Luke 18:1-8 says In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.”’ And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said: now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly”.

Jesus is using an unrighteous man as His example in the story. The judge did not fear God nor respect man. He wasn’t loving or caring. He was indifferent to the needs of the widow and had to be worn down. Jesus didn’t want you to think of God in this way. If even an unrighteous, uncaring judge can be persuaded to act for you, how much more will the perfectly loving and good God respond to your prayers. He isn’t telling us that we have to pray long  prayers to persaude our Father. What He is saying is that any and every time you pray, you have confidence that He hears and will answer. He isn’t holding out until you prove your sincerity by time and effort in prayer. God isn’t a judge who needs to be persuaded. He is your Father who is eager to answer you.

How we view God has everything to do with what expectations we have when we come to Him in prayer. She was talking to a judge. You aren’t. You are talking to your Father. Our God’s relationship to you isn’t judicial. it is familial. He is your Father.

Jesus said that we don’t have to keep begging our Father for help, He said, “When you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7).

So then, is prayer vigils and all night prayers wrong? NO! But the truth of grace is this. We don’t have to persuade a reluctant unconcerned God. It’s the other way around. God is the seeker. When the Lord gets ready to do something, He often moves the hearts of His people to pray so that we might be moved to invite others to join us in prayer. Then they can share in the process and become a part of the answer as well. When we become involved in prayer, God allows us to participate in what He’s doing in this world.  (excerpts for the book, 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday)

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