Jesus tells a story relating some aspects of our relationship with God. He specifically mentions prayer. Don’t give up. If you don’t see results, don’t faint.
Luke 18: 1And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Jesus saw the necessity of prayer himself. He directed others to prayer and told them to pray to the Father not him. He instructed us to say our Father who art in heaven. Jesus led by example in praying himself. The Father answered him. On the cross he called on the Father; there was silence. God didn’t speak as he did at other times. The reason was that Jesus was finishing the work of salvation. People said God wasn’t listening and had forsaken him. If God had spoken it would have been a signal that the cross was too much to endure. His silence assured Jesus he could go all the way.
Sometimes the best answer is silence. God still moves and works in the silence. Sometimes you get an immediate answer. How many times have you been on an icy road and swerved. You asked God to help you and the car was under control. That was an immediate answer. Sometimes I pray and pray and pray. All of a sudden when I least expect it the answer comes. Sometimes we wonder why God bears long at times. We can speculate but I came to the conclusion that I can’t speak for God on this. It’s his business. Sometimes he answer quickly; sometimes the answer is long in coming. I have prayers that I’m still waiting for an answer. I have confidence the answer will come if I don’t faint. We are the ones who are slow in our expectations. If we ask amiss he’ll wait until we figure that out. The only prayer that is always answered right away is for forgiveness of sin. God doesn’t get mad at us or decide not to speak to us. When we come clean with God he speaks. When we sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. Some get discouraged and look for excuses to get out of church. They say Christianity is not working for them. God is what he’s always been. If something is not like it used to be, the problem lays with us not God.
Jesus used an illustration of a judge who didn’t know God; neither did he regard men. His temper was short. He had power and authority. Someone had wronged a widow and she wanted justice. Sometimes we’re down and out and get in distress. At this point the judge was her only avenue. She knew the judge could fix it. Without the help of the Lord we have nothing. Stay connected to God and don’t faint. The power and authority of this judge went far. We know God’s power reaches further. God is a God that answers prayer. Answers work out for his glory and our good.
The widow went to the judge. Nothing happened. She went back. Nothing happened. Her adversary still pranced around. She went back to the judge again day in and day out. The judge probably thought she’d quit and leave him alone. She could have said I’m not going back to that judge again. I’m just going to get mad and suffer through this. Did she quit? No! She marched right down to the judge’s office again and told him the story one more time. She was determined to keep going. That’s all she knew to do because there was nowhere else to go. To whom can we go besides the Lord? No one.
Jesus meant it when he told us to seek, ask and knock. He takes prayer seriously. The judge knew he had to fix it or she was going to wear him out. God would love it if we’d not leave him alone. He loves it when we call on him. This unjust judge knew he would be worried to death if he didn’t avenge this woman’s wrong. Prayer is an exercise of our spiritual constitution. It makes us stronger. It doesn’t wear us out. If it does, we’re looking at it the wrong way. Pray expecting. God will answer. By this woman’s continual coming, the judge helped her. By our continuance, by our constant seeking, we find answers for our requests.
We have no business asking God why he bears long. We must trust he knows best. If we bear long in our praying God will come through. God wants us to strengthen ourselves. He never fails. He’ll never withhold the best for us. Do you need to seek the Lord? Do you feel weak? Let’s be like the widow and the judge. Come to the Lord. Ask God to help you keep praying. Pray about your prayer life.