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Learning Prayer: The Persistent Widow

Today we will be learning prayer from the persistent widow. And I am really excited about this teaching today because this is my go to teaching when talking about prayer. This lesson is super foundational to me because it has helped my prayer life so much.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’ ” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:1‭-‬8 NASB1995

We are the Persistent Widow

I love how this parable is specifically to teach us that we are to pray at all times and never give up. It is very straight forward, but let’s get into the details. The scene is set with a judge who neither fears God or man and with a persistent widow. Now this widow needed protection. In this parable we are called to place ourselves in the position of this persistent widow. When we need protection we have to go to someone who can give it to us. We need to see ourselves as the widow who has no other option. She doesn’t have a husband who can offer protection, so her only choice is to go to the judge. We need to have that attitude with God. Our only hope is to go to God, we have no other defender.

God is the Righteous Judge

In this parable, the woman has to approach an unrighteous but we get to approach the righteous judge, God. Now I say ‘get’ very specifically because Jesus allow us to approach the Father. Without His covenant sacrifice on the Cross, we would still be in complete separation from the Father. But instead we can boldly come before our Father who is able to do all things for us. Thank you Jesus!

Reasons for God’s delay in your prayers

Oftentimes we can wonder why it talks a long time to get a prayer answered. And it can be a couple reasons. First it can be spiritual warfare, just like Daniel experienced when he was praying for an answer to his dream. Another reason why God might let your answer be delayed is because we ask for things we can’t handle. God is such a good Father that He still wants to give you your prayer, but He will refine you to the point when you can actually handle it. And sometimes, when God delays a prayer it is because it involves the will of a human being, and God never violates a humans free will. This means God has to win someone over in order to move them.

The Key to Getting Answered Prayer

Now we have gone over some of the reasons for delay, but how do we solve these problems? Have unshakeable persistence. The bottom line for getting an answered prayer is to never give up. Be like the persistent widow. You may not know the reason why it is taking a long time, but you have to know that if you never give up you will see your answer. Trust and Believe in God, who’s name is Faithful and True. Thank you Jesus!


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