Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up - Luke 18:1
Luke goes on to tell the parable of the persistent widow who would not leave the unjust judge alone until he gave her the justice she wanted. The phrasing of this sentence: “now he told them”, and in other versions: “to this end”, implies that the parable relates to the previous chapters. In these, Jesus talks about the distress and trouble the christians were soon to meet because of their faith, and also the end times when He comes back again. Jesus warns them/us in 17:32 not to be like Lot’s wife, that is, in the hour of crisis — don’t love the world! Don’t turn back with longing or you will be unfit for the kingdom!
Jesus knew we would be asking, “then how can we endure to the end? How do we keep our faith in hard and difficult times? How do we stop ourselves from turning to things of this world?”
And Jesus answers….
“Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up”
The parable is intended to be an encouragement to….
1. Pray continually.
Jesus did not mean that we should always be on our knees with our eyes closed in prayer. That is a posture you can take at times but we can always be in what is sometimes called the spirit of prayer. Paul mentioned this idea in Thessalonians 5:17 when he wrote “pray without ceasing”. When things get hard, pray! When you are thankful, pray! When you are sad, pray! When you are happy, pray! When you don’t know what to do, pray! When you are at work, pray! Praying is just talking to God in your own words and then listening to what he says back. Prayer helps build your relationship with the living God.
There are many different ways you can get into a rhythm of prayer.
Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you throughout your day.
Set a regular time and spot in your day to spend with God.
Wear a band on your wrist or an item of clothing so that when you see it throughout your day it reminds you to take a minute and talk to God.
Set reminders on your phone to stop throughout your day to pray.
2. Never give up!
It is easy to lose heart in prayer because prayer can be hard work! Maybe you have been praying for something for such a long time and you’ve not seen any change so you start to think, what is the point? Maybe you start looking to other things to help solve the issue. Maybe you think God doesn’t care about your needs and you just want to give up on God all together. Maybe you see so much injustice in the world and nothing seems to change it.
I know I have been waiting on God to answer certain prayers for many many years now.
God is a just God who loves you very much and cares about everything to do with you (Psalm 139) and about the injustices of this world (Jer 22:3-5).
Jesus tells the parable of the widow who would not give up asking the judge for justice. To stop the widow from harassing him, the unjust judge finally gives her what she wants. If the unjust judge who does not know God or respect others gives in to the widow’s persistence, how much more would our loving God bring justice? It may not be in our time or the way we expect, it but God will answer! Only God can satisfy our needs (Isaiah 55:2, 58:11).
I will not give up asking God and each time I give it over to him, God promises to give his supernatural peace to guard my heart and mind (Phil 4:7).
I hope this encourages you today that even in this very difficult season we are in worldwide, whatever season you are in personally, whatever injustices you see in the world…
Keep praying! Don’t give up!