For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.”
As the disciples listened to this parable, their initial thought might have been a sense of hopelessness for this woman and a sense of empathy for this judge. They understood the unfair systems that they lived in—systems of power that were against them. The Roman empire and their judicial systems did not care for the God of the Jews. They had no regard for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The system, and the people it empowered, had no respect for God or these people. The disciples immediately related.
They would have also been surprised and inspired by this woman’s perseverance, by her seemingly supernatural ability not to give up—even when faced with no solution or justice for her problem. The more we pray, the more we are empowered by the Person we are praying to. See, we are always praying in a way, whether it’s to Jesus or to something else. Worry is like prayer to self. When we worry and live in anxiety, we are saying that the answer is somehow inside our ability. Prayer to Jesus is saying He has the power to change this situation.
The great thing about prayer is you are spending time with the Creator of all things, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. So when you pray, you begin to persevere because you are seeing more and more of the character of the One you are praying to. You are praying to a God who became human, died on the cross, took upon Himself our inability to fix our sin problem and rose again, giving us the promise that now we will live forever with Him, even when we die. In prayer we discover that our current sufferings are not worth comparing to our future glory in Him. This gives us the kind of perseverance that this widow had.
When we start comparing suffering, it’s a sign that we have lost sight of His glory. Complaint is the language of worry. Faith is the language of prayer.
This widow did not stop. She continually petitioned. She had faith. She knew something. She had caught a heavenly revelation of Christ.
This unrighteous judge gives into this widow’s persistence. A judge that did not care began to care because of her persistent requests. He was worn down by her heart. Her care overwhelmed his uncaring. She had a heart of perseverance.
Your prayers matter and your prayers will bring change. Let’s pray now together.
“Father, we pray today that heaven would come to earth in our lives. We pray in Jesus’ name that the injustices, the hurt, the pain would not go unnoticed but that heaven’s comfort would be present in this city. Lord we pray that we would not lose heart, for the eyes of our heart have seen Your glory, and we know that all things will work together for good for those that love You. We pray for people in our lives today who do not know You, and we pray that the seed of your gospel would go deep into their lives and take root. We pray You would give us the courage to speak your good news and share about what You have done in our lives, through Jesus, and that it would be like a seed that lands in good soil in those people’s lives. We pray this in Jesus’ name.”
// Pastor Josh Kelsey