I had a meeting with someone recently who is new to praying regularly. He told me that ever since he started praying things have actually gotten worse instead of better. He came to me as his pastor asking what he must be doing wrong. I assured him there was nothing he was doing wrong. I told him sometimes we have to just keep praying until the situation turns around.
Luke 18:1 says, “Jesus told His disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up.” It is a pretty clear and simple message. We see in the story (v. 2-8) a widow who continually comes to a judge until she gets what she wants from him, the key in her receiving was her persistence and importunity.
Is God like this judge? Must God be persuaded by our pleas and tears in order for Him to help us? God knows our needs and is more ready to give than we are to receive, so why does Jesus emphasize the need for persistence in prayer?
And why would Jesus tell this parable to His disciples? Jesus had been talking to His disciples about His second coming, what is called the parousia. He wanted them to be sure and not give up when things got tough. He wanted them to know that God always vindicates those who are His own.
Jesus had taught His disciples about prayer. They had asked Him how to pray and He had told them. He had taught them to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking and God would respond. Jesus knew that when suffering and persecution came that His disciples would need to pray more than ever. This is why He told them the parable about the widow and the judge.
The widow represented the most helpless person in society and the judge the most powerful. The widow had no one to represent her, she had no money to bribe him with. The judge did not fear God or men and refused to grant the petition of the widow. Only and for no other reason, the judge granted the widow her request because she was persistent, importune and he could not take her bothering him any longer. How much more then will God respond to the persistent prayers of His people.
Keep praying, keep persisting and don’t give up. Pray through until God gives you the answer.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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