Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
Continue To Pray And Do Not Lose Heart
It is easy to lose heart when the dawn looks so long away and the night is dark with uncertainty. The struggle of prayer is to couple the petitions to God with the need for patience, endurance, and faith. Men are impetuous with their desires wanting quick solutions, instant answers and questions answered. Prayer is the ultimate test of learning the will of God is not matched by the impatience of man. Time marches on at the same rate every day with every second counting every minute creating the same amount of hours in a day. The problem with the carnal spirit is to demand time to speed up and to serve the needs of man. It becomes where prayer is demanding rather than asking or pleading. Many lose heart in prayer because they are not patient to the will of God who has a greater knowledge of the need.
Jesus understood the plight of men’s desire for an answer in prayer. One of the most important lessons He taught His disciples is that prayer requires more than just a casual request. He taught His disciples that prayer is continual and while the lips voice the desire of the heart, the spirit of man must wait for the grace of God to answer the prayer. God could answer every prayer the instant they are offered but He chooses not. Often (more often than not) prayer becomes a test of faith. The parable Jesus taught was the need to never give up seeking the favor of the Father.
When the widow came to the judge, she had one thing in mind. Her utmost desire was for justice to be meted out against her adversary. The lesson of the parable is not the evil judge or the reason for the widow’s request. Everything about her attitude and the need of her heart was paramount for the lesson Jesus was teaching about prayer. The judge rebuffed her at first and gave no heed. She did not give up. The widow continued her assault. In time, the judge knew how intent the widow was in her request and he granted her wish because she troubled him by her continual coming.
The persistent widow is a divine example of how tenacious the heart must be in prayer. God wants to see and know how serious the petitioner will be in his desires. How the Father will answer prayer is unknown to the mind of man. Examples are found in the Bible where the Lord answered prayers quickly but often there was much time between the petition and the answer. The point is that prayer must be accompanied by a heart that is persistent in the petition without losing heart. Prayer is expressing to a loving and compassionate Father the needs of the child and that child must show his or her faith by how much they devote their will to prayer.
Do not give up and do not lose heart means that God hears the prayers of His children and He will answer those prayers – in accordance with His will, His knowledge, and His plan. What is man that he is mindful of the ways of God to demand anything? Prayer is pleading the promises of God. If the Father answers prayer today, that is a blessing. When many days, months or years go by for the answer of prayer, God is still glorified. Prayer is seeking the blessing of God and leaving that request with him – without instructions on how to answer the prayer. The greatest part of prayer is having faith to leave prayer with God. Do not lose heart and do not give up. God answers every prayer of those who insist on their faith upon Him.