Luke 18:1 - We Need Always to Pray (updated).

Luke 18:1 - We Need Always to Pray (updated).

Luke 18:1 (KJV)  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, 
that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 

Luke 18:1 (NIV)  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show 
them that they should always pray and not give up.  

Luke 18:1 (RSV)  And he told them a parable, to the effect that 
they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 

Luke 18:1 (TEV)  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to 
teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged. 

Luke 18:1 (NCV)  Then Jesus used this story to teach his 
followers that they should always pray and never lose hope.  

Luke 18:1 (AMP)  Also [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect 
that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose 
heart, and give up). 

Luke 18:1 (CWR)  Then Jesus told His disciples a story to 
encourage them to always take time to pray so they wouldn't become 


This verse introduces the Parable of The Persistent Widow or The 
Unjust Judge. 

This parable is unique to Luke. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]


  Prayer and God's character (Luke 18:1-7). Jesus encouraged 
prayer by making a comparison. A human father, as imperfect as he may 
be, gives good gifts to his children. God is a Father too, but a 
perfectly good Father. How confident then we can be that He will give us 
what we need when we appeal to Him.  
  Jesus told a story that reveals something of God's character 
by contrast (18:1-7). The story of the "unjust judge" underlines 
the fact that God, unlike him, is a just Judge. 
  The parable introduces a judge who cares nothing for God or 
others. It also introduces a widow who had been defrauded, and begged 
the judge to grant her justice. 
  The indifferent judge simply ignored the woman's pleas. But 
the woman would not give up! She kept knocking on the judge's door, 
and waiting to plead with him on the streets. The judge couldn't go 
anywhere without the woman showing up and bothering him. 
  Finally he gave up. He would grant her justice, not because he 
cared about her, but simply because he didn't want to be bothered 
  Jesus asked us to think for a moment about God. How unlike the 
unjust judge He is! He acts for us because He does care, both about us 
as individuals and about what is right. Remembering these facts 
should encourage us to keep on praying, and never give up. [Victor 
Teacher's Commentary] 

This parable is not urging us to "pester God" until He acts; it 
is saying that we do not need to "pester" Him because He is ready 
and willing to answer our prayers. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Jesus makes it clear through this story that God wants us to 
"bother" him with our prayers. But even more, he is on our side, and 
wants nothing but the very best for us. He's not hostile to us like 
the judge in the parable. We can always count on him to hear us, 
make his will known to us in his time and his way, and give us the 
power to carry it out. [Life Recovery Devotional SB] 

Many of us have experienced injustice at the hands of some 
authority figure. Perhaps a family court judge, a mean boss, or a parole 
officer acted unfairly toward us. This story contrasts God to the unfair 
judge and makes the point that even if life is unfair, at least God is 
fair. If even an unjust judge will answer the pleas of a persistent 
widow, how much more will a just God respond to those in need who pray 
to him in faith. When trials and challenges make it seem like life 
is unfair, we can still trust God to deliver us. Seeking God in 
prayer requires patience and persistence, but it always pays off in the 
end. [Life Recovery SB] 


The word "always" means at all times. The believer is to develop 
a constant spirit of prayer, to maintain an unbroken consciousness 
of God's presence, to practice the very presence of God, to walk in 
a constant state of prayer. [Preacher's  Outline & Sermon Bible] 

The words "not to faint" (me egkakein) mean not to lose heart, 
not to turn coward, or give up, or give in to evil. [Preacher's  
Outline & Sermon Bible] 

Not to faint. That is, they were admonished not to become weary 
of praying, not to lose heart in praying. [SDA Commentary] 

Faint or Lose heart. i.e., be discouraged because answers do not 
come immediately. [Ryrie SB] 


  The failure to persevere is the most common problem in prayer 
and intercession. We begin to pray for something, raising our 
petitions for a day, a week, or even a month, but then if we have not 
received a definite answer, we quickly give up and stop praying for it 
  This is a mistake with deadly consequences and is simply a 
trap where we begin many things but never see them completed. It 
leads to ruin in every area of life. People who get into the habit of 
starting without ever finishing form the habit of failure. And those who 
begin praying about something without ever praying it through to a 
successful conclusion form the same habit in prayer. Giving up is admitting 
failure and defeat. Defeat then leads to discouragement and doubt in the 
power of prayer, and that is fatal to the success of a person's prayer 
  People often ask, "How long should I pray? Shouldn't I come to 
the place where I stop praying and leave the matter in God's hands?" 
The only answer is this: Pray until what you pray for has been 
accomplished or until you have complete assurance in your heart that it will 
be. Only when one of these two conditions has been met is it safe to 
stop persisting in prayer, for prayer not only is calling upon God 
but is also a battle with Satan. And because God uses our 
intercession as a mighty weapon of victory in the conflict, He alone must 
decide when it is safe to cease from petitioning. Therefore we dare not 
stop praying until either the answer itself has come or we receive 
assurance it will come. 
  In the first instance, we stop because we actually see the 
answer. In the second, we stop because we believe, and faith in our 
hearts is as trustworthy as the sight of our eyes, for it is "faith 
from God" (Eph. 6:23) and the "faith of God" (Rom. 3:3 KJV) that we 
have within us. 
  As we live a life of prayer, we will more and more come to 
experience and recognize this God-given assurance. We will know when to 
quietly rest in it or when to continue praying until we receive His 
answer. [Streams In The Desert By Cowman] 

