Luke 18:1 “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart”
Not easy to do. Praying is easy most of the time, but not losing heart is difficult when the answer is delayed.
2 “…in a certain city…”
Part of the story. Like once upon a time. Could have some basis in actual occurrence, but the main part is the principle He is trying to teach.
2 “…did not fear God nor regard man”
Didn’t care. Nothing and no one mattered to him. He wasn’t influenced by social media.
3 “…a widow…”
She needed to have the help of the judge since she had no one else. Explains her persistence.
5 “…by her continual coming she weary me”
Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Wouldn’t do his job as he was supposed to do, but finally helped her just to shut her up. Why Jesus called him unjust.
7 “…shall God not avenge His own…”
If a sorry, unjust judge will do what he’s supposed to do simply because someone nags him about it, won’t God do what is needed for His own children out of love for them?
7 “…though He bears long with them”
There’s the kicker. Even though He may not answer right away. I’ve never understood that, and to be totally open, I’ve had a hard time with it. It is unfortunate, but my dad had a bad habit of ignoring us when we tried to get his attention, to ask him something or for anything else. He learned it from his dad, and I’m trying to break the chain. So when I ask God something, and He takes His time in answering, it’s just like dealing with Dad. That’s been very difficult to overcome, and I’m not there yet. Has led to a lot of confusion. Without even a small acknowledgment of my presence or request, how am I to know if I’m being persistent or just nagging, wasting my time on the wrong thing, barking up the wrong tree? Frustration of not getting an answer is compounded by not knowing if I’m doing the right thing. Am I being persistent or am I asking for the wrong thing?
8 “…He will avenge them speedily…”
Apparently not immediately upon the asking. Commentary agrees He’s speaking of the swiftness and decisiveness of the answer. When God answers, He is sure and complete. He may take His time in providing the answer, but He already knows what He’s going to do and will do so quickly when the time is right.
8 “…will He really find faith on the earth”
This is part of the frustration. Not knowing if I’m asking for the right thing due to not hearing anything, if I quit asking then I feel like I’m not being faithful in persevering. Commentary said it well. From Barnes’s Notes on the Bible:
“The truth that he had been teaching was, that God would deliver his people from their calamities and save them, though he suffered them to be long tried. He asks them here whether, when he came, he should find “this faith,” or a belief of “this truth,” among his followers? Would they be found persevering in prayer, and “believing” that God would yet avenge them; or would they cease to pray “always, and faint?””
I admit, I still don’t know what to do when asking for something and not knowing if I’m asking for the right thing or not. Some might suggest asking generically or broadly, like to just ask that God’s will be done. But while I know we should ask that His will and not ours be done, I also think He wants us to be specific in our prayers, at least as much as we can be. James said we should ask with no doubting. No wishy washy, half-hearted prayers wondering if God hears us and wants to answer. But therein lies the problem. I guess you could say you should just ask as best you know, believing that God can and will answer according to His will and in His time. I guess I’m just concerned about doing the right thing. Am I being persistent or am I just wasting my time on selfish requests that God would have no intention of granting? I want to do what is right. I want to ask according to His will. I’m just not anywhere near the point of understanding yet.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.