Prayer & God's Response
The Persistent Prayer of a Child Looking for Justice
The widow’s persistence reflected faith that her request would be granted someday. Jesus calls on His followers to demonstrate this same kind of faith as they wait for His return.
Jesus says that God isn’t like that judge. He isn’t reluctant, lazy or indifferent to our requests. He loves to hear from his people, and to answer their prayers.
The Empty Prayer of a Full Man Looking for Nothing
True prayer comes from setting our lives beside the life of God. No doubt all that the Pharisee said was true. He did fast; he did meticulously give tithes; he was not like other people; still less was he like that tax-collector. But the question is not, ‘Am I as good as my neighbour?’ The question is, ‘Am I as good as God?’ Once I made a journey by train to England. As we passed through the Yorkshire moors I saw a little whitewashed cottage and it seemed to me to shine with an almost radiant whiteness. Some days later I made the journey back to Scotland. The snow had fallen and was lying deep all around. We came again to the little white cottage, but this time its whiteness seemed drab and soiled and almost grey in comparison with the pure whiteness of the driven snow.
It all depends what we compare ourselves with. And when we set our lives beside the life of Jesus and beside the holiness of God, all that is left to say is, ‘God be merciful to me—the sinner.’