Reading: Luke 18: 1-8
When we learn to stick to something, we find we get better at it. A player who shoots free throw after free throw improves their percentage. An aspiring writer who writes and rewrites and edits and rewrites again becomes a better writer. A chef who nuances a dish over and over and over eventually comes to the exact balance of flavors desired for the dish. If we are willing to invest our time and energy in a concentrated and focused manner, we will see positive results.
The widow in our story is willing to stick up for herself. She is willing to go against social norms. Above all else is a sense of being wronged and her driving need for justice. As the widow went to the unjust judge day after day, I imagine she tried a variety of approaches. I cannot imagine her showing up day after day issuing the same request. She worked a variety of angles and applied a variety of reasons to show that she deserved justice from the judge.
Our prayer life is something like these two scenarios. We latch onto something we desire from God and we begin to pray for it. Early on we are like the player or writer or chef, seeking to craft just the prayer that will draw the response we desire. As our prayer is offered up day after day we refine and shape it. Eventually we fall into the widow’s pattern as we apply various reasons why God should answer our prayer. Sometimes we even get to the “if, then” praying. If you will ___ God, then I will ___.
Through our begging, our pleading, our bartering, God is at work. If we remain persistent in our prayers, we will often find that it is us or our faith that changes. For example, in praying for “that” person or situation, our approach or view or understanding is often changed so we become more loving, more compassionate, more accepting. If we are willing to invest time and energy in our prayers, we will experience God at work in our lives. The results will be positive. We may not always receive the answer we began praying for, but God will always be present, always working, always shaping us through our prayers to be the Christian we need to be.