Importunate Widow

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Normal I AM

Friday, May 13, 2016

Importunate Widow

Jesus tells the story of a poor widow who had been wronged (Luke 18:1-8). Seeking justice, she became importunate, which sounds as though she became important and fortunate, all at the same time. Her importunity (persistence) gave her success against her adversary and good-standing in the eyes of the LORD. Jesus concludes the parable by stating He values importunate people and covets importunity. So, what traits constitute this importunity so pleasing our LORD?

Importunity means unrelenting solicitation or demand by a person. Specifically, Jesus valued the widow’s continual prayers for God to grant her justice, petitions that repeatedly went unheard by an unscrupulous judge who neither feared God nor cared about men (Like 18:2). Nevertheless, the widow was importunate in her prayers and had faith the judge would relent, which he finally did, albeit begrudgingly.

Jesus summarizes by saying, “And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth?” (Luke 18:7-8).

In this statement, Jesus makes an unmistakable tie between our prayers and our faith. Not only does He want continual prayer and petition from us, He wants our faith, as we do it in His name. He implies unsubtly that He finds little faith on Earth. Ironically, Earth is the only place where there is occasion or need for faith. Sinners in Hell reap their reward for lack of faith and unbelief, whereas saints in Heaven enjoy blessings for their belief. Jesus also intimates we will grow weary of petitioning Him, but that He is faithful is delivering justice.

This parable reveals it is our strong faith in Him that drives our importunity in prayer. Paul exhorts us to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16) and Peter reminds us His ears are attentive to our prayer (1 Peter 3:12). It is our faith that makes us importunate and unceasing in prayer because we know He will deliver what He promises, even if the timing is uncertain.

Scripture records how many of God’s faithful had to wait. The Israelites cried out for 400 years before God delivered them from Pharaoh’s yoke. Isaac prayed for twenty years before delivered the sons He promised. David prayed for years before God allowed him to ascend to the throne, which had been promised. Paul prayed three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed; it was only after his home-going that he received his justice. All these were God’s chosen people, the elect, yet they cried out to Him day and night. Though He may tarry, He does not forget.

It is normal for all God’s children to pray always and not to falter in their faith or petition. God wants all His people to be praying people, bold yet humble before Him. God desires for His children to keep up both a constant and an occasional correspondence with Him, pray to him steadily, and upon every occasion. It is our privilege and honor that we may pray. It is our duty; we ought to pray. We sin if we neglect it. It is to be our constant work, for God collects our prayers, “…golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8). What contribution will you make to these golden bowls of fragrance to God before you enter His Kingdom?

The importunate widow teaches us we are important to Him and fortunate to receive His justice and Heavenly reward. Our importunity is both important and an opportunity to worship and serve Him, fill Heavenly bowls with fragrance offerings. We are to pray for all things and all people, both our loved ones and our enemies. When we are praying for strength against our spiritual enemies, our lusts and corruptions, which are our worst enemies, we must continue constant in prayer, for we shall not seek God’s face in vain.

Prayer to God is a gift to Him, and He loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Through the parable of the importunate widow, Christ shows the power of importunity among men. So be lavish in your prayers and your faith. By grace you will receive the unsearchable riches of Christ and a mansion in Heaven, so importunity in prayer should be a top priority in your normal walk with Him.

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ


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