90 Days of Prayer – Day Sixteen
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
The passage under consideration is the introduction to the Parable of the persistent widow, which Jesus goes on to tell in verses 2 thru 8. The Greek word “ekkakein” translated here as “give up,” means: “to lose heart,” “grow tired,” “become discouraged.” Jesus knows all too well the natural human tendency to despair when seeing no change during prolonged ordeals. Enduring an ordeal where one is battling against all odds is precisely the issue in this story, to which, prevailing prayer is the only remedy.
Jesus goes on to tell a parable of a particular judge in a town who “neither feared God nor cared what people thought.” There were at that time Roman magistrates who showed little or no respect for Jewish people and cared nothing about Judaism. This parable is not about comparing God with the judge who delayed his decision, but about the stark contrast between the two. The widow had no resources at her disposal, nor was she a person of influence with the Judge. She makes her plea on complete dependence on him to grant her request.
God, on the other hand, is a righteous Judge as depicted in Psalm 9:7-9: “The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Learning to pray until God speaks or until the answer is received is almost a lost art among many in the Church. In advancing God’s kingdom, prevailing prayer is a most powerful tool in the hands of the believer. The devil who stands against those answers being received has no defense against the believer who will not quit.
Wesley Duewel said “Prevailing prayer is the prayer that obtains the answer sought. It overcomes delay, opposition, and unfavorable circumstances.”* Learning how to keep praying until we hear from God, is the great secret to regularly receiving answers to our prayers. This is one of the greatest truths about faith and prayer that I have ever learned – and still learning. Reading about the lives of those who were mightily used by God to receive amazing answers to prayer have always been a source of encouragement to me. Out of the many books in my library, it is those that deal with the subject of prevailing Prayer that I treasure most. Knowing how to persist in prayer until we hear from heaven is invaluable.
When asked how he managed to secure so many astounding answers to prayer, the 92-year-old George Mueller replied; “The great point is never to give up until the answer comes. I have been praying for fifty-two years, every day, for two men, sons of a friend of my youth. They are not converted yet, but will be! How can it be otherwise? There is the unchanging promise of Jehovah, and on that, I rest. The great fault of the children of God is, they do not continue in prayer; they do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.”**
In his book “The Real Faith” Dr. Charles S. Price wrote; “Have you a need? Take it to Jesus. Have you a problem? Lay it at the Master’s feet. Begin to trust Him, and as you give Him your confidence and trust, you will find His Faith will become operative in you. Why play with the teacup of our struggles and endeavors when His faith is as boundless as the ocean?”***
Take heart, you are not alone in this experience of waiting on God in prayer. Keep in mind that God’s ears are always attentive to the cry of His sons and daughters. He will certainly “bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night…” – Luke 18:7. God’s timing is not our timing. His decisions are perfect and always on time.
Jesus finishes the parable in verse 8 by saying “I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
You are coming before the Righteous Judge of all the earth, who welcomes you to stand and plead your case before His throne grace. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”(Hebrews 4:16). Be confident, Be persistent and Be Encouraged! -JSP
*Duewel, Wesley L.. Mighty Prevailing Prayer: Experiencing the Power of Answered Prayer (Kindle Location 75). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
**Charles S. Price, The Real Faith (Logos International Edition copyright 1972) 28-30