Challenging Stories (p2) – Being Persistent

Parable of the persistent widow – perseverance in prayer

Luke 18:1-8

Why is Jesus telling us this parable?

  • Jesus told this parable so that the disciples would always pray and not give up, Luke 18:1.
  • Why was Jesus worried they would lose heart? We find out in Luke 17, because they were discussing when the kingdom of God would come and the challenge is that they will remain here and not know when Jesus is returning.
  • We have the same challenge, we want Jesus to come back but we don’t know when this will happen, that’s why he gives us this encouragement.

Who are the characters in this parable?

  • In Luke 18:2 we meet the unjust judge and we can draw parallels between what this man doesn’t value and what Jesus says we should value the most, they are completely opposite.
  • In Luke 18:3 we meet the widow. Though she comes with nothing and is powerless before this judge, her persistence wins, Luke 18:4-5.
  • In Luke 18:6 Jesus then starts to interpret his parable, he shows who God is and who we are. God is not the unjust judge, but we are the widow, we’re powerless and in need of God’s justice.
  • We’re waiting for Jesus to return and sometimes we feel like we’re constantly banging on his door, but the difference is that we know God is just and that he cares deeply for us, Romans 8:31-32
  • If the widow continued with the unjust judge, how much more should we persist with our God who cares?

What does this parable mean for us?

  • It can seem that if like if we keep asking him that we’d get what we want t
  • In Luke 18:8 it ends with a promise and a challenge.
  • The promise is to bring justice speedily. Remember the conversation started in Luke 17 about the coming of kingdom of God and that’s what Jesus is referring to here. It doesn’t mean every situation will be fixed for us, but that one day justice will reign.
  • The challenge is will Jesus find people who have remained, who’ve not lost heart.
  • ‘Faith is the furnace of our lives, it’s fuel is the grace of God and the divinely appointed shovel is prayer’ John Piper


What does this look like practically to have a good prayer life?

  1. Keep it short
  • In the bible when we see bad examples of prayers it’s often when they’re long, Matthew 6:7, and the Lord’s Prayer is only 5 verses long.
  • Say quick prayers throughout the day and if we don’t know what to pray just say the Lord’s Prayer.
  1. Keep it steady
  • We shouldn’t be looking at our prayer life as a one off special event, it should be steady and consistent, taken day by day.
  • If you already have a routine why not try working prayer into that routine.

The ending of things often stick in your mind the most, books, films etc. and in a lot of the New Testament letters when they get to the end, the writers say persevere and pray, seen in Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians and others. It’s important to remember this, always pray and do not loose heart.