The title of this post was the title of my Pastor’s sermon yesterday. I went right along with our Bible Study for the day in which we talked about Jesus teaching to be persistent in prayer. In both the Pastor’s sermon and the Bible Study Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow was a major point.
Luke 18:1-8 (NLT) 1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people.
3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people,
5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
The importance of persevering in prayer was confirmed again today when I read an something from 5 Minutes with Jesus by Shelia Walsh.
A Lesson in Perseverance...from a Yorkie
It had been a long weekend of delayed flights and short nights. I had finally gotten home, but Monday morning I could barely crawl out of bed. I think I was sleepwalking when I made myself a cup of coffee and headed out to the back patio with my three little dogs. And our ritual began.
Maggie the Yorkie wanted to play. She dug through her toy box until she found her stuffed raccoon. She dropped it at my feet and looked up. I didn’t respond. She picked it up again, backed up a few steps, and then approached me a second time. Still nothing from me… because I had nothing to give! After two more futile attempts, Maggie changed her strategy and began to paw my leg. That worked. Wanting peace, I picked up the raccoon, threw it as far as I could across the yard, and watched her run like the wind.
I want you to pray like that.
It wasn’t audible, but I clearly recognized God’s voice deep in my spirit.
I thought about Maggie’s persistence. She was totally committed to getting the answer from me that she wanted. She wasn’t going to quit until I picked up her toy and threw it for her. I realized that, when it comes to praying, I often don’t have a fraction of this Yorkie’s perseverance. Oh, I’ll pray about a situation for a while, but I’ll move on.
I thought of the look in Maggie’s eyes, though. She loves me, and she knows that I love her. Because of that love, she absolutely believes that if she asks long enough, I’ll answer.
How much more does our Father in heaven love us and want to answer us!
Jesus told the story of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–8) to encourage us to keep dragging our prayers before God, to approach Him over and over again. With that in mind, I decided I wasn’t about to be outdone by a Yorkie!
The Lord rejoices over a believer who loves big enough and long enough to pray until He answers.
Five Minutes in the Word
One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. — Luke 18:1
When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. — Matthew 6:6
Ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. — James 1:6 HCSB
Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed. — Ephesians 6:18 The Voice
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NASB
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes With Jesus by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.