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 what people thought. 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 what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” Luke 18:1-5
A number of years ago Burger King had a slogan representing you could have what you wanted the way you wanted; “Have It Your Way”. The idea fostered individuality and represented this fast food chain for forty years. In 2014 they rolled out a new tagline “Be Your Way”*. Children are really good at this and learn at an early age what will get them what they want. Whether sulking, persistent asking, asking nicely and lovingly, bribing, throwing tantrums or otherwise, people want what they want and will do whatever necessary to get it.
In the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 8, a corrupt judge is juxtaposed with a just God. The role of a judge is to render justice but here, you have a judge, a person in authority operating by his own rule and authority. However even in his lack of fairness, this widow refused to give up, she refused to relent until he exercised fair and honest judgment.
There is a lot to be learned from persistence. From this parable Jesus expresses the importance of never giving up especially when you are seeking the ultimate authority that is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20a)”. It’s not about having it our way when seeking God’s help. No, it’s about seeking His will and His promises knowing that He keeps His word.
So if your prayers have not been answered and you have been consistently laboring in prayer…don’t quit, stay the course, trust God, and believe that He hears you. And bear in mind, parents don’t always give their children what they want but a loving parent will give you what is best!