This parable highlights the importance of prayer in our lives. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.”
(Luke 18: 1-7 in the Bible)
Pray always and not faint
Communication with our Heavenly Father, the God and controller of the universe, is a sacred privilege available and encouraged for all His sons and daughters. This is referred to as prayer. Look upon prayer as sacred communication with a loving Heavenly Father.
See yourself as a child approaching a loving, kind, wise Father who wants to help you. Luke stated the main message of the parable is “men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). The Greek word translated as “to faint” means to become discouraged or weary or to tire of something. In the parable, praying without giving up is represented by a widow who repeatedly appeals to a judge to remedy an injustice. Jeffrey R. Holland taught: “When lonely, cold, hard times come, we have to endure, we have to continue, we have to persist. That was the Savior’s message in the parable of the importuning widow. … Keep knocking on that door. Keep pleading. In the meantime, know that God hears your cries and knows your distress. He is your Father, and you are His child” (Ensign, Sept. 2009).
Perseverance is rooted in the foundational gospel principles of faith and hope. Perseverance reflects our faith that our actions will bring the Lord’s blessings into our lives.
Promises of the savior
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7: 7-8 and Luke 11: 9-10 in the Bible)
“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” (3 Nephi 18: 20 in the Book of Mormon)
“Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.” (Doctrine & Covenants 112: 10)
Recognizing answers to our prayers
There are many ways that the Lord can answer our prayers and give direction to us. Here are a few:
Feelings in our heart of peace, love, joy and faith. Pure intelligence and enlightenment flow to our mind from the Spirit. Dreams, visions or visitations. Answering our prayers through others that we trust. Answers to our mind and heart as we read and study the scriptures.
You cannot force spiritual things or answer to prayers
Such words as compel, coerce, constrain, pressure, demand do not describe our privileges with the Holy Spirit, but we can be persistent and wait for help and direction as the parable indicates. No matter how urgent our personal timetable, the Lord responds according to His will and what is best for us in the eternal perspective.
Second Coming of the savior will see that justice is done
The Greek word translated as “avenge” in Luke 18:3, 5, 7-8 means “give justice; see that justice is done.” Thus the parable, given in context of the Savior’s teachings concerning His Second Coming (see Luke 17:20 – 37; 18:8), affirms that the Lord will see that justice is done for His followers at His Second Coming and during the Millennium that follows. Dallin H. Oaks taught: “Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children” (Ensign, Nov. 1993).
“For thus saith the Lord–I, the Lord…delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.” Doctrine and Covenants 76: 5-6)
Dallas Jones, local leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Some of the Article came from New Testament Student Manual: Parables of Jesus. Any questions on this parable call (231) 383-8359 or send an email [email protected]