“And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?’” (Luke 18:6–7, NIV84)
Even an unjust judge will eventually respond to the repeated requests of an individual crying for justice. Just to get someone off of our back we might concede and take care of whatever it is the person wants us to do. We’ve all been there! If we’re honest, we have probably been on both sides of that equation. But what in the world does this very pragmatic snapshot of how our world works have to do with our spiritual walk with God? Everything, if we are talking about prayer! In contrast to the unjust judge who pragmatically decides to hear the case of the woman who repeatedly cries out to him for help, God is our heavenly Father who justly desires to listen to our prayers and work everything out for our good. Our motivation to reach out to the Lord in prayer should be as natural as that of children reaching out to their parents for something they need or want.
I think we sometimes make prayer all about us. We believe we have to put the perfect prayer together in order for God to hear us. We think that we have to say our prayers at a certain time or in a certain way for God to respond. In this verse Jesus reminds us that it is not about us and our requests, but rather it is about God. It is about our God who faithfully hears our prayers, no matter how feeble, and responds to them as a loving Father would for His children. We are His chosen ones! As the psalmist declares in Psalm 116, “He inclines His ear to me.” Every time we pray God bends toward us and turns His head so that He might give our petition His full attention.
What a beautiful picture of what prayer is from God’s perspective.