18 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Luke 18:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Today we continue to walk our way through the gospel of Luke. Jesus tells his disciples about the importance of persistence in prayer. He does it as he usually does in the form of a parable.
There are times when we feel our prayers aren’t being heard – that our prayers are only going as far as the ceiling. Perhaps we have been praying for something so long that we think it is not worth it. Jesus reminds us that we need to be persistent in prayer, just like the widow in this story. She kept on asking the unjust judge to grant her justice. Because she was so persistent, finally the judge relented.
The same needs to be true in our prayer life. We need to be persistent. At the same time, we need to be careful that our prayers are centered on God’s justice – not our own version of God’s justice. In his letters, the disciple John writes this:
14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.1 John 5:14-15
It is important that our prayers align with God’s will and what pleases him. God will not grant answers to prayer that aren’t in keeping with his commandments.
The important thing to remember is that if we ask for those things that please him and are persistent in our prayers, God will answer.