And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1)
Praying consistently and fervently can be difficult for many Christians. We can sometimes wonder if our prayers ever reach beyond the ceiling. But in Luke 18, Jesus provides us with a parable designed to encourage us and to spur us on in our prayer life. In fact, Luke introduces the parable by saying that Jesus “told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” He then relates how Jesus goes on to tell the story of a persistent widow who goes to a judge “who neither feared God nor respected man.” Thus, this judge is a wicked person who cares only about himself. And so, this widow knows that if she is ever going to get this judge to respond to her pleas, it is not going to be by appealing to his mercy or sense of justice. Thus, she keeps hounding him and bothering him and asking for justice. Finally, after a while, the judge says to himself, “Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.” This wicked judge who cares nothing about anyone or God gives her what she wants because of her persistent asking. Then Jesus says, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.” In other words, if an unrighteous and wicked judge is willing to grant this woman’s request because of her continual asking, how much more will God, who is righteous and just and holy, grant the request of those who come to him consistently and persistently? Keep praying. Never give up.
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