And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 (ESV)
PLEEASEEE…just one more? PLEEASEEE….can I go? PLEEEASEEEE…can I stay up? PLEEEEAASSEEE…can I get it?
Oh, the pleas of the desperate hearts of little ones. Their wails of want can be heard in every store aisle, playground jungle gym, church nursery, and suburban home. If there is one adjective to describe a desperate dependent, it’s persistent. Once their hearts are set on something, they don’t let go. Like the relentless squawking of seagulls clamoring for food, the begging, pleading, bargaining, whining, and wailing ensues the moment the way to desire is blocked by a parental “no.”
In today’s passage, Jesus tells a parable of a relentless woman who continually begged and pleaded with an indifferent judge to right a wrong she had experienced (Luke 18:3). Her constant pleading so bothered the judge that he gave in to her demands. Much like the weary parent who says “yes” just to stop the wailing siren of whining, the judge crumbled under the pressure of the widow’s constant begging and granted her wish. “For a while he refused, but afterwards he said to himself, though I neither fear God nor respect men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming” (Luke 18:4).
It wasn’t out of love or godliness that he granted her request. It was because she wore him down. She asked so many times that he finally did what she asked -just to get rid of her. Every parent knows that moment when you can’t take it anymore. That moment you give in and say “yes” because you can take one more moment of pleading.
If weary parents and indifferent judges can be broken by tenacious begging, how much more will the God of heaven do for us when we unceasingly cry out to Him in our desperate moments of need. “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect who cry to him day and night? Will he delay over them” (Luke 18:6-7).
God doesn’t get “broken” by us, but he does want us to seek Him continually. He wants us to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). He wants us to ask, seek, and knock.
He wants us to be persistent in prayer.
Jesus “told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
What burden is weighing heavy on your heart? Have you taken to the Lord? Take it again. And again. And again.
Don’t lose heart in praying for the things that matter to you most.
Take a page from the toddler playbook and beg, beg, beg.
God promises to hear and to be found when we seek him with all our heart (Jeremiah 29:12-14).
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.