4 ‘For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”’ Luke 18:4-5
I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Luke 11:8
I remember reading somewhere that if you pray twice for any one thing you pray once in unbelief. What the well-meaning teacher was trying to illustrate was that you should pray the first time with faith, but I must say that their teaching does not go with Biblical teaching. Jesus teaches us to be persistent in faith when we pray. The first couple of verses is an extract from a desperate widow who bothered a judge with her requests until the judge gave in. The second is from the story of someone who knocked on a friend’s door in the middle of the night with his request. In an interesting way, God shows that we can come to him in desperate faith and knock and go on knocking on his door.
In all of this there is another kind of “God-botherer” that my friend Mark who inspired this series spoke about. And that is someone who sees the need to pray about absolutely everything – what time to get out of bed, what to wear, which side of the road to walk on. In as much as God loves it when we talk to him and cultivate a relationship, we also need to appreciate that he gives us a lot of free will as well. That is something we can celebrate in our relationship.
So do exercise your free will in God and also come to him with persistence and desperate faith where that is required. Remember when you knock and go on knocking, the promise is that the door will be opened to you.