March 10, 2023 · by Heidi Stewart
It was a cold, dreary evening this time.
The past few nights, the weather had been gracious to her; calm skies with moonlight that made the world crystal clear even in the late hours. Tonight, she pulled her black mourning shawl around her shoulders a little tighter against the bitter cold and made her way along the familiar path that her own steps had worn smooth.
The cold seemed to seep into her bones. When she rounded the corner to the formidable door of the Judge’s house, she had to stamp her feet and shake her arms before they would move at her command again. At last, she stretched a numb hand up to the door and tapped out her customary knock- rap rap rap. Short and to the point.
She waited what seemed like an eternity until she heard footsteps, the same impatient gait that she’d heard every morning and night for the past two months. She knew what was next and shuffled backwards to give him some room. The door swung open and she was face to face with the Judge. She could almost tell you word for word what he was going to say; “I don’t have time to help you with such a trivial thing. Go away.” But this time, he leaned against the opened door and looked at her. His eyes, deeply inset into his haggard face, his leathery skin belying his attempts to appear youthful. But those eyes, they were still sharp and seemed to pierce her soul. She squirmed until finally, he spoke.
“Woman, you know I do not fear your God. You know I do not care what people think of my decisions. And yet, you have persistently come to my door, morning and night, with your request. If only to make you stop, I will extend my help to you in this matter.”
She could have fallen over right there in disbelief. It had worked! The cold nights, the inconvenience of interrupting her routine just to be turned down by the Judge, it had finally paid off!
The Judge instructed her to come back the next day at a reasonable hour and present all of the details to him for his advice and assistance. He had given her his word that it was to be taken care of fully. Oh, how the cold trip back to her meager home didn’t dig into her flesh and mock her this time. No, this time she practically skipped the entire way. Her heart was light. Things were about to change forever!
This story is found in Luke 18:1-8 in your Bible. Jesus told this parable to His disciples as a lesson on prayer and persistence in prayer. The story is often referred to the Parable of the Unjust Judge.Jesus was showing that even an unjust, immoral leader could be swayed to action by persistence. How much more so is the perfect and Just Judge?
Luke 18: 6-8 says, “And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly…”
There is much power in your consistency in prayer.Yes, there are times when a miracle must happen instantaneously or the prayer request is null. But there are also needs that we bring before God day after day and wonder if we’ll ever see the answer unfold. Keep knocking on the door.
1 John 5:14-15 says, This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
If your prayer is not for a new Maserati or something of that selfish nature, but a prayer that, when answered, means the difference between salvation and eternal condemnation or freedom from bondage, or healing, or a financial miracle in the Kingdom– rest assured. He hears you. Keep knocking on the door!
How many times have you given up on a prayer request right before it was answered? If it hadn’t been for Moses’ leadership, the children of Israel would have given up on the banks of the very sea that was meant to destroy their captors. If the children of Israel had given up on the sixth trip around Jericho, they would have missed out on seeing literal walls fall to the ground without anyone lifting a finger.
How many instances of God’s miraculous power have we missed out on because we didn’t want to be inconvenienced to pray again. “I’ve already asked God. It must just not be His will.”
The widow woman heard from the judge herself; no, no, and no again. Still, she kept carving out the same route to his door, day after day. I’m sure there were times she would have rather been out with her friends on a beautiful evening in the city, but she had a fire of persistence in her heart that led her down the same worn out trail to the Judge’s doorstep.
Finally, her request was granted. Finally, the help came. Finally, things were turning around. Keep knocking on the door!