The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Runner’s World (8/91), told the story of Beth Anne DeCiantis’s attempt to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials Marathon. A female runner must complete the 27-mile, 385-yard race in less than two hours, forty-five minutes to compete at the Olympic Trials. Beth started strong … More


“That men ought always to pray, and not to faint” means to be persistent (v. 1). To be persistent in prayer does not mean endless repetition in painfully long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before the Lord day by day, believing He will answer. God may delay in answering our prayer, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope. If we know He loves us, we can believe He will hear our cries for help.

This passage is often referred to as the parable of the unjust judge (v. 2). This judge was unprincipled, lawless and not prone to do what was right. The poor widow, on the other hand, was helpless, friendless and with no hope (v. 3). Women in that day had very little recognition by the law. Yet because of her great persistence, the wicked judge became so bothered that he finally granted her request (vv. 4-5). The idea portrayed here is that if this poor widow with no hope received help from a wicked judge, how much sooner and greater will be the help of a loving heavenly Father for His own dear  children (vv. 6-8). If we know He loves us, we can believe he will hear our cries for help. She pled out of her poverty, but we have all of God’s riches available to us to meet our every need (Philippines 4:19).


Am I satisfied with my prayer life? Do I see things changed because of my prayers? God is ready to answer when I call on Him. I just need to be consistent and persistent.

Luke 18:1-8 (English Standard Version)

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

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