Verses 1-8 start Luke 18 with a parable about prayer. The point of this story according to Luke was, “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” The woman in this story badgered the unjust judge and eventually won her case because of her badgering (vv. 4-5). Then Jesus said that God will listen to those who “cry out to him day and night” (v. 7).
So, if this is the case, why don’t we persist in prayer?
One answer is weak faith or a lack of faith. Another answer is just that we’re human and humans struggle with various kinds of weaknesses.
But I think pride is a reason why we don’t pray persistently. Prayer is an acknowledgment that we cannot control something. It is a response to the knowledge among the faithful that we cannot make something happen on our own so, if it is to happen, God will have to do it.
That takes humility!
Our default assumption is that we can handle things. We can:
- put up with stuff we don’t like or
- persuade someone to do what we want, or
- reason with someone who we have a dispute with, or
- change ourselves if we try hard enough for long enough.
But prayer makes us admit that these things may not be able to handle everything ourselves and that, in reality, only God can make something happen.
We might pray once or twice asking God for something but after that, we give up to look for “more productive” ways to attack the problem we’re praying about. Also, God is sovereign and will do his will, so he may refuse to answer our prayer requests with yes because they are outside of his will.
All of these are blows to our pride.
So, what do you wish God would do for you? If it is within his moral will, will cause him to be glorified, and is truly righteous and just, don’t let your pride keep you from asking God–continually–for it in prayer.
That’s the message of Luke 18:1-7.