Just because we repeat prayers, it does not make them meaningless
18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, “Grant me justice against my adversary.”
4 ‘For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”’
6 And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 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? 8 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?’
We live in an age of constant distraction and busyness where we can so easily find ourselves feeling tired, stressed and overwhelmed. This can be both from large life events and just the grind of getting through the usual day to day tasks. In the bigger issues or worries that consume our life it can be easy to feel like we don’t have time to turn to God and we need to fix our problems ourselves first. When it comes to the smaller day to day things, it can be easy to think that God has bigger things to worry about and that we don’t need to constantly take those small worries to him.
As we read this passage, we see an unjust judge, who even though he doesn’t care about the widow, grants her the justice she seeks because of her persistence. Jesus uses this parable to show us how God, as the judge of our lives, is so different from the unjust judge in the parable. Firstly, unlike the judge, God loves us and cares about us deeply. Secondly, He hears our cries and wants us to come to Him so that we might experience true joy and comfort through Him.
Words are powerful. God created the world using words and as Justin Earle writes in his book, The Common Rule, ‘just as God spoke mountains and soil into existence, so we use the words of prayer as a generative act of wishing new realities into existence.’ He reminds us that prayer is an important daily habit and just because we repeat prayers, it does not make them meaningless. The repetition of prayers shapes our hearts and minds and is a constant reminder that we have a God who loves us and welcomes us to come to Him as we are so we might be made whole through him.
Head: How is God different to the unjust judge? Why can we be so assured in our crying out to God?
Heart: What is the usual way you process and deal with the struggles of life? At what point does God come in?
Hands: When and how do you make time to come to God in prayer?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank you that you are a great God. Thank you that you are a God of love and a God of grace. Thank you that you welcome us with open arms and listen to us when we cry out to you. Help us to dwell in your presence daily so that we remember to be grateful for the blessings you pour upon us and remember to bring our burdens to you. Thank you for the peace, comfort and joy we can experience when we put our trust in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: Only a Holy God
Living Church – Carina