April 10th Devotion

Jesus’ Parable about Persisting in Prayer (Luke 18:7)
By Lia Martin

Today’s Bible Verse: And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? - Luke 18:7

I don’t know about you, but although these words in Luke 18 come as divine reassurance directly from the heart and mouth of our Savior... they sound a lot like my anxious prayers lately. Yes, we know the Bible says to not be anxious, “fear not,” and “do not worry.”

But anxiety, fear, and worry are still part of the human, broken, condition. And, thanks be to God... these natural feelings lead us to the feet of Jesus in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is likely the most-quoted verse about God desiring our prayers... continually... without ceasing. But I love what a parable in Luke 18 says about prayer, too.

You see, because God made us human (and walked among us in human flesh!) we love to draw close to Jesus as he tells a story. People love stories. When a story begins and unfolds, we tend to drop our defenses. Which is why Jesus frequently shared parables.

In fact, in the book of Luke, where today’s verse comes from, Jesus tells many parables. He tells about an old coat, a foolish builder, a good Samaritan, a rich fool, a lost sheep and more. But what I love about his parable in Luke 18 is the absolute clarity of its setup... right there in the Word of God.

Many of the parables woven into Luke flow from one sentence in conversation to the very next, with simply, ”so Jesus replied,” or “and then he told them,” or similar segues.

But this parable opens with a crystal clear reason why Jesus wants to tell it. It’s a great reminder that every one of Jesus’ stories are delivered with divine purpose.

As we enter Luke 18, it begins:
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Do you feel him talking to you? To show us that we should always pray and not give up, Jesus tells a parable of the persistent widow. She kept coming before the town judge over and over. Begging for justice against her adversary.

In his story, the unjust judge gets “worn out” over time because the widow “keeps bothering me” as it says in Luke 18:5. So he sees to it that she receives justice. Jesus follows up, in Luke 18:6-7, with: “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”

Then in quintessential Jesus style, he confirms: “I tell you; he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”

Jesus is demonstrating that even uncaring humans respond to persistence. So, why do we not persist in prayer to the One who is perfectly just?

The convicting impact of this parable in Luke 18 is the question Jesus asks next. Right after affirming that, yes, God will hear those who cry out to him day and night, and God will see that those who persist will receive justice, he then asks:

"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

This parable is fuel to ignite your prayer life. To pray day and night. To persist. To believe.
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