I think many of us, when we pray, give up too soon. If we don’t get the answer we are looking for right away, we assume that we won’t get an answer. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus tells the parable of a persistent widow. Jesus didn’t always give an explanation for His parables, but He tells us the purpose of this one right up front: You should always pray and not lose heart. In the days when Jesus walked on earth, a widow was about as unfortunate a position as one could be in. In that male-dominated society, a woman depended on a man for her livelihood. The widow in this story obviously had no one to care for her, or that person would have also been the one to plead her case before the judge. It is likely that this woman was destitute and desperate. But she did not give up. When did she stop asking the unrighteous judge for justice? After she received justice.
Jesus used the example of an unrighteous judge because if a poor widow could get justice from him, how much more likely we are to get justice from our Heavenly Father. We are not widows; we are children of God, co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:16-17) And our God is a just Father who wants to give good gifts to His children. (Matthew 7:11) He not only invites us to ask Him, but He wants us to ask Him. Matt Chandler emphasizes this in his discussion of prayer.
James 4:2-3 says that we do not have because we do not ask. Perhaps we ask with the wrong motives, or perhaps we do not ask with enough passion and persistence. Perhaps we give up too easily. Galatians 6:9 tells us that we will reap if we do not give up. Don’t give up on God. Trust in His answers, trust in His timing, and trust Him to do what is best.