Praying with Determination

by Jan Keats

What did Jesus tell us about the importance of prayer? In the beginning of Luke chapter 18, He instructs us to pray and never give up. He told his disciples about a parable of the persistent widow. She pleaded for justice to a judge who was neither God fearing nor compassionate toward man. Every time she went to him with her plea, the judge refused her.

But the woman was persistent; she wanted justice from her adversary, so she continued pleading with him. Finally, the judge became so bothered by her, he granted her justice.

As Jesus concluded this parable, he presented a deeper meaning. He referred to the judge as the unjust judge. The unjust judge refused to listen to the widow’s plea. He didn’t care about her need, or the situation she was in. But Jesus’ response differs, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting him off?” (Luke 18:7 NIV)

Jesus promised that He would take care of His people. He will see to it that justice prevails. He hears the persistent cries of his children. How much more will Jesus respond to his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night, than that of the unjust judge? Will Jesus refuse his chosen ones? Absolutely not! He Listens, He understands. He cares.

We know that Jesus longs to answer our prayers, but what about our role as followers? Luke 18:8 says,  “…when the son of man comes will He find faith on the earth?” In other words, do we honour the One who gives peace in the midst of our storms? Will He find us faithful when everything is going well in our lives? Our faith in Jesus counts for much in our relationship with him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Without prayer and faith we are powerless to fight against the enemy of our souls.

Our faith in Christ is justified. Romans 4:25 says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  We have a living hope, peace and joy. We can live confidently that God is the Almighty. “Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” (Romans 5: 1,2)