Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope.
“Once there was a judge in a town. He did not care about God. He also did not care what people thought about him.
In that same town there was a widow who kept coming to this judge. She said, ‘There is a man who is not being fair to me. Give me my rights!’
But the judge did not want to help the widow. After a long time, he thought to himself, ‘I don’t care about God. And I don’t care about what people think.
But this widow is bothering me. I will see that she gets her rights, or she will bother me until I am worn out!’”
Story of the Widow and the Unjust Judge
In Luke 18:1-5, Jesus talks about a widow who went to an unjust Judge for her Justice. He used this parable to emphasize the need for persistent prayer to receive answers for our petitions from God. We can learn a lot of lessons from the characteristics of the widow in the parable. She was a neglected person in society and there was no one to take care of her. She didn’t have any importance in society. Yet she had a great personality that teaches a great lesson for all of us.
Power of faith and persistent prayer
The widow did not give up on her demand for justice. The judge never minded her presence and her request. But it did not make her lose hope. She grew stronger and stronger in her belief that she deserves justice in her case.
If she doubted getting justice, she would have stopped running to the judge. But she was confident that one day or another she would get justice. Her faith came into action through her persistent request to the judge or her justice. Her faith never let her down. She won in her battle of faith.
The Canaanite woman came to Jesus for the deliverance of her daughter. Jesus was testing her faith by neglecting her request at first. But when He saw her faith and her attitude of not giving up without getting healed by Jesus, He honored her faith and healed her daughter.
This attitude of not giving up on our prayers and petitions to God is the need for executing our faith to action. When we pray for our needs, let us thank God in faith that we received them.
Jacob wept and struggled with God for God’s promise for his life to be fulfilled (Hosea 12:4). He held onto the promises of God for his life. We can hold on to the promises God has given us and pray persistently with faith. As our God is faithful in fulfilling His promises, He won’t let our prayers and supplications go unanswered.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. -Hebrews 10:23
Can we pray persistently for everything?
Some may ask, “Will God give according to all our requests if we pray persistently with faith?” God answers every prayer if we ask according to His will. If we are praying to fulfill our own desires which cause problems to others, then God won’t answer our prayers. God wants us to love others as we love ourselves.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. -James 4:3
Jesus prayed persistently to remove the cup that He needs to drink. But He submitted Himself to fulfill the will of the Heavenly Father. So the Father strengthened Him to take up that pain.
Before we start to pray to fulfill our desire, let us examine whether we are trying to fulfill our lusts and selfish desires or it is for the betterment of others and will it leads to the edification of our spiritual life.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. -I John 5:14
Power of honesty
The enemy of the widow would also have done his part to succeed in the case against her. But she was confident that she will win the case. If she is not honest on her side, she cannot stand strong for her justice that too before a judge who is unjust in all his ways and doesn’t fear God. Her integrity gave her the boldness to stand persistently for her justice.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord , And have not wickedly departed from my God. -Psalms 18:20-21
We need to analyze our lives. When God sees our personal lives, will He be able to call us truthful? Will our lives make Him happy and make Him proud to call us as Hus children? If we are honest in our secret life, no one can raise against us and we can stand boldly in any situation.
Joseph’s brothers rose against him and sold him to Midianites. In Egypt, he was sent to prison without any reason. But God stood on his side and made him to stand on high places. He wanted to be holy before God and not in the sight of men (Genesis 39:9).
If we could protect our faithfulness and integrity before God even when it seems to be impossible, He will never let us to the insults of other people. If we surrender ourselves in His mighty hands, He will reveal our righteousness like a light.
Commit your way to the Lord , Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. -Psalms 37:5-6
Power of patience
The widow did not do anything wrong in the case she had with her enemy. She was just and she doesn’t need to run here and there to prove her righteousness. She deserved to be honored for her right. Yet she didn’t receive anything rightful for her at the proper time. Even her case was with an unjust Judge who didn’t want to do justice for her.
She could have fought for her right. But she didn’t do so. Because, if she had done like that, the unjust judge who doesn’t fear God would have stood against her and destroyed her life as the society is always against lonely people like this widow.
But she waited patiently for her justice to be revealed. Whenever she was disappointed by the unjust judge in her case, she kept on requesting him for her justice. She humbled herself before him. She never talked arrogantly against him telling about her right.
Even though she was determined to get her justice, she did not use any crooked way to get it. Instead, she waited patiently for her justice. She never used harsh words against her adversary or the unjust judge. She did not gossip about those people with others.
- Patience in relationships
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. -Proverbs 15:1-2
When everything seems to be against us, we use harsh words to prove our righteousness. They become the source of many new problems. The impatience in relationships makes the situation more miserable. But this widow was wise enough to use her words properly.
If her patience and soft words could change a man who doesn’t fear God to do justice, how much more patience in relationships help solve problems? She was a virtuous woman, the Holy Bible talks about.
In many families, wives want their husbands to be saved. But they try to fight with them for everything and want to teach them good morals. This makes their husbands more stubborn in their ungodly activities.
Instead, if the wife could be patient with her husband’s ungodly activities and could use soft answers and persistently pray for his salvation, then he will be saved at the right time through her moral characteristics.
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. -I Peter 3:1-2
- Waiting for God’s timing
The widow was not shaken by any circumstances that were against her. She waited patiently for her justice which is due to her. The patience of the widow brought what she asked for. Her patience never put her to shame.
If an unjust judge could be moved by the patience of a widow who was not at all given any importance in the society, how much more God will be faithful to work for those who wait for His timing? God can never sit patiently when His children cry out of pain.
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. -Psalms 40:1
God stood up and came down to rescue His people when Israelites cried and groaned because of the bondage in Egypt. He is the one who keeps the tears of His people in His bottle. He remembers the promises and covenants He made to His children. Will He not respond to the groanings of those who wait for His timing patiently?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. -Romans 8:25
People may stand against us and everything seems to be against us. But if we could wait patiently for God to act on our behalf, He will make us stand in high places and will prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies. If God is for us, no one could stand against us and no plan of the adversaries will prevail against us.