Summary: Do we persist with God? Do we give up and not bother to pray because we do not believe that he will hear?
Do we persist with God? Do we give up and not bother to pray because we do not believe that he will hear?
Let’s learn that God sometimes will only hear persistent, demanding prayers.
We will discuss prayers for ourselves, aggressive prayer and God’s justice in Luke 18:1-8.
Luke 18:1 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?”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Persistent & Demanding Prayer
Have you ever heard someone preach against so-called gimmee (give me) prayers as being selfish? Yeah! Right! That’s in the Bible — not! The Lord’s Prayer encourages us to ask for our daily needs. While many unjust judges ignore the persistent pleas of the needy, God will hear and answer our cries for daily help even when others will not.
Ancient injustice did not divide inheritances equally with women, leaving widows destitute and poor. Here a widow demands justice from a reluctant judge. Are our prayers demanding and persistent? The Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, encourages us to make demands of God, unabashed, not holding anything back. The widow was persistent and demanding in prayer. Are our prayers like that?
Should faith be docile? Must we take abuse without a plea for our rights? Should Christians passively accept injustice? Are aggressive cries for equity and fairness only for those without faith? Should we just wait patiently on God and keep silent? Jesus commended a persistent widow for aggressively demanding justice from an uncaring judge. Let’s persistently and aggressively pray?
We are the Unjust Judge
Persistence is not always good. However, it is the right thing in fighting against corruption. Like weeding, if we give up, evil will take over. Abuse is everywhere. Jesus praised a widow who persistently demanded justice from a judge who did not care. How much more should we persist when we know the only truly just judge ever to exist.
We all want mercy, but we must also be willing to give it. Jesus encouraged us to always pray and not give up. True justice takes time. Even the adulterous Jezebel was given time to repent (Revelation 2:20-22). Rushed justice hurts people. True justice takes time because of mercy and space for repentance. A key is not to quit.
We are the unjust judges. We humans do not fear God nor care about each other. An unjust world and its poison resides deep within our own souls. Every criticism of injustice that we level against others points a finger right at our own hearts. Pray always and we will be delivered even from our own unjust hearts.
God is a just judge, but he is sometimes slow to answer our prayers as we count time, because he has other people to consider and He wants us to learn faith and perhaps even persistence.