Parables Of Jesus Christ: Persistent Prayer
The Messiah's parable of persistent prayer:
"18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:1-8 KJV)
"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
The parable focuses on the importance of "men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (i.e. "men" as a species, as obvious from the fact that the parable involved a praying woman). It's also vital that what is being prayed for is worthy to be heard i.e. a righteous request from a righteous person. That is the prime purpose of the famous "Lord's Prayer," which was a guideline for all prayer (the "Thy Kingdom Come" of the prayer is directly related to "when the Son of man cometh" in the parable).
"11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God]. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." (Luke 11:1-4 KJV)
The parable applies not only to prayer. Living a true Christian life also involves persistence because Christ could seem to come "now" (see the Fact Finder question below). That's the other reason that the parable states "when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
The apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) explained it with his "I have heard thee in a time accepted":
"6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge] of God in vain. 6:2 For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 6:8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." (2 Corinthians 6:1-10 KJV)
The apostle Peter (see Peter's Ministry) taught the same with his "make your calling and election sure."
"1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature [see Church of God], having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:2-10 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why should all true Christians live their lives as though Christ were returning right now? Why did Paul say "now is the day of salvation" in 2 Corinthians 6:2?
See Could Christ Return Tonight?