With this being the week before Easter, I thought I’d take a moment to explore a thought which can be used for contemplation.
When studying Luke 18:1-8 and the parable of the persistent widow, I came across an interesting thought. For the unbeliever, prayers are understood to be a transaction. We give, we get; or through begging, bribery, cajoling, intimidation, or even persistence, we feel we will get what we want.
Every Christian comes into the faith with this preconceived notion of what prayer is. Partly because that is how it is depicted in media (literature and screed), or at least it is perceived that way. It is also the way business happens. A transaction.
But with God? It’s not.
It is never a transaction.
In that parable, God is not the judge who relents after being cajoled into shame. It even states that the judge did not fear God, nor cared what people thought.
It is a parable of contrast, not comparison. We cannot compare that “transaction” to our relationship with God. In fact, in 18:1, Luke wrote that this parable was told so they should always pray and not lose heart. Not teaching us that if we keep banging on the door God will eventually relent. Instead, it is the opposite. Jesus is teaching us that God wants us always to be praying. (Ask, seek, knock.) And, therefore, in contrast to the pagan judge who rolls his eyes and relents, God welcomes our prayers with open arms–anytime, anywhere.
Give us our daily bread (only You can provide, for You are the source of it all).
Forgive us of our sins (only You can wash us clean).
Keep us from temptation (only You can protect us as our flesh is weak).
For Your glory.
For Your Kingdom (the now and the not yet).