I am not sure if this takes place anywhere else in the Bible, but here in Luke 18:1 we have a parable introduced with the moral of the story. Usually we find out the moral of the story at the end, sometimes the disciples ask Jesus for the meaning and He explains the parable.
The Parable of the Persistent Widow makes it very clear from its introduction that what the reader should take away from it is that people “always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
Spoiler alert right?!
Here is a story about how you ought to always pray and not get discouraged.
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Luke 18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
I know, I also thought it was interesting of the judge to say to himself that he does not fear God or regard men.
On a more serious note, I believe Jesus here is saying something similar to what He said in Luke 11:13 where He labels His listeners as “evil.” If fallen, sinful human beings are capable of giving good gifts, how much more God? In a similar sense here Jesus describes a judge who does not fear God not regards people. The judge got justice for the widow just to rid himself of an annoyance. How much more is God going to avenge, to get justice, for those who pray to Him?
It’s not that we are going to annoy God, but rather, sometimes we insist more with sinful and selfish human beings than we do with God. We can insist again and again with someone here on earth for something yet with God we give up after a couple of tries.
The point of the story is that we ought to always pray and not lose heart. Don’t stop insisting, don’t stop asking, keep praying. Jesus just told His followers to keep praying, the same message holds true to us today.
It is really difficult to miss the point of this story when Jesus made it so plain. “Always pray and do not lose heart.”
But I have been praying for days!
But I have been praying for weeks!
But I have been praying for months!
But I have been praying for years!
Keep praying, and don’t lose heart.
Abraham waited his whole life for the son God had promised him (Genesis 21:5). Not to mention that God had spoken to Abraham, God directly promised Abraham (Genesis 12:1-4). Imagine God showing up, promising you something that will not happen until you are 100 years old! Imagine waiting 25 years for God to do what He promised to you. I imagine that Abraham probably prayed for children even before God made the promise.
If Abraham, the father of faith could wait that long how about us?
I know we like things fast, I do too.
I know giving up is easy.
But Jesus is telling us to always pray and not lose heart.
So I will continue to pray.
How about you?