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THE PERSISTENT WIDOW




“Pray without ceasing… for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, NKJV).


“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:7–11). Jesus taught His disciples to pray faithfully to our Heavenly Father… and to keep on asking… seeking… knocking.


In the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night of His betrayal, Jesus “fell facedown and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’ ” (Matthew 26:39). He agonized in diligent prayer for an hour. He wasn’t finished.

“Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done’ ”(Matthew 26:42). Still, He persisted in prayer. “He went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more” (Matthew 26:44). Our Lord modeled persistent, insistent, tenacious prayer. He prayed with steadfastness… even stubbornness.


To illustrate this, Jesus told a parable. But before Luke recorded the Lord’s parable, he was inspired to interpret it for his readers. “Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up” (Luke 18:1). This parable teaches us to pray… and keep on praying… to “not give up.”


“There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect people. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so that she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them? I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice’ ” (Luke 18:1–7).


Jesus invites us to pray like the widow.


She had sought justice, but the local magistrate was lazy and unconcerned. She was undeterred. She kept “pestering” the judge for just relief, for “justice against my adversary.”

She prayed persistently, insistently, tenaciously. She prayed with urgency and passion. She prayed with steadfastness… even stubbornness.


God isn’t lazy and unconcerned. He’s nothing like the judge in His parable. In fact, He invites us to cast our burdens on Him, “because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He’s our “Father in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9), and we’re the “apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10, NKJV). “Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night?”




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