Do you ever struggle with the feeling that you might be nagging God? Do you wonder how God feels when you pray over and over for a situation that never seems to change? On one hand, if we continually bring an issue before God is this a lack of faith? On the other hand, if we continually pray about an issue does it reveal our true desire for God to intervene?
Jesus told a parable that helps us understand the significance of persistence in prayer.
“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town that kept coming to him with the plea, ‘grant me justice against my adversary’. For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’. And the Lord said, ‘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? I tell you he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18: 1-8)
Reflecting on this parable, Grenz states, “a widow who is the victim of some injustice, repeatedly pleaded her case to a judge. Although the judge was not a righteous person, eventually her persistence was rewarded, for he pronounced justice on her behalf. The point of the parable is clear. If sustained pleading can move an unrighteous judge to grant justice, how much more will God, who is the righteous Judge, hear the unfailing pleas of the oppressed…”.
The gospel of Luke tell us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:5-10) Jesus encourages persistence, and this persistence gets results. Grenz states, “Knowledge of God’s love and of God’s willingness to give good gifts challenges the disciples to a bold confident prayer. But this places an important limitation on prayer. The believer can rightly persist only in requesting good things from God. Because God is good, and not evil, God can be expected only to give those gifts that are in accordance with God’s holy character”.
Today…Ask God boldly for something that you have been praying about. Wait and trust that He is working.