Be Persistent


When I was a child, I did not hesitate to run to my father when I had a problem. I saw him as one who cared for me and was concerned about my welfare. I did not have to be eloquent in my request or manipulate the situation. Because of that relationship I find it easier to approach God, not with eloquent or flowing praise but simply to speak what is on my heart. I have a friend whose father did not listen to her or to show concern for the things that challenged her. As a result, she struggles with bringing her requests to God and believing that he will listen to her.

  • Do you think that God listens to you and has time for you? Why or why not?


18:1 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?”

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What do you learn about the judge in this parable? Why did he decide to act on the widow’s behalf?
  2. Widows had no status and little hope of getting relief from those out to take advantage of or harm them. Based on that, what did the widow need from the judge?
  3. What do you learn about God in the first parable (vss. 1-8)?
  4. Describe the people Jesus was talking to in verses 9-14. In this parable, what was the attitude and focus of the Pharisee? In contrast, what was the attitude and action of the tax collector?
  5. Do you go before our faithful God in prayer with a humble attitude or simply to show others your piety? Is there something on your heart that you feel is unanswered? 


God desires the best for us. He sees injustice when it occurs. He hears us when we cry out to him, and he will bring justice to those who believe. We are his children, not just petitioners before him. Knowing that God is our holy and just father, our response to him should be one of extreme humility. When we approach him fully appreciating who he is, he hears our humble, heartfelt calls and draws us close.

  • Humbly bring your concerns before the Lord and leave them with him, knowing that he listens and cares for you.