One of the parables that I taught in my class was the Parable of the Persistent Widow.  Normally, I link to the Scripture, but I’ll include it here since this one is brief.

Luke 18: 1-8

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The first time I heard this parable, I wondered what the lesson was.  Sure, there’s the obvious lesson – if persistence will wear down the unjust, won’t God also hear us? But Christ never let a teaching moment go with just the surface message.  As I studied what other people said about this parable, I realized that I truly had missed the deeper meaning – the lesson of persistent prayer.

Often, when we pray, we bring something up to God one time and then brush it from our hands. Whew.  One prayer task accomplished!  We check it off our to-do list.

But that isn’t what God wants.  God wants us to pray persistently, to come before Him again and again.

There are several reasons for this.

Putting ourselves and our prayers before God, moves our focus to Him.  He wants us to reach towards him and one of the ways that we can do this is through prayer.

Reaching toward Him, gazing into his loving heart, we will gain what the widow had – Hope.  Faith.  If we come before God, it will strengthen our Faith.  Why?  Because we will be gazing into He who gives us all that is good.  We will not be focused on what is muddled up around us.

And finally, renewal.  How do I know that even in the midst of your troubles, you will be renewed?  Read Isaiah 40: 31.

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Go before God.  Pray to Him again and again.  It will change your focus.  It will strengthen your faith and lighten your load. And the spring in your step will be there for all to see.

Go.  Pray.  Now.

–SueBE


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