As if it wasn’t enough to tell his disciples that they could learn a thing or two from the way unbelievers (and roguish ones at that) use their money, Jesus used the example of an unjust judge to talk about prayer.
It’s in Luke 18 and there are two main characters: the unjust judge and a widow who needed the judge to make a ruling on her behalf. The judge really could not have cared less about the woman. He didn’t care about God and he didn’t care about people.
He refused to give her case the time of day.
For the woman did not ask once. She kept on seeking justice for her cause. Until eventually the judge gave her the justice she had been asking for.
Jesus said that there is something to learn here about prayer.
- Not that God, like the judge, is unjust.
- Not that God, like the judge, cannot be bothered with those who make requests of him.
- Not that God, like the judge, is a reluctant hearer.
The dominant image that Jesus gives us about God in prayer is that he is a Father. We come to him like children coming to a father who knows them and knows what they need.
The parallel between the judge in the story and the God to whom we are invited to pray is a “how much more” parallel. If an unjust judge is prepared to listen and do what is right, “how much more” the God who invites us.
But the question with which Jesus leaves us is not about God; it is about us:
Will the Son of God find faith on the earth?
Will he find us to be those whose persevering faith refuses to allow a delay to be the final word?