Luke 18:1-8 - And He [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?"
I love this story, because the woman is so persistent. Somebody is treating her badly, and she knows she has an absolutely iron-clad legal case against him. If she can just get the judge to schedule her case, she will win!
But that's the problem. The judge isn't interested. He's a corrupt judge, and he sees no benefit to himself in dealing with the situation. So he won't listen—until she harasses him so much that he decides to hear the case, just to get rid of her!
And then the punchline—if an evil judge can get worn down like that, just because someone keeps asking—won't God do much better when the people He loves cry out to Him? Of course the answer is yes. Obviously it's yes! We should pray, and we should expect God to hear us. This is a no-brainer.
And yet ... Jesus sounds a bit frustrated when He says, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?" In other words, "Why aren't you asking Me for help? Why aren't you praying? Wake up, people!"
I think we can all relate to that. After all, is there anyone who hasn't had the experience of finding out that someone you love was in trouble and didn't come to you for help? They are telling you the story, and inside your head, you are screaming, "Why didn't you tell me? I could've done this and that to help you!"
We forget to ask for help sometimes. We're used to being independent, self-reliant—and so we soldier on all alone for too long, even to the point of breakdown. Sometimes there are darker reasons why we don't ask—for example, we've learned that we can't trust people to help us, and we extend this lack of trust to God.
Against all of this, Jesus stretches out His arms to us and He says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
He doesn't care about your failures in the past. He wants you now. And so He says, "pray." Ask for help. Call on God, and wait for Him to answer. After all, this is the God who cared so much about you He came into this world, to live, to suffer, and to die, in order to make you His own child. He rose from the dead to give you everlasting life—because He wants you with Him forever. He will hear you. Trust in Him.
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, help me turn to You and pray, not just when I'm in deep trouble, but throughout my life—because You love me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Is it easy for you to ask for help? Why or why not?
2. Tell a story about a time when you prayed and God helped you.
3. What do you do when you pray and the answer is either "No" or "Wait"? How do you deal with that?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"