And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8 ESV)
I tend to get discouraged when I pray for something and don’t see any answer. I often lose faith or forget the prayer. This parable is intriguing and I think written for people like me. This woman repeatedly begs and begs the judge for justice, gaining confidence each day that the judge will grant it to her because she knows that he grows weary of her pleading. In the end, she is rewarded with the justice she sought. Jesus explains, how much more will God grant justice to his elect? Our persistence in prayer should boost our faith rather than diminish it. Perhaps it is our persistence that demonstrates and even forces us into a position to have faith. As our confidence may dwindle in ourselves in terms of having something favorable in us that we being God to hear, persistence strips that confidence always and leaves our faith solely in the Lord. So let us not lose heart when we must pray with persistence, but let it grow our faith in the mercy of God for us!