“Men (and women) should always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1, pharm NIV).
“That woman!” Judge Rockwell Steele fumed as he headed back to the courthouse after another run in with Mrs. Ima Sue Kneady. “She’s everywhere!”
He could still hear her chirping, capsule “Yoo hoo, troche Judge Steele., You know, sir, my apartment heater is still broken. It’s not right a woman my age should have no heat in the winter. Won’t you speak to those nice men down at the Cheete Brothers office about this?”
I’m at the end of my patience. She always seems to find me and every time she needles me about her problems. Didn’t I dismiss her case?
He had indeed dismissed Widow Kneady’s case against the Cheete Brothers Management Company months ago. While the complaint had some substance, Judge Steele cared more for maintaining a profitable relationship with the Cheete Brothers than the needs of the poor folks in low-income housing.
Enough! I’m worn down with her endless appeals. Nothing is worth this irritation. Judge Steele picked up the phone to resolved Widow Kneadys’ problem.
The Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow
This modern-day parable comes from a story Jesus tells in Luke 18. He tells the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow so that “men will always pray and never give up.”(Luke 18:1, NIV) Here Jesus contrasts the judge, who neither fears God, nor regards man, with God who has great regard for His own elect and who will avenge them speedily. (Luke 18:1-8)
In this story, the widow persistently seeks justice from an unjust judge. Since God is not unjust, one might wonder why we must be persistent. Jesus does not address the “why” question. Instead, He assures us God will bear along with us and act speedily on our behalf. Therefore, we should always pray and never give up.
Are you discouraged because you have been praying about a matter for a long time? Does it feel like your cause is hopeless? When the answer tarries, our faith is challenged and we must examine our view the God. Is He like the unjust judge who must be cajoled with our many words until he grows weary of our petitions and therefore answers our prayer? Or is He, as Jesus describes Him, the One who bears long with His elect and will avenge them speedily?
The story of the persistent widow ends with a probing question, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” When we always pray and never give up, we demonstrate our faith in Him.
So, whatever your cause, “always pray and never give up.”
When it seems my pleas are unrequited, help me to remember your promise to bear along with me. Remind me that you do avenge my cause speedily. Don’t let me forget that you are looking for faith. I do believe. Help me to always pray and never give up.
This article was originally published in MAG Womens Connection online devotionals.