Stubborn in Prayer, Fearless in Faith

By not giving up on what is right and just in the face of adversity, we save ourselves from doing injustice to the power of faith

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who 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 what people think,yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 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 the earth?” Luke 18:1–8

What are the chances of getting justice from an unjust place? That too, when you are a helpless widow fighting against a powerful adversary in a court? How much more will your chances be reduced when the one who is presiding your case is a judge who is well-known for neither fearing God nor caring for what people think? The odds of getting justice in such a situation is near zilch.

She kept going back until she got what she wanted. How did she refuse to accept defeat?

Everything was against this widow in the above parable. We see here: The world was against her (she had to fight for herself without anyone against everyone), people were against her (the adversary and the judge), system was against her (no fear of God or care of people was an acceptable norm). She was alone against the world; she was refused by the judge and denied justice, which was her right.

Then the judgment was announced. She won the case. How?

She won because she didn’t give up.

She kept going back until she got what she wanted. How did she refuse to accept defeat? Injustice was not something she could live with. It was not the unjust system she wanted to change but the unfairness to her and maybe injustice within her—of living with not giving the just fight and seeing the justice prevail. Her relentless passion for pursuing justice ultimately paid, and it eventually changed the system.

Why did she keep fighting? What was it that made her to never give up?

Without faith, prayer is just a traditional utterance that rises as smoke and disappears into thin air.

Few things that can be implored, though the text doesn’t give us many details, are:
She believed in what she was fighting for.
She believed justice could come from unjust system.
She believed it is an injustice to give up on justice.
Justice comes when one doesn’t give up.

The above parable was told by Jesus when emphasising that we should never give up on prayer. But in the end, he asks a compelling question that connects so impressively to the mystery above and is the key to everything what he just said, “However when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Everything that we hope for or we ask for hangs on faith. Without faith, prayer is just a traditional utterance that rises as smoke and disappears into thin air. But when faith finds its presence, the prayer moves into a new dimension:

  • Faith makes prayer real
  • Faith makes prayer resolute
  • Faith makes prayer see justice in unjust environment

*Faith makes us believe in a just God How often do we accept injustice and blame the unjust system while justice gets denied due to our unjust attitude or lack of faith? May we know that prayer is an act of faith. Prayer is faith—faith in the one who hears our prayer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

Call Him Jesus

Next Post

Spiritual Disciplines—The Pillars of a Disciple’s Life

Related Posts

Father of Our Lord

When Jesus considered how people regarded the commandments of God, He said, “You have heard it said…but I say to you…” Did what He had to say about God have that distinctive mark of being a departure from previously held ideas?

Holy God

Predominantly Jews thought of God as holy—totally different and separated from humans. His purity is so intense and severe that it will not tolerate any contamination. Approaching the holy Presence was punishable by death (Ex. 19:11-13). Though Moses is described as the man who conferred with God face to face (33:11), when Moses asked to see God’s glory he was told that he would not be able to survive seeing God in all His glory, and so God would show him only His retreating glory (vv.18-23). From generation to generation Jews thought of God as the Most High God who was so fearfully unapproachable that they dared not even take His Name even though God had given it to Moses and was written in their Scripture. Into this Jewish world, Jesus entered. His life spoke for God. “Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father… No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known” (John 1:14, 18, NET). In Moses’ day anyone straying onto the mount of God’s presence was punished with death, but in Christ ordinary folks got to gaze on His holiness and jostle God and they lived to tell of it, and His enemies even got to “manhandle” Him without being struck dead immediately (1 John 1: 1-4).
In Moses’ day anyone straying onto the mount of God’s presence was punished with death, but in Christ ordinary folks got to gaze on His holiness and jostle God and they lived to tell of it.
While the essential thrust of Christ’s teaching was about growing aware of the Kingdom of God being “next door” (“at hand”, KJV) to where we are in life and about the need to bring ourselves into alignment with the rule of God while we still have the choice, He did what He could to dispel the ignorance and/or the misconceptions about God.

Spirit

One definitive statement about God that Jesus made is that “God is spirit” (John 4:24). In line with this, Jesus taught that what God was interested in is the state of the heart-life of people. He emphasised that scrupulously keeping the letter of the law was not the kind of morality that God wanted. People shouldn’t break the laws of God in their hearts. Not enough that a person desists from murder, but he mustn’t even harbour hatred in his heart. It wasn’t enough that a person didn’t commit adultery, he shouldn’t even have lust in his heart (Matt. 5: 21-32). Jesus also ridiculed the Jews for their practice of showing off how religious they were by conducting their devotional life in public view. He said that whenever anyone did that, the only thing the person really wanted was human approval and he would surely get it. But if a man wanted God’s approval then he had to do all his praying, fasting and charity only for God’s exclusive viewing pleasure (6: 1-18).
Read More
Total
0
Share