Prayer that uses previously unanswered prayers as an excuse for 
laziness has already ceased to be a prayer of faith. To someone who prays 
in faith, unanswered prayers are simply the evidence that the 
answer is much closer. From beginning to end, our Lord's lessons and 
examples teach us that prayer that is not steadfast and persistent, nor 
revived and refreshed, and does not gather strength from previous 
prayers is not the prayer that will triumph. William Arthur [Streams In 
The Desert By Cowman] 

To repeat our prayers until the answer comes does not mean 
endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Constant prayer 
means keeping our requests continually before God as we live for him 
day by day, always believing he will answer. Those who live by faith 
do not easily give up. God may delay answering, but he has good 
reasons for his delays, and we must never confuse them with neglect. As 
we persist in prayer, we grow in character, faith, and hope. [Small 
Group SB] 

To persist in prayer and not give up does not mean endless 
repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping 
our requests constantly before God as we live for him day by day, 
believing he will answer. When we live by faith, we are not to give up. 
God may delay answering, but his delays always have good reasons. As 
we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith, and hope. [Life 
Application SB] 

How often have we persisted with God?  An answer to prayer may 
seem slow in coming; God is trying our hearts to test our faith.  
These delays clarify our thinking.  Sometimes we have not taken the 
issue seriously enough to search God's Word to find out what He has 
already said about the matter.  [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]  

All God's people are praying people; all God's children keep up 
both a constant and an occasional correspondence with him,... It is our 
privilege and honour that we may pray. It is our duty; we ought to pray, 
we sin if we neglect it. It is to be our constant work; we ought 
always to pray, it is that which the duty of every day requires. We 
must pray, and never grow weary of praying, nor think of leaving it 
off till it comes to be swallowed up in everlasting praise. (Matthew 
Henry's Commentary) 

Prayer is more than a duty, it is a necessity. Jesus does not 
here refer to engaging in prayer to the exclusion of practical effort 
put forth to cooperate with heavenly agencies in securing the 
objectives for which prayer is made, or to the neglect of personal 
responsibility. Jesus means that we should not give up praying when the answers 
to our prayers are delayed. To pray "always" also means so to live, 
day by day and hour by hour, as to be in constant touch with God. 
[SDA Commentary] 

We must not neglect regular stated seasons of prayer;... we must 
"always" maintain a spirit of prayer, or be in a proper frame to lift up 
our hearts to God for his blessing, and we must not grow weary 
though our prayer seems not to be answered. (Barnes' Notes) 

Spiritual fatigue is a real malady. If we never experienced it, 
we would never really be alive.  There are a variety of reasons 
that spiritual fatigue sets in.  Perhaps we have ceased habitually 
feeding our spirit on God's Word.  Perhaps our time with the Lord in 
prayer has taken a lower priority. Or it could be that we have just 
accomplished a great deed in the Lord's service and think we "deserve" a 
break.  It is true that prayer - dedicated, thoughtful, worshipful, 
intercessory prayer - takes energy.  When we merely draw from our own 
resources, we may experience spiritual weariness.  [In His Time; Walk With 
Wisdom re Isa.43:22] 

Do you find prayer tiring?  Prayer is communicating with the 
only perfect Being there is. It seems that as we pray, it takes a lot 
of energy:  energy to stay focused; to continue to listen when you 
hear nothing; and sometimes energy when you yourself are not clear 
about the matter you are bringing before God.... It is in God's strength 
that we can persevere in prayer.  As we access this strength, we are 
able to seek God without tiring.... If you want to communicate with 
God, and overcome your own weakness and the distractions of the 
enemy, seek God's strength. You'll find it!  [In His Time; Walk With 

As activity increases, and men become successful in doing any 
work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. 
There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith.  Like the 
disciples, we are in danger of losing sight of our dependence on God, and 
seeking to make a saviour of our activity. We need to look constantly to 
Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. While we are 
to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take 
time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of 
God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by 
the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient 
for good. DA362,3 

