Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”Luke 18:1-8
The Battle of Prayer
Our nature, prone to weariness and fainting, must be disciplined in the battle of prayer. In Israel’s battle against Amalek, the progress of the fight oscillated with Moses’ strength to keep his hands raised in prayer. When weariness overtook him, Aaron and Hur propped up his hands until Israel prevailed (Exodus 17:8-13). At the Garden of Gethsemane, the sleepy disciples could not keep watch for even an hour. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Jesus warned (Mark 14:38; Matthew 26:41).
The Feisty Widow
In the Parable of the Persistent Widow, the woman battles not only her own faintheartedness but also a callous and pitiless judge. Her persistent pleas weary him to the point of yielding. Like a boxer felled in a sparring match, the judge cedes, “lest she finally come and strike me.” The Greek verb hupópiazó (“to strike under the eye”) implies giving someone “a black eye” (HELPS Word-studies).
Wrestling With God
The widow, like Jacob wrestling with the angel, prevails: “I will not let you go until you bless me” (Genesis 32:27). Jacob’s new name, Israel (“one who struggles with God”), expresses the relationship of humans with God. The long-suffering process of asking, seeking, and knocking strengthens faith in a Father who always gives good gifts to his children. Since only children of the Father turn to him, prayer itself is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”Luke 11:9-13
An unjust judge served justice for a widow.
How much more will the just Judge justice bestow?