Luke 18 begins by saying Jesus spoke a parable that we might always pray and not faint. Jesus then tells us there was a wicked judge who didn’t fear God or care about men. Is there any place in society where corruption is as despicable as in the judiciary? The judge’s bench is to be our last protection against lawlessness. And a certain widow woman came before this crooked judge who had been cheated by swindlers. She didn’t even have enough money left to hire a lawyer, but she came to court anyway. At first glance the crooked judge tore up her paperwork and threw it away. But the next day as he set on the bench his clerk handed him her papers painstakingly filled out again.
“There isn’t anything in this for me,” he shouted at his clerk and threw out her paperwork again. But the next day and the next she was there again. Week after week, month after month she sat there before him determined to find justice. Finally, the wicked judge said, “I don’t care about what is right, but I am going to grant this woman justice against her enemy just to keep her from wearing me out.
Jesus concluded, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
We face at least 4 unjust judges in our lives. Luke says the focus of this parable is discouragement that causes us to give up on our prayers. These four unjust judges seek to do just that.
Pray in spite of the judgment of Your Life Circumstances
We face situations in a fallen word that cause us to be discouraged in our prayers. Believers are not exempt from evil circumstances around us. You are a child of God on a mission from your Father in an unfair world. If you don't keep praying when life is not fair, you will miss a great part of the purpose of prayer.
Pray in spite of the judgment of Your Moods
Our own moods discourage us more than circumstances. In fighting moods that plague me nothing benefits me as much as focusing on the goodness of God. The unjust judge is not a picture of God in this parable. He is a contrast to God. Jesus points us instead to the goodness of God, the faithful love of God and the fact that God chose us to be His own. Have you ever sung the little chorus taken from 1John 3:1? “Behold what manner of love the Father hath given unto us, that we should be called the children of God.” I find praise songs to be a wonderful antidote to discouragement and depression. This one notes the awe that takes over the heart of a believer when you get a real grip on this truth. You are a child of the living God!
Pray in spite of the judgment Other People
Do you remember the story of story of blind Bartimaeus? The crowd was telling him to shut up rather than cry out to Jesus. People will often try to discourage you. I got a call from a chaplain friend this week who had received a terribly discouraging text on his phone 5 minutes before the chapel service was to begin. I told him, “That was done on purpose. I think the man who sent the text intended to discourage you. But even if he did not, our real enemy meant it so.”
Pray in spite of the judgment of Your Enemy
Believers need to know that we are in the midst of spiritual war. And the enemy of our God is the enemy of our souls. He will try to discourage you from doing anything God wants you to do. And he is especially terrified by your prayers. If he can keep you from praying, he will defeat you in every area of your life. But if you pray even when you are discouraged, he will not be able to keep you discouraged and God will shake the earth.