“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1b)
“Time to get ready for bed, Taylor. When you’re done, I’ll come pray with you.”
“Dad, does God really hear me when I pray?”
“Well, of course, Taylor. Why do you ask?”
“Oh, I don’t know. It just seems like a lot of the things I pray for don’t ever happen. Maybe I’m just not asking God enough times.”
“That reminds me of a parable in the book of Luke. Jesus used parables, or stories, sometimes when teaching His followers. The one I’m thinking of has to do with prayer. Jesus told a story about a judge and a widow. (A widow is a woman whose husband has died.) This widow needed help and the judge was the only one who could give her what she needed, but he refused. He turned her down. But this widow did not give up – she kept on asking the judge for help. After a while, the judge saw that this widow was going to keep on bugging him. He did not want her to bother him anymore, and he did not want others to think he was a bad judge, so he finally gave in and gave her the help she needed.”
“Oh. So I just need to keep on bugging God, right?”
“No, Taylor, because there’s a lot more to the story. Jesus explained that if even this unjust, uncaring judge would give the widow what she needed – then surely we can trust that God, Who is always just and caring, will give His children what they need. And He will do it right on time.”
“But, Dad, I don’t see all my prayers being answered very fast.”
“Well, that could be because God knows better than you do what you need and what would be best to give you. Also, His idea of ‘right on time’ is not always our idea of ‘fast.’ God’s timing is perfect. And it’s important to understand the point Jesus was trying to make when He told the story. He was using the story to teach people to be faithful in prayer. The widow kept asking, even when the judge tried to ignore her. If she can be that faithful in asking an earthly judge for help, then God’s children can pray with much more faithfulness. We have confidence that our God hears and cares about our prayer requests.”
“Ok, I think I get it,” said Taylor. “It’s not about bugging God until He gets tired of me and gives me what I want. But I can keep on praying without being discouraged because I have faith that my requests are going to the right God.”
“Exactly; your prayers are going to the right God, a good and perfect God Who hears you and cares about you. If you trust that God will give people what they need when they need it, then you will keep praying faithfully. Now – finish getting ready for bed so we can pray!”
God hears our prayers and expects us to pray faithfully.
» Do I trust God to know and meet my needs?
» Should I be more concerned with how God answers prayer, or with how I pray?
» How can I be faithful in prayer?