Praying With Our Fists
At last week's HPCAN meeting, we began by reflecting together on Luke 18:1-8.
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
An important thing to notice is that the woman in Jesus' parable is a widow. A single woman in an ancient, patriarchal (male dominated) culture was a person with very little power. Here Jesus describes her as nearly beating this powerful judge ("who neither feared God nor cared what people thought") into submission.
Jesus suggests that when we pray we should approach God in a similarly aggressive way. This widow was so persistent that the judge feared he would be attacked. He wasn't compelled by her well reasoned arguments and he wasn't concerned about what was right. It was simply the fists of fury from this little old lady that got him to act.
Jesus says we should channel this little old lady and her fists of fury when we pray. Do we long for justice to the point that we keep bothering God? Do we "cry out to him day and night?" What would it look like for the church in Hunting Park to channel this persistent widow and pray with our fists?