Knocking on a locked door, knuckles bleeding

Yesterday I encouraged you to pray as a first resort—not just as a last resort.

Today I want to encourage you to not give up. To be persistent in prayer. Why? Because of Jesus.

In Luke 18:1-8 he tells the parable of a persistent widow. The point of the parable is to teach his disciples to “always pray and not give up.”

My guess is that some people were in fact neglecting prayer and wanting to give up. So he shared a story about a widow who, because of her persistence, finally got justice from a judge who wasn’t very inclined to give it. “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?” (verse 7)

In other words, if that unjust judge finally responded to the widow, how much more will God himself respond to his people—a God who is infinitely more just and good and powerful!

A part of the reason we struggle with prayer is because we don’t see God responding in a way that we expect or want. But just because we can’t see something happening doesn’t mean there isn’t something happening. He is infinitely just and good and powerful!

Fred Craddock tells a story about a large gathering of people who had come together because of unfair and oppressive conditions in society. An elderly black who had been a pastor got up to speak. He read this same parable from Luke 18:1-8 and then said: “Until you have stood for years knocking at a locked door, your knuckles bleeding, you do not really know what prayer is.”*

Always pray and don’t give up.

Don’t. Give. Up.

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?”

By Matthew Ruttan

–Today’s Up! devotional is connected to my most recent sermon that you can watch on YouTube here: “Pray—as a first resort.” You can also download the 1-page document to help you follow along with the sermon here.

–*Fred B. Craddock, Luke: Interpretation—A Bible Commentary for Preaching and Teaching, ed. James L. Mays (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1990), 210.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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