Then Jesus told them 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
One of my favorite childhood books was The Little Engine that Could. Like the little engine, I had challenges that were not those of other children. My parents were very faithful people, and they prayed all the time, and taught me to pray in every circumstance. Every since, when feeling challenged on all sides and not capable of meeting the challenges, I have thought of the Little Engine and given myself to persisting in prayer.
Jesus used stories to explain things to his followers that even children can understand. He did this not because he considered them children, or not capable of understanding, but in order to plant the story deep in their hearts. When the disciples looked back, they could recall these stories and pass them on to others and to future generations. God invites us to use stories that have simplicity and power in order to tell of God's love for us. We will always remember the persistent widow and, following her example, persist in prayer.
Today I ask God to trust every need to God's divine love. May we persist in prayer through all our challenges this day and always, trusting in the depth and completeness of God's love for all of us.