Luke: The Persistent Widow and the Power of Prayer

Read: Luke 18:1-8

A few days ago we read about the shrewd manager, a nice way of referring to the guy who was about to get fired so he reduced the debt of his master’s clients to gain favor. Today we read a story where Jesus refers to a worldly character, in this case, an unjust judge, for a kingdom-centered example:

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says… Luke 18:6

The woman in the parable presents an example of the relentless pursuit of justice, for that which she knows is right, even though she seems to be getting nowhere. Jesus uses this parable to make the point that if a self-seeking person in power, i.e., the unjust judge, will relent to get rid of the complainant, imagine how much more your loving Father will do for us! He truly desires to hear our prayers, our petitions, our sincere hearts! The Creator is the One who seems to be reckless in His pursuit of us. No one on earth compares to His great love.

This parable gives us a reason to pause and consider how we should approach prayer. Jesus doesn’t expect us to be perfect prayer warriors. Take a look at how Luke begins this section:

…to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

If Jesus is telling a parable to show His disciples why they should not give up when their prayers seem to go unanswered, we need to pay attention.  Lord knows how many times I’ve prayed the same thing over and over again. If you have children, you know what I mean!

One of the beautiful things we experience in reading the book of Psalms, especially those from David, is the raw emotion revealed in many of them. For example, in just six verses, Psalm 13 goes from “Will you forget me forever,” to:

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
Psalm 13:5-6

Shifting Gears

While I think the main point of this passage is covered above, I can’t help but remember that this comes on the heels of Jesus’ teaching about the end of time. Recently, we considered this subject (I updated the post after it was published), that distant, or present future which will happen in the blink of an eye. We’ve heard many times that no one knows when the end will come, I get that, but here’s the question: will we be found as persistent as the widow?

When Jesus returns in the blink of an eye, will we be found faithfully praying for those things the Spirit has been putting on our hearts?

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8

Lord, I will trust in Your unfailing love. Help me to learn from this example and pray consistently and persistently. Thank you for the reminder that even Your disciples didn’t get it all the time! Help us to lean on each other, to spur one another onto doing good deeds, to pray relentlessly, and have faith that You will answer in Your way and in Your time.


Resource:  If you’re like me, you need to be reminded of prayers. Here’s an app to help —




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One Reply to “Luke: The Persistent Widow and the Power of Prayer”

  1. Love this reminder, Dave! I truly needed this today. I am reminded once again how little credence my generation has given to living out the spiritual disciples like prayer, fasting, devotion to reading His word, etc., of which I am also guilty. Today, I will pray fervently, and tomorrow I’ll remind myself to do the same and to remain faithful even when my prayers seem to go unanswered and maybe unheard. He is faithful!

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