In the story of the Unscrupulous Judge, Jesus described how a widow came to a judge for justice against her enemy. For a long time, he refused to grant her request, but eventually, worn down by her pestering, he gave in to her demands. Jesus ended the story by saying,”Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night.”
Jesus made the same point in the parable of the importunate friend, also known as the Friend at Midnight. He told of a man who, on receiving an unexpected, late visitor, went to a nearby friend in the middle of the night to ask for bread to feed his guest. Although the neighbour at first refused his request, Jesus said that the man’s persistence would eventually prevail.
People who pray to God with a shopping list of requests they want Him to supply often give up their practice of prayer if they feel God is not addressing their concerns soon enough. Both these parables, however teach the importance of persistence and faith in prayer. The widow and the friend who needed bread kept asking because they had confidence in the outcome. People must not be deterred by an apparent lack of response.