Are you going through one of those times when it seems every attempt to resolve a problem is met with a new difficulty? You thank the Lord at night that it’s taken care of but awake to find that something else has gone wrong and the problem remains.
During an experience like that, I was reading the gospel of Luke and was astounded by the opening words of chapter 18: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (v. 1). I had read the story of the persistent widow many times but never grasped why Jesus told it (vv. 2-8). Now I connected those opening words with the story. The lesson to His followers was very clear: “Always pray and never give up.”
Prayer is not a means of coercing God to do what we want. It is a process of recognizing His power and plan for our lives. In prayer we yield our lives and circumstances to the Lord and trust Him to act in His time and in His way.
As we rely on God’s grace not only for the outcome of our requests but for the process as well, we can keep coming to the Lord in prayer, trusting His wisdom and care for us.
Our Lord’s encouragement to us is clear: Always pray and don’t give up!
Lord, in the difficulty I face today, guard my heart, guide my words, and show Your grace. May I always turn to You in prayer.
Prayer changes everything.
The parable of the judge and the persistent widow is one of the most challenging parables to interpret. The judge represents God, yet the judge is described as uncaring and unjust. Those terms certainly do not describe our heavenly Father. So how is this to be read? Most parables are intended to communicate one big idea rather than have meaning in every detail. In today’s passage the big idea is not the character of the God to whom we pray, but the value of persevering in prayer. When considering a parable, the simple guideline of looking for the one central idea can be helpful.