Winston Churchill uttered those famous words at the height of the second world war to motivate the Britons against their enemies. He said, “Never, ever give up.” He encouraged the people to fight to the bitter end and to have the guts and determination to carry through the war to its conclusion. Jesus too taught his people this same lesson, but there were even better promises in His teaching.
We see in this section of scripture that the Lord instructs us to pray constantly and to never ever give up praying about a matter. He uses the example of a woman pleading and begging and constantly coming to an unrighteous judge crying, “Vindicate me against my adversary.” (verse 3) She was seeking a judgement from the judge against someone who had done her wrong.
The keys to this woman’s approach were consistency and constancy. She constantly came and she consistently asked for the same thing over and over again. You can imagine her standing outside the door of the judge’s workplace crying out to him, and then following him home crying out and then outside his door still crying to seek vindication. The teaching gives us a picture of someone who would not give up. She would never ever give up.
And then we see the response of this unrighteous judge. It says that he “…neither feared God nor regarded man.” (Verse 2) He was completely unmoved by the powers of heaven or the powers of mankind and stood separated from both.
But what we see is that this widow woman was wearing him down. The judge said to himself, “Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.” (Verses 4-5) She was exasperating the judge by her continual coming and crying for the judge to rule in her case. So the judge gave her what she sought because she was like that old saying, its the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.
Crying out to God
But the lesson for us is much better. Jesus tells us never to lose heart when we bring a matter to the Lord in prayer. We are to continue in prayer when we don’t appear to be answered. But he offers us a better promise.
Unlike the judge who only vindicated the widow woman to get her off his back, the Lord will give us our vindication because He cares about us. Jesus says, “…will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.”
The Lord will not delay when we seek him continually. He will bring us our vindication speedily when we come to him with an issue. He will work the things we are seeking within his will and he will not delay. Unlike the unrighteous judge who gave vindication through exasperation, when we come to God he will vindicate us out of love when we cry to him.
The message then for us is to pray constantly and to hold fast our faith that God answers our prayers. And if you don’t get the answer the first time, ask again, and again, and again. In due course the Lord will give you the answer, but you must be faithful and never ever give up in coming to the Lord for his help. Do not be dis-spirited if the answer is not immediate. Keep praying and know that he will answer when the time is right.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Lionel Titu)