Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, `Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, `Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Luke 18:1-8
Persisting in prayer is often a challenge when we are weak and overwhelmed. This week, overwhelmingly sick, and far from my family, I had some angry conversations with God between fits of sleeping. And I have found myself, in the midst of chills and misery, automatically repeating the Jesus prayer. I am grateful for parents to whom prayer was a conversation, daily practiced. As a child I was embarrassed when my Dad prayed out loud in a restaurant. Prayer was part of their waking and sleeping and it became embedded in mine.
Jesus is again helping his followers to understand the love of God by telling them a story of the unjust judge - who he makes clear - God in nothing like the judge. We as humans can get caught up in the idea of justice as a binary understanding, but Jesus invites us into a conversation of love and possibility. We are asked to keep praying as God has already worked for justice on behalf of each of us and the world.
Today, I ask God to help me pray through every moment and every breath. May we never be discouraged, as God is more ready to act for us and justice than we can ever imagine.