While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to 
heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the 
throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is 
thus stayed upon God cannot be overcome. No evil arts can destroy his 
peace. All the promises of God's word, all the power of divine grace, 
all the resources of Jehovah, are pledged to secure his deliverance. 
It was thus that Enoch walked with God. And God was with him, a 
present help in every time of need... Prayer is the breath of the soul. It 
is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be 
substituted, and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart 
into immediate contact with the Well-spring of life, and strengthens 
the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the 
exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as 
seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual 
faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and 
vigor.  It is only at the altar of God that we can kindle our tapers 
with divine fire. {GW 254} 

  If it is true that "prayer is the barometer of a Christian's 
spiritual condition," how does your barometer read today?  
  Tucked away in today's reading is this significant verse: "And 
he [Jesus] spake a parable unto them [the disciples] to this end, 
that men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (18:1). What follows 
is the parable of the persistent widow, a parable aimed at fainting 
disciples! Does that include you? Are you passing out in the midst of your 
prayers? Or are you praying without fainting? 
  Praying is hard work, no doubt about it. That is one reason 
why maintaining an effective prayer life is so difficult. It takes 
consistent, daily effort. Prayer is also difficult because it is one of the 
activities Satan would most like to see you avoid. Through prayer you 
receive guidance and provision from God; through prayer God makes you a 
channel of His power. If Jesus needed to pray, and if Jesus told His 
disciples they ought always to pray, how about you? Call up a praying 
friend right now and ask that person to pray that you will be a more 
committed and consistent prayer warrior. [Your Daily Walk SB] 

When everything seems to go wrong, just push 
When the job gets you down, just push
When people don't react the way you think they should, just push 
When your money looks funny and the bills are due, just push
When you want to curse them out for whatever the reason, just 
When you ask the question, when is my ship coming in? just push
When people just don't understand you, just push
Not to continue on and on...let me tell you what PUSH stands for;
If your life is going well and you have nothing going wrong, 
just remember you are truly BLESSED and you too should continue to 
PUSH for even better blessings. [CCT@carnegie.org] 


Often a father has to refuse the request of a child, because he 
knows that what the child asks would hurt rather than help. God is 
like that. We do not know what is to happen in the next hour, let 
alone the next week, or month, or year. Only God sees time whole, and, 
therefore, only God knows what is good for us in the long run. That is why 
Jesus said we must never be discouraged in prayer. [Barclay 

Important lessons are presented to us in the experience of 
Elijah.... Six times he prayed earnestly, and yet there was no sign that 
his petition was granted, but with a strong faith he urged his plea 
to the throne of grace.... He wants us to have all our interests 
interwoven with His interests, and then He can safely bless us; for we 
shall not then take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall 
render all the praise to God. God does not always answer our prayers 
the first time we call upon Him; for should He do this, we might 
take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and 
favors He bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if 
any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we should become 
careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon Him, and our need of His 
help. Elijah humbled himself until he was in a condition where he 
would not take the glory to himself. This is the condition upon which 
the Lord hears prayer, for then we shall give the praise to Him. 

The prophet [Elijah] did not give up in discouragement. He kept 
reviewing his life, to see where he had failed to honor God, he confessed 
his sins, and thus continued to afflict his soul before God, while 
watching for a token that his prayer was answered. As he searched his 
heart, he seemed to be less and less, both in his own estimation and in 
the sight of God. It seemed to him that he was nothing, and that God 
was everything; and when he reached the point of renouncing self, 
while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength and righteousness, 
the answer came. 2BC1034,5 


When you live in a society that is rotting, the air is 
poisonous, and it is easy to faint! But prayer puts us in touch with the 
pure oxygen of heaven so that we can keep going. [Wiersbe Expository 

The connection between the prayer-life and the spirit-life is 
indissoluble. Andrew Murray  [Spirit Filled Life Devotional SB] 

Prayer is the gymnasium of the soul. [Your Daily Walk SB]

Arthur Rubinstein, the great pianist, once said," If I neglect 
practicing one day I notice; two days, my friends notice; three days, the 
public notices." It is the old principle "Practice makes perfect. " 
[Streams In The Desert By Cowman] 

A day without prayer is a day without blessing, and a life 
without prayer is a life without power. [Your Daily Walk SB re John 17] 

Readiness for his return will be conditioned by prayer. 
[Wycliffe Bible Commentary] 

We will never grow weary in prayer and our faith will never 
falter if, after we have offered to God our prayers and requests, we 
add the perfect prayer, Thy will be done. [Barclay Commentary] 


Wait at God's promise until He meets you there, for He always 
returns by the path of His promises. selected [Streams In The Desert By 

True prayer should humble us and make us love others more..... If 
prayer doesn't bless the one praying, it isn't likely to help anybody 
else. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Luke