“The Persistent Widow”
March 11, 2018 A.D.
by Pastor Ben Willis

April 19th, 2018 by mdevita

LUKE 18:1-8 [NLTse]

One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” He said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to His chosen people who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?”


Across these Sundays and Thursday-nights of Lent I’ve been preaching and teaching through the different stories the Lord Jesus used to help people better understand the Kingdom of Heaven.

Today’s parable – story – is special in that Luke makes absolutely clear why the Lord Jesus told the story: To show His disciples that they should always pray and never give up. And He ends the parable – the story – with this question: “But will My people believe Me? Will I find My people praying without giving up when I return?”

Let me tell you a reportedly true story that speaks to our topic of not giving up in prayer…

While crossing the Atlantic on an oceanliner pastor, evangelist, and Bible scholar F.B. Meyer was asked to address the first class passengers. At the

captain’s request Meyer spoke on “Answered Prayer.” An agnostic who was present at the service (an “agnostic” is someone who believes in God but doesn’t believe you can know God or have any kind of relationship with Him) – an agnostic – was asked by his friends, “What did you think of Dr. Meyer’s sermon?” The agnostic answered, “I didn’t believe a word of it.” That afternoon Meyer went to speak to those poor passengers who were making the voyage in the hold along with the baggage. Many of the listeners at Meyer’s morning address went along, including the agnostic, who claimed he just wanted to hear “what the babbler had to say.”

Before starting for the service, the agnostic put two oranges in his pocket. On his way he passed an elderly woman sitting in her deck chair fast asleep. Her hands were open. In the spirit of fun, the agnostic put the two oranges in her outstretched palms. After the meeting, he saw the old lady happily eating one of the pieces of fruit. “You seem to be enjoying that orange,” he remarked with a smile. “Yes, sir,” she replied, “My Father is very good to me.” “Your father? Surely your father can’t be still alive!” “Praise God,” the old lady replied, “He is very much alive.” “What do you mean?” pressed the agnostic. She explained, “I’ll tell you, sir. I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I suppose I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!” The agnostic was speechless. Later he was converted to Christ. J

Let me tell you another story about the importance of never giving up when we pray…

We should be like the 3-year-old boy who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, “Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask.”

She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles He

was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, “Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all.” So he sat back down.

They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. “Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you that you can’t have any. Now sit down & be quiet.”

Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, “In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?”

And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded. And, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies!

The life story of evangelist and orphanage director George Muller remains a powerful example to the virtue of persisting in prayer. Near the end of his life, Muller confided to a friend that he had been praying for two men to come to Christ for over fifty years. When the friend wondered why he continued to pray, Muller replied that if God had given him such a burden, then surely it was because the Lord intended to save those two men. It came to pass that one man came to Christ shortly before Muller died, and the other came to Christ shortly after his death…

And so the Lord Jesus is asking us: “But will My people believe Me? Will I find My people praying without giving up when I return?”

What are you praying for right now? A family member to come to Christ? A loved one with cancer? Victory over a stubborn habit? Wisdom to make a big decision? Guidance for the future? A

mate? A prodigal son or daughter? A marriage on the rocks? A deeper walk with God? Growing love for others? Deliverance from a critical spirit? Grace to forgive those who have hurt you? Hope for the future? Money to pay your bills? Relief from discouragement? Physical healing? A friend in deep need? Courage to keep going? Strength to make it through another day? Boldness to share Christ?

Let’s bear these, and whatever else may be burdening us, before the Throne of Grace as we renew the New Covenant by eating and drinking the Lord Jesus’ body and blood.

And let’s come to the table proclaiming our faith using the words of The Apostles’ Creed…

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