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 about men. 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 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 quickly.”
Prayer is such a wonderful gift and privilege from God. His disciples can pray to him at any time. We can ask him for anything we need, and he promises to hear us and help us. Still, we find that it isn’t always easy to use the gift of prayer as God intends it to be used. We might treat prayer like it’s our duty, rather than our privilege. We might pray thoughtlessly. We might forget to pray all together.
It’s easy to think that the key to improving our prayer life is just try harder. So, we think of weak spots in our prayer life and say, “Well, I’m just going to have to buckle down and do better next time.” But our commitment isn’t the key to improvement.
The key to a stronger prayer life is to remember that through faith in our Savior Jesus we are God’s own dear children. As dear children of God, we can pray confidently to him just as dearly-loved children confidently ask their parents. We can ask our Father for anything, and we can trust that he will always give us what’s best for us.
In today’s reading Jesus tells the parable of a persistent widow who keeps asking an unjust judge for justice against her adversary. Since he’s an unjust judge, he ignores her. But she keeps at him, and because of her constant pestering, he finally helps her. Jesus’ point is clear. If even an unjust judge is willing to help someone who keeps bothering him, how much more will our loving Father in heaven want to receive the prayers of his dearly loved children and answer them!
Is there something in your life you’ve been praying about? Does it seem as though God hasn’t answered you yet? Don’t give up. Pray persistently in Jesus’ name. Your dear Father in heaven will most certainly hear you and help you.
Heavenly Father, lead me to pray boldly and persistently without giving up, trusting you to give me the best answer at the best time. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.