Every morning I ’m in the office, between 8:05am and 8:13am, the phone rings from the same “1 -800” number. I picked up the phone for about the first month it rang and realized it was either a spam -caller, a fax -machine ’s wrong number (do people still use those?), or someone who just wants to mess with me (bravo for persistence in the joke if that ’s the case). Now when it rings, I simply lift the receiver and set it back down.
Though I forget about this reoccurring phone call every day until the phone rings, I do however appreciate the regularity, persistence, and continual nature of the call – center somewhere that desperately wants to get in touch with the church office.
Our Lord talked about these characteristics in teaching us to always “pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). He tells a curious parable that teach much about these qualities using a widow and an unrighteous judge (Luke 18:1 – 8).
We might be tempted to immediately look at the parable and think, “I’m the widow, God ’s the ‘unrighteous judge’ and the only way I ’ll get His attention is beating down the doors of heaven and annoying Him until He at last gives me what I want/need.” This is the wrong application. In fact, the purpose of this parable is exactly as Jesus spoke it in verse 1: We “ought always to pray and not lose heart.” It ’s a contrast: God DOES NOT resemble an unrighteous judge in any form or fashion (Rom. 1:17). We DO NOT look like annoying people with no recourse whatsoever but to pester Him to death (1 John 5:14 -16). Indeed, Jesus says that God will give justice “to His elect…speedily.” So what is our part? Keep coming to Him (v. 3)! Keep calling on Him! 3 applications:
Keep asking. Keep at it. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). The more we cultivate a steadfast trust and reliance on God, the more thankfulness we will have when God does vindicate us. How often in your prayer life do you ask for the same things?
Keep seeking. Can you imagine the judge of this parable (Jesus might have had in mind a real person) knowing every time he left his house the woman would be there? Her needful reliability in coming to him was never anything he would question and made a huge impact on him. She was one who “kept coming” and kept calling (1 Pet. 5:6). Always pray! How reliable are you in your prayer -life?
Keep knocking. Does God know you as a “constant caller” for His ear and attention or as a “long -gone” child who rarely, if ever, calls? Which does my prayer -life resemble? God has granted us access to Him! When Jesus comes will He find me still calling the Father like clockwork (v. 8)?