“I’ll be praying for you!”
“How long have you been praying for me?”
“Ever since I first met you!”
I smiled as I took leave of my friend. It was the end of the first semester of my sophomore year in college in Southern California. I had just completed my last final examination and was preparing to return home to Hawaii for my winter break. My friend stopped by my dorm room to see if I needed any help in packing. For the past year, he and I had been meeting on a regular basis, discussing God and what the Bible taught. At times, he was frustrated since I was involved in a religious cult that believed all religions were a path to the same god. Thus, whenever he told me anything about Jesus Christ, I would agree with him. I would also agree with anything Buddha or Sri Ramakrishna taught as well. The differences and apparent contradictions were cultural, not theological, at least that is what I told him. Nonplussed, he patiently listened to my discussions. We were best of friends and shared many common interests. However, this was the first time he ever told me he was praying for me and it deeply touched me.
Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up.
Luke 18:1 (CSB)
It is instructive that Luke introduces this parable of Jesus with this statement. The parable was told with the explicit purpose to instruct His disciples to always pray and not give up. In this parable, Jesus was not praising the unjust judge but encouraging us to persist in prayer, even when it appears that circumstances are unlikely to change.
“There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect people. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ “For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so that she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them? I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:2-8 (CSB)
Over my winter vacation, I pondered the discussions we had about Jesus Christ and the Bible. I am the model for stubbornness and self-righteousness. I am the unjust judge, so unwilling to change my ways until the persistent prayers of a faithful follower of Jesus Christ broke down the walls of unbelief and doubt that encased my heart. Within a few months after returning to college, I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
I am thankful to my brother in the Lord for his unwavering faithfulness to pray for my salvation. He was the embodiment of Jesus’ instruction to persist in faithful prayers for myself and others. There are many family members, friends and associates for whom I pray. At times, I grow impatient and frustrated with rejections or seeming indifference but then I remember how patient God was in my life, sending this brother in the Lord to me. God’s offer of salvation through faith and belief in Jesus Christ are open to all who call upon the Name of the Lord.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.