Jesus is a realist – he knows that in this world believers will suffer due to the world, the flesh and the devil. Because of this he tells his disciples “that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” This is great counsel and it is found elsewhere in the Scriptures. We are to persevere in prayer, to be constant in prayer and the like. While this is Jesus goal, the way he does it is accomplished not by further appeals to pray constantly, but to give them a reason to pray constantly. Jesus tells the parable of the Persistent Widow (or the Unjust Judge). This widow has been wronged and has no choice but to seek justice through the courts. The trouble is, the judge she comes before neither fears God nor respects man – he is corrupt and has no interest in helping her because there’s nothing in it for him. The widow, however, persists in her asking – basically stalking him and asking for justice everywhere he went. He finally gives in, not because he has learned to fear God or respect men, but because he has been flat-worn out by her persistence. The point is not that God is like this judge and so we need to be like the widow, wearing out the path to heaven with our prayers (although persistent prayer is still welcome!). The point is that God is totally unlike this judge and so we have every reason to come to him always in prayer. The judge was unjust and unloving – our God is both perfectly just and perfectly loving. He will answer in his way and in his time. And when it comes to justice for his children, when Christ returns it will come speedily.