In Luke 18, Lord Jesus tells the Parable of a Persistent Widow who kept on knocking the doors of an unjust Judge to get justice against her adversary. But, what are the Lessons that we can learn from this parable of the Persistent Widow? Let us examine.
The reason for Jesus to share this parable with His disciples was to teach them about the importance of praying without ceasing; praying until an answer is received from Heaven.
It is a habit of many Christians including myself to pray for a need for some time and then give up. I have done this thousands of times and this is also one of the main reasons why we do not receive what we ask for in prayer.
Though the disciples walked with Jesus 24×7, they did not have the habit of praying without ceasing. They helped Him in the ministry but seldom joined him in prayer.
In the four Gospels, we don’t see any instances of disciples praying on their own, it seems like, in their personal lives, they did not pray regularly. Lord Jesus might have been observing them very carefully and decides to teach them a few things about prayer.
Though this parable gives us only very little information about the situation of this widow; from the context it can be understood that; she was a poor, helpless widow who had no powerful relatives or friends to help her out. Her only source of getting justice against her adversary was: the court presided over by an unjust Judge.
She had been knocking on the doors of this Judge for a long time but still this unjust Judge remained unjust. However, she did not give up as she still hoped that; one day justice will be delivered against her adversary and, as you see in the parable, her hope did not disappoint her.
Finally, the unjust Judge decides to deliver justice in favour of this poor widow. You can read the story below.
Next, let us examine what we can learn from the parable of the Persistent Widow?
First, through this parable, Lord Jesus affirms us, believers, that; God Almighty is not an unjust Judge, but a loving Father whose ears are always attentive to the cry of His Chosen Ones.
In addition, He is also a God of Justice. In fact, Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His throne. Love and Faithfulness go before Him. Therefore, we can confidently approach His throne of Grace with our prayers and petitions and definitely we will receive an answer if our Prayers are according to His Will and Purpose.
Second, Hope is the manifestation of the faith that dwells in us and prayer is the channel through which this hope is transmitted towards the Throne of Grace in Heaven.
The moment this hope dries out; our prayer stops. So, prayer reflects hope. Discontinuing the prayer means; you, no more expect an answer from God. The poor widow in this parable would not have received an answer, if she had stopped knocking on the doors of that unjust Judge.
Third, we have the right, through Jesus Christ, to approach the Throne of Grace in heaven with our Prayers and Petitions. Our status or circumstances should not stop us from doing so. Sometimes, believers think:
oh! I don’t deserve God’s mercy or help!
I have done so many bad things despite being a Christian. So, I don’t think God will answer my prayer!
Saints, King David was a greater sinner than you and I, he had committed many horrible things that we don’t even normally think of committing. Despite all of those evil deeds; God still calls him “A man after my own heart”. So, why God had so much affection towards David?
It is not because he was a righteous man but because of the “integrity of his heart”. David was “a Man of Integrity”. He acknowledged his sins before God Almighty without any hesitation. He always repented of his sins and turned away from them without thinking twice. Therefore, God also answered him whenever he cried out to Him.
Last, Prayer needs to be consistent. An “On and Off” style of prayer avails nothing. Consistency in prayer shows that; you are really serious about getting an answer. In the poor widow’s case – she was consistent with her request to the unjust Judge. Many times, believers don’t receive an answer for their prayers because; they don’t pray in a consistent manner.
Next, let us look at some of the Reasons for not Receiving an answer for our Prayers.
Not Praying According to God’s Will – One of the most important reasons for our prayers being unanswered is: Not praying according to God’s Will. We, as believers, have the responsibility to seek God’s will in everything we desire to have in this earthly life. Our heavenly father will not grant our request if it is not according to His Will.
Interference of Dark Spiritual Forces – Another reason for not receiving an answer, or delayed answer for a prayer is – because of the interference of the dark spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. In Prophet Daniel’s case that is what actually happened. Heaven received his prayers and God Almighty sent an answer but the Angel was not able to reach Daniel because of the obstacles on the way.
Praying with an Unforgiving or an Unrepentant heart. This is yet another reason for not receiving an answer for our prayers. If we harbour unforgiveness in our heart, it will prevent our prayers from reaching heaven. An unforgiving heart will become a hindrance. Therefore, it is very important for us to forgive others as our Heavenly Father has forgiven us. In addition, we also need to repent of our sins before we approach the Throne of Grace with our prayers. See the example of Prophet Daniel.
Asking for things to gratify the desires of our flesh. If we prayer for things with the intention of fulfilling the desires of our flesh; those prayers won’t be answered. Many times, if we examine the content of our prayers, we could find that – it is all about this world and its desires and not about God’s Kingdom and its purpose. Most of our prayers are concerning just “Bread and Butter” and not about eternal or spiritual matters. In Prophet Daniel’s case; his prayers were for Israelites and not for his personal needs.
Disobedience to God’s Commandments – This is another very important reason for our prayers being unanswered. Our relationship with God Almighty entirely depends on our obedience to His commandments. If we wilfully live in disobedience, then, our prayers won’t be answered, no matter how persistent we are. Therefore, this is an area that we need to examine very carefully and correct if there is anything that needs to be corrected.
Saints, the main purpose of Prayer is to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Prayer gives us an opportunity to seek His face and know His Will. When we know His Will, we will pray according to it and our prayers will be answered.
On the contrary, if we pray according to our will and purpose that are not in sync with God’s Will and Purpose; those prayers may not be answered. Besides, consistency is also an important aspect of prayer and we need to train ourselves to be consistent in Prayer.
Saints, as I mentioned earlier, most of our prayer points are about this world and its affairs and not about God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness. If we examine the content of our prayers, we could find that, most of them are about our personal needs and wants and nothing much about God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness.
But, do we need to spend so much time praying for our personal needs rather than praying for the needs of God’s Kingdom on earth?
You might find an answer for this question in Matthew 6.
Do Not Worry
In the above verses Lord Jesus assures us that our Heavenly Father knows all our needs and He will provide for those needs even before we ask. Therefore, we don’t need to spend hours praying over those needs. Instead, He says:
This is the key to receiving divine provision from Heaven. We, as His children, need to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first and everything else will be added unto us as well.
This is a great promise and I have experienced this in my own life; believe it and apply it in your life and you will see the difference. Amen.