Luke 18:1-8 (Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge).
This parable teaches us about persistence, faith, and prayer, with a promise of God’s ultimate justice.
There are many promises in God’s Word to encourage us to pray, such as: “He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalm 91:15); “And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24); “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
The Scriptures tell us that we are to pray for one another and also assure us that God hears and answers prayer.
The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. This relationship can further be cultivated through prayer. Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him.
I’ve heard Bible scholars say that once you’ve asked God for something that it displays lack of faith to ask for it again, since you ought to believe you already have received it (Mark 11:24). But Jesus teaches clearly that we are to continue to pray until we receive the answer. Continued prayer is not a sign of little faith, but of persistent faith.
It is good for us to note that in Luke 18:1-8, Jesus is telling us to pray without ceasing (continued prayer which shows persistent faith) and not pray using vain repetitions, (continuous prayer) Mathew 6:7.
Now for the unjust judge and the widow, if an unjust, selfish judge will see that justice is done in response to persistent requests from a widow, how much more will the just God bring justice to his own beloved people who pray constantly for relief?
Sometimes we cry, “How long, Lord?” Sometimes it seems that God will never answer. Jesus answer was firm in Luke 18:8: “He will see that they get justice, and quickly”. His promises are sure. So when we pray let’s not doubt.
Jesus has told a parable of persistence, of a widow, weak in the world’s estimation, who has won a victory because she didn’t give up hope.
What about you and I? We sometimes become so tired and discouraged by our lives that we stop praying, stop hoping, and stop expecting God to intervene. Will we be religious, church-going unbelievers who have given up expecting an answer, whose prayers are just going through the motions? Jesus wonders. “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (18:8b)
Beloved, Jesus told this story to us so that we might be encouraged. None of you is weaker than the widow. None of you is facing longer odds than she. But because of her persistence and faith even the unjust judge gave her what was hers by right.
How much more you can expect God to intervene on your behalf! How much more will God bring justice to you, since you are his beloved, chosen child! Yes, we become discouraged. Paul did (2 Corinthians 1:8; 4:8-12). But we must not quit, not give up praying.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)