And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
When Jesus gave the Parable of the Persistent Widow, He wanted to tell His listening audience that they ought to never give up just because they haven’t received an answer yet. He told them about a widow’s persistence in petitioning an unjust judge for help and how time and again he refused to help her, but it was because of her persistence that he finally gave her what she wanted. She literally wore him out. Jesus’ point was that even an unjust judge finally gave her what she wanted. How much more so would God the Father not grant justice to those who cry out to Him for justice? I find it interesting that they are crying out for justice and not requesting some personal want or need. Maybe that’s part of Jesus’ lesson. We ought to pray for God’s will, and God’s will is always centered in righteousness.
A sure sign of conversion is that when a Christian sins, they are quick to ask for forgiveness. They typically admit their unworthiness and humble themselves before God. In the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, we see this in the tax collector, but the Pharisee has a self-righteousness that is anything but humble. He says that he isn’t like this sinner, the tax collector (Luke 18:11). He tries to prove his self-righteousness before God and men by his history of tithing and his accusation that he is not like other men, but he is anything but humble. We know that God resists the proud, but to the tax collector who admitted his sinful state, God gives more grace (James 4:6). Jesus’ point is that God will hear the humble but resist the proud and self-righteous. He exalts the humble but humbles the proud (Luke 18:14).
When did you pray last?
If you pray only during emergencies and crises, when you are sick or having a serious relationship problem, or even during financial difficulties, you’re probably not praying enough. From people I talk to and my own experience, it seems that the longer you go without prayer, the harder it is to start again. Try to do this: Pick a time to regularly pray, and consistently pray each morning and night (before bed perhaps). Stick to this time, even when you don’t feel like it. Keep short accounts with sin because praying can sometimes keep you from sin, but sin can sometimes keep you from praying.
A Closing Prayer
Righteous Father, please forgive me for never spending enough time in prayer with You. I fall so far in this area. Please help me to understand more and more the critical importance of staying in prayer on a consistent basis. Even when I don’t feel like it, I know I need to keep close to You because You care for me, and I need You. It is in Christ’s Righteous Name I pray.
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