My daughter loves animals. For this reason she has begged for a little puppy of her own for years. For her birthday this past year she had one request….a puppy. For Christmas this year she asked for one thing…..a puppy. When the lady cutting her hair at the salon asked her what she wanted for Christmas she replied a puppy. When grandma and grandpa asked her what she wanted for Christmas she told them a new puppy. When her brothers talked about Christmas she told them all she wanted was a puppy. She reminded us ever week how responsible she would be and practically vexed us to death. So this year, my husband and I finally agreed that if we could find her the right puppy we would allow her to have one. We, of course, did not tell her this. Instead, we decided to surprise her on Christmas morning. I experience many joys in life as a mother of three, but the look on my daughters face when her daddy brought out her new puppy is one I hope I’ll never forget.
It thrills my heart as a parent to be able to bless my children, especially when it’s something they have been diligently asking for. The relationship my children have with me and their father can be compared to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Asking over and over again for something or praying and praying to God reminds me of the parable Jesus told in Luke 18 about the widow woman and the judge.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
I wonder if children of God truly understand the magnificent privilege of prayer. The Holy God of Heaven and Earth, who spoke the world in existence; who when He spoke the stars and planets were thrown into the sky and all things were by Him made; whom all of creation will bow before one day; this One and Only God will bend His ear towards me when I call out and He will hear my cries. The parable of the widow woman and the judge is one to teach us not to lose heart when praying to our Father. But there are many differences between the woman and judge and us and our Heavenly Father. First of all, this woman was a stranger to the judge but we are God’s own children (Gal. 3:26). The judge wished to keep this woman at a distance but our Father bids us to come boldly before the Throne (Heb. 4:16). This was an unjust judge but we serve a righteous Father (2 Tim. 4:8). This poor widow woman had no friend to speak for her but we have an Advocate, God’s own Son (I John 2:1). She had no encouragement to keep on asking but we are told to ask in faith (James 1:6). This lady only had access to the judge at certain times but we have unlimited access to cry day and night (Luke 18:7). And lastly, her persistence was annoying to the judge but ours pleases the Father (Luke 18:8). Yet, even with all these difference the unjust judge still answered the request of the widow woman. How much more then will our Heavenly Father hear our continual, persistent prayers?
Perhaps you have prayed for years and years for a lost family member, perhaps your marriage is falling apart and you’ve been crying out to God to restore, perhaps you need a new job and you’ve been asking for direction, perhaps you have wayward children and you’ve been begging God to intervene, perhaps you have a terminal illness and only the Great Physician knows what to do or perhaps you have a home that must sell soon in a market that seems impossible. It’s easy to lose heart, but we must remember to diligently ask in faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. It has been said that in order for prayers to reach Heaven they must first start in Heaven. This is so true. When God places a pure desire on our heart and we ask, seek, and knock He delights in answering.
One day when my daughter was showing off her new puppy a man in our church asked her if that was the gift Santa Claus brought her for Christmas. She just smiled. I said, “Abigail, don’t give Santa credit for that gift you know it came from Dad and Mom.” But the truth is that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father! (James 1:17)