New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 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? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Jesus shared parables to emphasize great spiritual truths.
If you’ve ever felt like giving up, this is your story. What Jesus is conveying is to cry out to Him, never stop praying, and “will not God bring justice for His chosen ones?” The last question in that passage from Jesus begs the question of “Will you have faith and believe?”
There are “Jesus help me find my car keys prayers” (and He is okay with those) to “Jesus I have cancer and I need Your healing.” There are many readers who have life altering changes going on, and I want us to pray deeply for each other after reading this. If Jesus told the parable of a woman so committed to seek justice with an ungodly judge to the point the judge was afraid she might attack him, how much more is He way okay with us crying out to Him, our perfect Father, and believing that He will provide.
I prayed a simple prayer with my friend this week after visiting her in response to her child passing away. As we cried together, we both prayed in unity, “Jesus help us second by second, each step Lord, help us to know what to do and believe that you will carry us through.”
Sometimes in life we need that second by second prayer versus one day at a time. A day can be an eternity when you are faced with some of life’s challenges.
How desperate are you for the miracle? Desperate enough to pray through the night? How many times are you willing to circle the promise? Until the day you die? How long and loud will you knock on the door of opportunity? Until you knock the door down? If you aren’t desperate, you won’t take desperate measures. And if you don’t pray like it depends on God, the biggest miracles and best promises will remain out of your prayer reach. But if you learn how to pray hard, like the persistent widow, God will honor your bold prayers because your bold prayers honor God.” (Batterson, page 82)
Below is an unedited email from a dear friend of mine who has cancer. I asked permission from her to post her email to us, and she rejoiced in knowing that she could offer hope in her God story and that you would pray for her. Together we can be the persistent widow praying bold prayers for her, and each other.
I am blessed with wonderful family and friends. All of you mean more to me than you can ever know. My summer has been great in spite of doctors’ visits and problems with the surgical sites. Yesterday, I met with the oncologist for more than an hour to discuss the course of treatment, and I came away feeling good about where I am headed. I will have six rounds of chemotherapy three weeks a part. One of the drugs will continue for a year at three-week intervals, and I will begin that drug on October 1. The others begin on October 22. Next week I will leave for New England where I will see friends in New Hampshire and spend a few days in Maine. My focus is on the things that feed my soul and that includes family, friends, Majic, the arts and the outdoors. I have a new piece of needlepoint to keep me busy during infusions. Let me know if you have any busy-work you need me to do while I sit in the infusion center; I am sure I will need a variety of projects. I will lose my hair, so I am ready with hats and scarves to keep my head warm. I think a wig would be just too hot. A friend in NH owns a salon, so I have suggested that perhaps we could color my hair next week since it is going to fall out anyway. We’ll see what kind of courage I can muster!
Love and gratitude to all of you! I will keep you posted as I embark on this new life adventure. I have replaced work with doctors’ visits – that’s my new job!