One must admire the persistence of the widow before an unjust judge. She wears him out and obtains a favorable ruling. Is Jesus suggesting that if we persist in our prayers we will eventually succeed in changing God’s mind? I suspect rather that our repeated prayers change our own hearts; they ally our hearts more closely with the heart of God.
Surely Jesus wants us to pray constantly and not lose heart. And we may find that what we ask for changes gradually and evolves into a prayer to think like Jesus, to know and do the will of the Father. As Jesus himself prayed in Gethsemane: “Lord, not my will, but yours be done!”
—Fr. Don Petkash, S.J. serves as Vice-President for Mission and Identity at Walsh Jesuit High School, Stow, OH.