“And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them?’” (Luke 18:6-7)
One topic that Jesus often spoke about was prayer. Most of us are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, but that wasn’t Jesus’ only instruction on this very important matter. Throughout His ministry, He told several parables that focused on the necessity of persistence in prayer.
One such parable was about a widow who was constantly being wronged. Day after day, she went before the judge of her city, begging him to help her against her enemy. Every time, the judge refused, because he “neither feared God nor respected man.” (Luke 18:2) But the woman kept coming back, reminding the judge of her plight and pleading for his help. Finally, the judge was so frustrated by her continuous entreaties that he gave in and did what she asked. The woman’s persistence had finally paid off.
Jesus explained that this is similar to the function of our prayers. Just like the widow, we bring our needs before God when we pray, asking Him to intervene on our behalf and help us. The difference between God and the judge, however, is that God is righteous. When He hears our pleas, He doesn’t scorn them and refuse to act. Instead, He acts quickly, giving us help exactly when we need it.
Now, it is important that we understand that God’s timing is not the same as ours. When we pray for things, we usually want the answer immediately. But God often tells us to wait. In that time, we have a decision to make: Will we become frustrated by God’s seeming indifference, or will we continue to pray, trusting that God will give us what we need in His own perfect time? The widow in the parable persisted even when everything looked hopeless, and the unrighteous judge finally gave her what she asked. We, on the other hand, pray to a righteous, loving God Who is eager to answer us. If even the unrighteous give in to persistence, how much more will God fulfill our needs when we ask? So even when it feels like God will never answer, continue to pray with confidence. He hears you, and He’s getting ready to answer in a way that will absolutely astound you. Your persistence will be amply rewarded.