KEEP ON PRAYING
We’ve all seen this familiar parable ‘scenario’ played out in our own lives. As children we at times played the role of the persistent widow in relentlessly pestering until we got what we wanted; as parents we may have assumed the judge’s role in ultimately being worn down by the persistent pleas of our children. In weariness we may have given in against our own better judgment.
Don’t Give Up
As Jesus applies this parable to us, we find considerable divine encouragement for a relentless prayer life–one that “always prays and does not give up” (v. 1).
There is much that happens that can discourage a persistent prayer life: seemingly delayed or unanswered prayer responses, physical and spiritual trials, perceived divine apathy or injustice toward evil, our own sometimes self-centered view of prayer. All of these only increase Satan’s whisperings in our ears: “Where is your God when you really need Him!? If He really cared about you, wouldn’t He answer your prayer–NOW!?”
Because of her just cause, this poor widow would not be deterred. Neither Satan nor life circumstances should ever deter God’s children from praying. God asks us to pray in faith and promises to hear and respond–even “quickly” (according to His timetable, never too late).
Whether it be the long-awaited coming of His Son in the “fullness of time” or His promised return on the Last Day or an answer to the prayers of His children–our Lord’s timing is always right and proper.
Worn down, this unjust judge, who neither feared God or cared about people, finally gave this widow justice.
Our God is not subject to the human frailties and failings so evident in this human judge. All the more reason for our confidence in prayer. Our righteous Judge and loving Savior knows us and loves us and will always answer our prayers in keeping with His gracious will and our spiritual needs.
Scripture abounds with persistent prayer examples. Jacob wrestled all night with the Lord and would not “let go” until he received the blessing. For Lot’s sake Abraham prayer-bargained many times with the Lord on behalf of Sodom. The Syrophenician woman’s faith would not be denied, even though Jesus gave no immediate response to her request for healing for her daughter.
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jms. 5:16). God’s children have always prayed and, in faith, awaited God’s answer–and deliverance has always come!
Undergirding our faith and prayer life is the absolute certainty that we are God’s elect, His chosen ones.
Chosen by God’s grace in eternity, redeemed by the death and resurrection of His Son, gifted and preserved in faith throughout our lives, prepared for life forever with the Lord in Paradise–one theme prevails. We are His own. Unto Him we “commit our way.” He will lead us safely through the maze and muck of this sinful world to the blissful glory of our eternal home.
Even a seemingly delayed or negative response to our prayers does not change these truths or our wonderful relationship with our Heavenly Father.
–Pastor David Schierenbeck