The parable of the persistent widow was given to encourage believers in Jesus to always pray and not “faint” or lose heart.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1)
Continuing in prayer always and not losing heart while doing so is demonstrated as persistent or what I call “knocking tirelessly” prayer.
Following this verse, Jesus tells his disciples a parable about a widow who was persistent in her attempt to get what she wanted by “knocking tirelessly” at the door of a judge and she succeeded for the judge opened the door.
The petition or request is of great importance if one is willing to spend time and effort to receive a response to one’s satisfaction. There is also tremendous faith or confidence in the source from whom one expects an answer.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15 KJV)
This widow in Luke 18 did not know what time the judge would open the door, but she knew that if she did not lose heart and remained steadfast and confident he would eventually open it and meet her need. The judge did open the door and only for the following reasons:
“…Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me” (Luke 18:4-5)
If he being unjust finally yielded to the widow’s request how much more would God who is a just judge not answer our prayers? Although we may not know when he will do so, if we persist in addressing the subject of our prayer request with him, reminding him about it and telling him we have faith that he will bring it to pass, He will answer it.
Someone may pose this question “God is not a God who is deaf or forgets so why persistently “knock” or address the subject again and again with Him until we receive an answer, surely it is unnecessary to do this if one has faith?”. In order to answer the question, let’s pose one first as follows: If addressing the subject of our request again and again with him is vain repetition (because he is not deaf or forgetful !) and therefore a sign of disbelief, why would this parable about the persistent widow be narrated by Jesus at all, even beginning with verse 1.
The reasons why this manner of praying is necessary are as follows:
1)Persistent prayer is also focused prayer. Prayer for a particular thing does not have to be focused or persistent in the manner this aforementioned parable describes, however the parable shows us that persistent prayer is a way of praying which is acceptable to God.
2)It pleases God that His children would pray or converse with Him however many times they desire about what they want or need. He is a Father who cares about His children and wants a continuous relationship which involves communication. A loving Father does not care how often a child asks for something; in fact it enables Father to know how much the child really wants that thing or values it. As only a loving wise Father can, he will grant the request at the right time and in a way which is right for the child.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 2015