Persistence and Prayer
I used to think Thomas Edison took the honors for being persistent. He worked 18 months until he got a light bulb that would burn for 13.5 hours. However I now think a Korean named Seo Sang-moon might be the most persistent man in history. He is almost 70 years old and after 271 unsuccessful attempts to pass the non-driving part of the driver’s test he passed. It cost him almost a thousand dollars in fees but he passed on his 272nd attempt. The test givers cheered.
In Luke 18 Jesus tells a very interesting story about persistence. It seems there was a widow who needed judicial protection. The judge was not a godly man and didn’t care a bit about her but finally granted her request because she endlessly pestered him. He was sick of her and gave her what she wanted to get rid of her. Jesus goes on to say if this ungodly man would give this woman what she wanted how much more will our faithful heavenly father hear us and give us what we need. Jesus is not telling us we have to beg God for good things but merely pointing out the surety of God’s love. We can count on Him!
I once heard a sermon based on this parable teaching us the necessity of repetitive prayer. While there may be some benefit in repetitive prayer, not to change God’s mind, but to prepare us to receive, the lesson of this parable is just the opposite. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” The God who loves us dearly hears us and will answer when the time is right.