Luke 18:1-5 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
In the parable, the woman was persistent in her request to the judge … Now if that judge, whom Jesus described as a wicked man, is moved to action by the persistence of the widow, will not God who is good, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, answer persistent prayers from the objects of His passion? The parable does not mean that God is reluctant to help … But … why does it sometimes seem like He is reluctant to answer our prayers? For one thing, yes is not the only answer God gives … He also says no and we should be content in that answer because God knows best for us. Sometimes the answer is yes, but God wants us to wait because there is a work to be completed in us prior to Him responding to our request. Sometimes the answer is just wait … because we need to learn to wait. It’s in the YES or NO answers that we learn God’s will. It’s in the WAIT answers that we learn to ABIDE in God’s will. Yes and no are clear cut answers and while nobody likes to get a no, it is an answer. But what about when a clear answer doesn’t come or when God tells us to wait?
Well, as we’ve just discussed, God is sovereign and because He is sovereign, His timing is spot on. Waiting is hard and that’s why God says that there is special blessing for those who are willing to wait on the Lord. In Hebrew there are two important words meaning “wait” which or yachal and qavah, both of which are frequently used in scripture. In the New Testament the primary Greek word for “wait” is prosdechomai. In all these instances, the meaning of the word is not a pointless waiting but an expectant waiting as one who has a promise would wait on it’s fulfillment. When God wants us to wait, we do so with the confident expectation that God will answer us … Whether that’s in vindication, or fulfillment of a promise. And so, like a child who knows they will be arriving at a desired destination might be inclined to ask, “Are we there yet?” over and over again, we can be persistent in our prayers to our Father … and He won’t pull out the duct tape! Prayer is an incredibly powerful weapon and it’s one that should not be wielded in reluctance or under any assumption that we are somehow pestering God. He desires our requests and so Jesus says, always pray and do not lose heart.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.