Persistent in Prayer
Before I knew it, I heard the click.
In my typical frenzied rush, I had plopped my toddler in her car seat and fastened the buckle across her chest. That tiny click was the sound of my daughter’s independence—the budding independence I had stripped from her when I secured the lock on her seat belt.
The undersides of my skin winced, but I kept moving as if nothing was wrong.
Then it happened.
“Me do buckle, mommy!” my daughter cried.
I sat in the driver’s seat and fastened my own buckle. “Mommy did it this time, but next time you can do it.”
“Me do buckle.”
“No, not this time. The car is already moving and it’s not safe to take your buckle off when the car is moving.”
“Mommy, me do buckle, please.”
“You’ve asked and I’ve answered.” I turned out of the parking lot and swerved to avoid a driver who merged without a blinker.
“Me do buckle. Me do buckle. Me do buckle.”
My daughter’s words echoed over and over, rising with intensity and desperation. Do you know how many times a toddler can ask the same question during a 15 minute car ride? Me neither. I turned up the radio to muffle her pleas.
“You can’t do the buckle this time, but you can listen to music.”
Ironically, as stress compressed my lungs, the melody of a NeedtoBreathe song filled my ears. It was salve to my soul just to hear the voice of another adult. I breathed in long and deep, inhaling the lyrics about God’s strength and goodness.
“Mommy?” Marie’s sweet voice rose just above the music.
“Me do buckle, please.”
I had to chuckle. She was the persistent widow in the Gospel of Luke:
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I 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? — Luke 18: 1-8
I realized if my daughter was the widow, I must be the unjust judge.
I also realized that I’d prefer to be more like the prayerful woman than the jerky judge. But how many times had I approached God with my daughter’s level of persistence? Had I ever prayed and plead so constantly?
My answer came like a fist to the jaw: Never. Not a once.
Unlike my daughter, my budding independence usually leads me further away from my prayer life. In fact, it typically leaves me with tunnel-vision on my to-do list. And strangely, “Pray unceasingly” is rarely on there.
Also unlike my daughter, I have a Father who graciously turns DOWN the volume so He can always hear my persistent pleas.
So how many times can YOU ask God the question on your heart during the next 15 minutes?