Delighting in prayer
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly…”
Luke 18: 6-8 (NIV)
Depending on which Bible translation the scripture above is taken from, it will usually be headed ‘The Parable of the Persistent Widow’, or ‘The Parable of the Unjust Judge’. If you focus on the widow in this parable, you may feel your prayer isn’t good enough until you get what you want, so you must keep nagging God until you get your way. If you concentrate on the judge, you will probably be shocked at how unkind he is in the face of the widow’s plight, and then you commit to trying harder to help those in need. Either way, this parable can leave you feeling inadequate and like you must do more of something, either prayer or service to others.
Jesus clearly tells us the point of this parable, and it’s not that you’re falling short and must try harder to be a better person.
Jesus tells us that his Father will provide justice to those in need, and he is not reluctant to do so. It’s not a case of eventually getting what you want if you can wear God down enough so that he changes his mind. The Father is contrasted to the unjust judge, not portrayed as being like him. Yes, it does talk about this justice being for those who cry out to God day and night, and the parable begins by talking about praying and not giving up, and we should be persistent in our praying knowing that God is faithful to bring justice.
God’s people are characterised as being people who regularly want to be in communion with their Father, who spend time with him in prayer as a way of life because we love him and want to spend time in his presence, talking to him and listening to what he has to say to us.
Prayer is about persistently building a relationship with God. Even though God already knows what we need, and he promises to look after us, let’s persist in prayer day and night, to deepen our relationship with God, because we love to be in his presence, and because we know he will bring justice.
Father, Thank you that we can enjoy time in prayer with you, at any time and on a regular basis. May we be persistent in prayer knowing you will faithfully bring justice. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Study by Anthony Dady
About the writer:
Anthony Dady is a minister in Grace Communion International and is the Regional Pastor for Wales, the Midlands, and Northern England.
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