“The squeaky wheel gets the oil” is a popular proverb. As a child I rode my bicycle for long distances between home and school, and the squeaky sounds of the wheels drew my attention to the need to lubricate them.

In Luke 18, the widow’s persistent request to the judge for justice against her adversary made her sound like a “squeaky wheel” until she got the result she needed. Luke explains that Jesus told this story to teach us the need to pray continually and not to give up, even if it appears that the answer to our prayer is delayed (vv.1-5).

God is certainly not an unjust judge who must be harassed before He responds to us. He is our loving Father who cares about us and hears us when we cry to Him. Regular, persistent prayer draws us closer to Him. It may feel like we are a squeaky wheel, but the Lord welcomes our prayer and encourages us to approach Him with our cries. He hears us and will come to our aid in ways that we may not expect.

As Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:5-8, constant prayer does not require long periods of “vain repetitions.” Rather, as we bring our needs before God “day and night” (Luke 18:7) and walk with the One who already knows our needs, we learn to trust God and wait patiently for His response.