Exodus 17: 8-13
2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
The parable is short but conveys an important lesson. From the way the widow pleaded her case before the judge, Jesus wanted his listeners to learn how to plead their cases before God—they must pray without ceasing… without becoming drained.
This parable features a poor widow who goes to court with a complaint. We are not told the precise nature of her complaint, only that she claims she has been a victim of some injustice and implores the judge to pass sentence against her adversary. But the dishonest judge, who neither fears God nor respects fellow humans, has no time to waste on petty grievances of the poor. At first he simply ignores the widow, refusing to grant her a hearing. But she keeps coming back, repeating her petitions, pestering the judge day and night, wearing him down. Finally, unable to endure her screeching any longer, he issues judgment in her favor. It seems the only way to shut her up.
If a judge so unworthy, eventually yields to the woman’s repeated entreaties against her adversary, how much more will the ever compassionate God listen to us when we pray against our adversaries.
The problem is that we live in a society of instant food and instant cure, with the result that we often expect God to take our calls instantly. We could not wait!
Like the widow in the parable, we should never stop praying. She pestered the unjust judge; we should never stop pestering God who is ever compassionate.
We need to persevere in prayer, for God can delay his answer:
- To purify our motives, so that we ask him for what we need, and not what we want.
- He may delay in order to correct, reprove and train us in holiness.
If God had granted all our silly prayers, where could we be now? Think about this!
True prayer is not manipulating God into granting our request, but surrendering ourselves to Him—in His own his ways, in His own condition and in His own time!
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains;
Whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth (Ps 121:1-2).