Pray and Never Give Up
By Greg Sanders
Luke 18:1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man[a] returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Pray and never give up? This is a challenging scripture. The very fact that Jesus says to pray and not give up should be an indication that some prayer is going to be part of a process of seeing God’s hand at work. In other words, prayer is part of a process not just a single moment activity. Too often we judge prayer by instantaneous results when Jesus said that you are supposed to pray and not give up regardless of what you see or don’t see. How many times have you concluded a pray and immediately decided whether it worked or not? Prayer is not to be judged as a success or failure, but rather seen as the process by which God brings heaven’s resources to earth.
Jesus encourages this practice of praying with perseverance by giving a parable that contrasts the generous God we serve with an evil judge. Here are a few takeaways from the story that may encourage you to pray and never give up.
1. Remember God is a good judge.
The lady in scripture expresses faith and expectancy in an evil judge. Therefore, certainly you can show the same faith in God who loves you and has given His own Son for you. Your God cares for people. He never gets weary of your prayer and never ignores your cry. 1 Peter 3:12 reminds you that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
2. Remember you are God’s chosen son or daughter.
You are not a random being floating through the cosmos of time. Instead, you are chosen people. Psalm 139 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” You are coming to your heavenly Father on the basis of your relationship as sons and daughters, not strangers. Jesus is letting us know that unlike the lady in the story, we are coming to a judge who considers us part of His family and welcomes your request.
3. Remember prayer is a process.
Does Jesus do somethings instantaneous? Absolutely, and I thank God for those times when He does. However, Jesus said to pray and never give up. He points to the fact in verse 8 that this prayer is an expression of your faith that should be active until He comes. If Jesus is teaching that prayer is an expression of faith, then what does a lack of prayer indicate on your part?
Today’s Challenge: Pray and never give up. Realize that through the process of your prayer, God is not only bringing you closer to your answer, He is bringing you closer to Himself.