get immediate results when we pray.  The persistent widow demonstrates that effective prayer requires consistent faithfulness.  We are God’s chosen people, unlike the judge who was only out to please himself, God hears our prayers and will answer when, where and how He chooses.  God expects us to keep on asking, seeking, knocking, and praying until the answers come.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8