"Persistent prayer"

An anonymous person wrote: "I knelt to pray but not for long, I had too much to do. So I knelt and said a hurried prayer, and jumped up off my knees. My Christian duty was now done; my soul could rest at ease."

Let's contrast that view of prayer with the actions of the persistent widow in Luke 18. They're strikingly different. The widow didn't just drop by now and then to pay the judge a visit. She came to the judge repeatedly (v.3). Her soul wouldn't rest until her case was heard. Why? Because she wasn't asking for some special favor, she was simply seeking justice.

In those days, it was common practice to bribe an attendant in order to have your court case heard by the judge. The widow was probably too poor to do that. What's more, the judge she was appealing to neither feared God nor cared about people (v.4). So she had every reason to lose heart. Due to her persistence, however, she received justice (v.5).

Now before we start thinking that God needs to be pestered, argued with, and bribed in order to have our prayers answered, it's important to understand that this parable is contrasting the unjust judge with the one truly just Judge. God is eager to answer the prayers of His children. In fact, He will "grant justice to them quickly!" (v.8; Matthew 7:11).

We often lose heart in prayer because we don't understand God's timing or purpose. But there's a better way. One writer put it like this: "Persistent prayer is the demonstration of faith in God who, while at times may delay His answers, will always act decisively and justly with respect to His people." Keep on praying! , Poh Fang Chia, Our Daily Journey

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