Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1 (NIV)
I’m not going to say anything about the parable that follows this verse. You can go look it up yourself later. I will mention, however, that it’s in my personal top 5 of Jesus’ parables. I’ve probably taught on this one more than any other. For today, though, I just wanted to say something about the introduction.
He told them a parable…and Luke tells us the reason why He told them the parable. I don’t think the gospel writers usually spell it out like that for us. And much of the time Jesus’ own disciples walk away scratching their heads – “What was that all about?”
Not this time. There’s no wondering here. We know exactly why Jesus told them this parable. We know the purpose of the telling. We know the main point of the story. It’s really simple: When you feel like giving up, don’t. Instead…pray. Or…always pray and don’t give up. Other versions use the phrase “…not lose heart”, and the sense in the original is not to be wearied or exhausted.
Have you felt like giving up lately? Throwing in the towel? Picking up your ball and going home? I’ve been there…and I’ve given up a few times, but that’s never the best plan. When you feel like giving up, the best plan is to go somewhere…and pray…and pray…and pray. Always pray. Don’t give up.
It’s the only way to live.