Experiencing Christ

Learn to Pray Persistently (1)

Luke 18:1  And He told them a parable to the end that they ought always to pray and not lose heart,  2  Saying, There was a certain judge in a certain city who did not fear God and did not regard man.  3  And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, Avenge me of my opponent.  4  And for a time he would not; but afterward he said within himself, Even though I do not fear God nor regard man,  5  Yet because this widow causes me trouble, I will avenge her, lest by continually coming she wear me out.  6  And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge says.  7  And will not God by all means carry out the avenging of His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night, though He is long-suffering over them?  8  I tell you that He will carry out their avenging quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?

[Part 1 of 2]
The widow in verse 3 signifies the believers. In a sense, the believers in Christ are a widow in the present age because their Husband Christ (2 Cor. 11:2) is absent from them. In this parable the Lord indicates that the believers in Christ have an opponent. This opponent is Satan, the Devil, concerning whom we need God’s avenging. We ought to pray persistently for this avenging and not lose heart. Actually, the Lord is not absent; He is present. But during His apparent absence, we are a widow whose opposer is troubling her all the time.

While our opposer is persecuting us, it seems that our God is not righteous, for He allows His children to be unrighteously persecuted. For example, John the Baptist was beheaded, Peter was martyred, Paul was imprisoned, and John was exiled. Throughout the centuries, thousands upon thousands of honest and faithful followers of the Savior have suffered unrighteous persecution. Even today we are still undergoing unrighteous mistreatment. Our God seems to be unjust, since He does not come in to judge and vindicate. Because of this situation, the Savior in Luke 18:1-8 uses an unjust judge to signify God who does not seem to do anything on behalf of His persecuted people. What shall we do in a situation when we are persecuted and it seems that our God is not living, present, or just? From this parable we learn to be a bothering widow, one who prays to God persistently. It seems that He is not righteous. Nevertheless, I have learned that we need to bother God in prayer, that we should pray to Him persistently without losing heart.
[Continued tomorrow]

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