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
As you learn from your Master about the wonders and challenges of life with God in His Kingdom, you quickly find that prayer is at the heart of that life. Your connection to Father is your connection to life, and that connection with the Unseen One requires a vibrant prayer life.
Notice, though, what our Master wants to teach us about prayer: we must “always pray and never give up”. Why would He have to teach us such a thing? He knew that we would discover that, when we come to Him with our requests, Father doesn’t always respond in the way we would rather or with the timing we’d prefer. He knew that we’d need to show perseverance in our lives of prayer, and so He told this story of “the unjust judge”.
If something deeply matters to us and is a matter of justice, we are assured that our Father is not unaware of or unconcerned about it. I love our Master’s instructive question: Will He keep putting His chosen ones off? The central issue when it comes to prayer is the completeness of our trust in the goodness of our Father and in His ability to act on our behalf.
Of course we should not reduce prayer to a list of requests. Worship, thanksgiving, confession, and repentance are crucial in our lives of prayer. Yet there is no denying that our Father actually desires for us to bring our requests to Him, for He wants to respond. Our request-making is one of the most powerful expressions of the partnership we have with Him in the new creation work He is doing in and through us. When we call out to God to bring about justice for ourselves or others, we are agreeing that His kingdom way is right and ought to prevail. We are showing that we understand how broken the world is and how corrupt the Enemy’s ways truly are. Our cries for God’s intervention ought to be our genuine cries that His name be hallowed in this world and that His will be done on this earth.
As you pray earnestly to your very attentive Father today, Disciple, do so with the confidence that He is determined to bring justice about – “and quickly”. It may not seem it to us, but even as we say the words, He is already at work to accomplish the good and the best in this world that He loves. After all, if He didn’t spare His own Son, will He not, along with Him, give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?
Learning to be passionate and persevering in prayer with you,