Persistent Prayer (Importune Prayer) Demonstrated In the Parable of the Persistent Widow – Luke 18:1-8

Luke 18:1-8

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”


Here are three things from this parable that tells us what importune prayer is:

1.  Importune prayer is never discouraged.  Verse one begins by telling us what this parable teaches: “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”  This was the attitude of the widow in the parable; thus, with this attitude she kept coming back to the judge.  She did not get discouraged when the judge at first denied her.  No, she kept coming back with renewed energy; and the judge was the one who got weary!  Importune prayer then is prayer that has strength of heart; it never faints, never grows weary, and never gets discouraged.

2.  Importune prayer is prayer that would wear out and trouble any person of this earth.  Here we see that the woman was so persistent that she troubled and wore out the judge by her continual coming and asking.  Now I don’t believe that our objective in prayer is to wear out God or to trouble Him.  That would be impossible.  But nevertheless, this is what importune prayer is; it is a prayer that would trouble any person on this earth—as it did the judge.  But even though God is not going to be troubled by our persistent prayer, He always knows our heart, recognizes our need, and is touched by our persistence.  For that reason, He will give us what we ask for even more speedily than the judge gave to the woman.  For if the cruel and unrighteous judge gave justice to the strange widow who was persistent in her asking, God who is fair and righteous will surely give us, who are His children, what we ask for when we pray with importunity, and even more speedily (v. 8).

3.  Importune prayer is prayer at all times, even in difficult times.  Just before Jesus gave this parable He was talking to his disciples about the last days and about living in a time of great difficulty.  I believe these are the last days (the age of the church), and so this parable is directed at us, that we ought to pray at all times, “day and night” (v. 7).  This of course means that we should pray for urgent things over and over again, but I think that Jesus also means that our heart should be continually lifted up to God.  Hence I believe that importune prayer is prayer without words, prayer of the mind, or having a mind that is always set on things above (Col. 3:2).


About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
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7 Responses to Persistent Prayer (Importune Prayer) Demonstrated In the Parable of the Persistent Widow – Luke 18:1-8

  1. P. B. says:

    I’ve been comforted by your writings on prayer. I have been praying specifically for a request from the Lord for years, and as the time goes by I’ve cried out to God, “Do you hear me? Why are you silent?” Yesterday, the Lord sent me to Psalm 13:
    [1] For the director of music. A psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? [2] How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? [3] Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; [4] my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. [5] But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. [6] I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. – Psa 13:1-6 NIV
    As I read this I cried out to God, “Yes, Lord this is my cry! This is my burden heart. But you still have not answered my request. I’m still burden and aching for this person. I need something more Lord, I need to understand why the delay?”

    Then He responded by sending me to Psalm 31 :8
    [8] You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. – Psa 31:8 NIV
    He was reminding me, that the enemy will not win this battle. He has not forsaken my prayers. He hearing me, but still, Lord it’s not enough. I’m not satisfied with this. I need more of an answer. More of an understanding on the delay.

    Then again He responded to me in my spirit to read one verse verse 7
    [7] I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. – Psa 31:7 NIV
    So again the Lord is telling me..He hears me. But I’m still not satisfied. I could not understand why this wouldn’t be enough for me. The Lord has given His reply, but my heart is still wanting more. I was in a state of, “I’m not giving up until I understand why it’s taking so long!”

    Then, as I was studying this morning I came upon the term Importunity in Prayer, which led me to your site. Then I realized, the Lord was teaching me something. My cries are not in vain, but leading me to a more in depth understanding of God’s will and a heart to pray even more.
    Thank you for your teaching, and may it speak to others as well.

  2. Stephen says:

    Thank you for your comment. I’m encouraged by your persistence in prayer. Prayer is warfare isn’t it. We can’t let up. But there is also joy in prayer–because we are in His presence. When we feel discouraged in prayer we can take heart that He is listing and He cares. And He cares for your friends too.

  3. Susan says:

    I came here after listening to a guess of Sid Roth, Mr. Steve Hannett. He spoke of the this opportune prayer and I looked it up. So I landed here and so happy to read your write up. Really lifted my spirit especially the comments made by P.B. above. I love you.

    • Susan, Happy to know your spirit was lifted. Pray indeed is a continual process. It is continual trusting. We should never stop praying for what we need and desire. God bless you.

  4. lutangu nalumino says:

    This has completely changed my prayer life;am Blessed from today,i will never let any staution in my life bring me down,when i have God who answers Prayers

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