By CRAIG HARRIS
Luke 18: 1-8 (NIV): Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "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. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
This is a rare parable in the Bible because Luke tells us what it's about before Jesus tells it. Perhaps this is because God really wants to make sure we understand this one. God would rather us pray than anything else. We were created to have a relationship with him and prayer is how we do it.
Too many times we pray once or twice, then give up if we don't feel we have our answer. Jesus told this story to show us that we must never give up. When we keep asking we prove that we really do have faith. We give up so quickly because we don't believe he really will answer. I firmly believe that God allows situations in our lives for the sole purpose of keeping us in prayer. He wants us to depend on him instead of ourselves.
If you are praying about something and feel you need a boost of power or faith, try adding fasting. Fasting humbles us before God and shows him that we are serious. The hunger pains remind us to pray and allow us to sacrifice, identifying with Christ.
So keep praying and never give up. Show God that you believe in what he says. And like the widow in our story, keep asking until you get your answer.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel “The Dead Peasants File” are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.