“Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Luke 18:1)
Have you ever gotten tired of praying for something? Did you pray about it for a few days? A few weeks? Years? Was or has your prayer been answered?
In today’s parable of the widow and the unjust judge, Jesus wants his disciples to understand the proper disposition of prayer. To illuminate it, he presents the widow who is unceasing in asking the judge to grant her justice. Even though the widow was repeatedly turned away and rejected, she kept returning to the judge to ask for a just decision.
Once the parable ends, Jesus directs his disciples to the words of the judge: “While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me” (Luke 18:4-5). This judge who violates the two most important commands of loving God and neighbor still renders a just decision because of the widow’s persistence.
Jesus then turns the conversation to God. God is the just judge who will secure the rights of those who continually call out to him. Jesus says, “I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily” (Luke 18:8).
Yet, as maybe we can all attest to, answers don’t always come quickly. What’s difficult about prayer is that there is some sort of waiting period. If there wasn’t, there would be no reason for Christ to tell his disciples a parable about not becoming weary in prayer.
There is a further point though. The parable’s context is in a discussion about Christ’s second coming. It is a discussion that begins in Chapter 17 of Luke’s Gospel when the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God will come. That is why Christ asks at the end, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8).
How will Jesus find us when he comes again? How would he find us today? Have we been weary with our work, our prayer, our actions, our faith, or our love towards others?
Let us ask the Lord that we may endeavor to persist in prayer all the days of our lives until He comes again.