If I don’t get what I pray, does it mean God says “no!”? Or does it mean I pray wrong, have no faith or have sin in my life? Or is God not pleased with me?
1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'”
6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Observations and reflections
Context: In the first century, widows had no legal status or political power.
- What is the main point of this parable? (verses 1 and 8)
- How is God (a) different from the judge and (b) like the judge in this parable?
- What do we learn the widow about our prayers?
- What do you think is the meaning of verse 8? How will Jesus “the Son of Man” find faith?
Personal reflection and Application
We live in an instant world where you get what you want by clicking a button, swiping a card or making a phone call. Yet God does not seem to respond to our requests immediately. Should I pray for something more than once? Jesus said yes! We should persist in our prayers, knowing that God hears and will answer.
- Few things challenge our faith like unanswered prayers. Think for a while of things that you have given up on praying for. Tell God about these things, and how you feel about it. (you can use the emotion-wheel again to help express yourself)
- Take some time and recall some answered prayers you know of in the Bible (Abraham’s son Isaac, Hanna’s son, Elijah’s prayer for rain, Moses’s Red Sea, manna, water in dessert, …). Talk to God about these answered prayers.
- Take some time and recall personal answered prayers in your life, family life or a friend’s life. (Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you). Talk to God about what he did and how you felt.
- Pick one of your unanswered prayers and passionately pray about it to God, asking Him to stir your faith. Pray with thanks for what the Lord had done and with confidence that he hears you always.
- How will you remember to keep on praying about this? Who else knows about this need?