Summary: If you are persistent in prayer you may not get what you want when and how you want it, but you will definitely come to this conclusion about God and that is that GOD is FAITHFUL.
Text: Luke 18:1-8
One of the attributes of God that makes Him so unique and different from man and other gods is His faithfulness. It is this attribute that makes God boldly declare in Isaiah 44:6-8 that there is no God apart from Him. God’s faithfulness puts Him in a class all by Himself. His faithfulness is unbeatable. His faithfulness is matchless. God is the only One that can never fail. He is the only One that you can rely on everything He says; He never adds a pinch of salt to what He says. When God promises you something, He isn’t exaggerating, joking or speaking figuratively. God is the only One that is completely and absolutely TRUSTWORTHY.
Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us that if there’s one thing about God we should know, it is that He is a faithful God. Understanding that God is faithful, will help you trust Him even when you can’t see His hand. Understanding the faithfulness of God will keep you praising and serving God even when you have been praying about something and you haven’t yet gotten the answer. Understanding God’s faithfulness will inspire you to remain faithful to a Faithful God. May God release fresh grace on us to be faithful to a God who never disappoints.
Today we want to look at God’s faithfulness to the persistent in prayer.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a parable of a persistent widow. The simple message Jesus wanted to pass across through this parable is that if you don’t give up in the place of prayer, if you don’t relent, lose heart, get weary, if you can persist in the place of prayer, you will see the faithfulness of God. I pray that every one of us will see the faithfulness of God in those situations we have been praying about but are yet to see the answer.
There are two verses in this passage that can help us understand what it means to be persistent in prayer. If we look at verse 5 we see that a persistent person is one that doesn’t give up, a person who keeps coming to you over and over again to ask you for something against all odds, in the face of discouragement, even when nothing seems to be happening or a change appears to be an illusion. Verse 7 also makes us understand that persistence in prayer is not praying about something once or twice but continuously, steadfastly, repeatedly until you see a change.
GOD IS NOTHING LIKE THE UNJUST JUDGE
Even though Luke 18:7-8 links the unjust judge with God, we must know that our own Judge, the God of faithfulness without any form of injustice, is nothing like the unjust judge. The message behind this parable isn’t that God is like the unjust judge who wants to see you suffer before He answers you or blesses you. The message is that there are some situations in life that it is not the first time you pray about it that you will get an instant answer. It is good to be a person who is mighty in faith and the minute you pray, you get an instant answer, you move mountains. But the reality of our Christian walk is that not all prayers will be answered instantly. Many will require a great deal of persistence on our part.
The unjust judge had no regard for anyone. He didn’t care about anyone according to Luke 18:2. So when he delayed in answering the persistent widow, it wasn’t because he was out to achieve anything good. It was his uncaring attitude that made Him put her off. It was His uncaring attitude that made him indifferent to her plight. God on the other hand is a Just Judge who cares for those who approach Him for justice and help (1 Peter 5:7). So when the Just Judge does not answer you immediately, you can be sure that it is because He wants to achieve something good in your life. The unjust judge delayed because he didn’t care. When the Just Judge allows any form of delay, it is actually because He cares and is doing something bigger than what you can see, think or comprehend.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS PERSISTENT PRAYER?
A lot of Christians today believe they are persistent or have been persistent in the place of prayer. That’s why they make comments like “I’m tired, I’m discouraged, I’ve been praying since and nothing has happened; nothing has changed. Why should I even bother myself with prayer, why should I attend that prayer meeting when nothing has come out of all the prayer meetings I have attended”. But when we look at Luke 18:3, 5 and 7, we see that much of what we qualify as persistent praying actually isn’t persistent prayer. We give quality time to prayer this morning, the next morning we just mumble a few words to God and rush off to work. The following morning, it is only when we want to eat and bless our food that we utter a word of prayer. By weekend, we haven’t even said a word to God. Praying consistently, fervently and persistently every morning for most Christians is a big challenge, not to talk of praying consistently at night.