The persistent widow
Biblestudy, Women in the Bible

The Parable of the Persistent Widow: Lessons in Perseverance and Unwavering Faith

Have you ever thought of giving up in prayer? Let us look at the parable of the persistent widow-lessons in perseverance and unwavering faith.

Jesus in one of his many parables in the bible introduces us to yet another unnamed woman in the bible. She is known as the persistent widow and her story can be found in the gospel of Luke 18:1-8. Her story leaves us with some lessons in perseverance and unwavering faith.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow Summary

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.’ – Luke 18:1-3

Jesus shared this parable with his disciples to show them the need to always pray consistently and never give up. The major characters in this parable are a widow and an unjust judge. This woman is described as a woman who was seeking justice against her adversary; while the unjust judge is described to us as a judge who neither feared God or cared about people.

This widow repeatedly approaches the unjust judge in her quest to get justice against her adversary. The unjust judge refuses to hear her out, but the bible says that this widow kept coming to him. And this judge who initially refuses to help her reconsiders his decision due to this widow’s persistence.

“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!’” Luke 18:4-5

Understanding the Parable of the Persistent Widow

Jesus goes on to give clarity to this parable. He explains to his disciples the moral of the parable highlighting lessons in persistence and unwavering faith.

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 18:7-8

He tells his disciples that if an unjust judge eventually grants justice to this widow due to her persistence, how much more will God who is our father, respond to his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? And then Jesus concludes by asking them this – When the son of man returns, will he find faith on the earth? Some other translations call it persistent faith. I also love how the New Living Translation puts it.

I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the son of man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?Luke 18:8 NLT

Our faith in God remains an important part of our Christian journey. Faith will help us walk through the deepest valleys and climb the highest mountains. Your faith in God will keep you standing even when everything around you seem to be falling apart.

Even though the parable likens God to the judge in this story, we can draw lessons from the contrast because God is nothing like the judge. God cares about people and his ears are always open to our prayers. We have a heavenly father who listens and hears our silent cries and worries.

Jesus wants you to see how one woman’s persistence got the attention of an evil and wicked judge to grant her request. How much more can happen when your faith remains persistent as you continually knock heaven’s door in prayer. The parable of the persistent widow teaches us about the importance and power of faith in prayer and why you must not give up.

What Can We Learn from the Parable of the Persistent Widow?

The parable of the persistent widow offers several important lessons. The widow in the story helps us to see the power of persistence and the need to maintain and unwavering faith in God.

1. Be Persistent in Prayer

How many times have you given up in prayer? Sometimes, the wait seems too long and the answers never seem to come after we have prayed. There may even be some requests that have been in your prayer journal for too long and you wonder if God’s ears are shut to your prayers. And in the face of delay, some give up and even turn their back against God.

But this story reminds us to keep going back to God, persist in prayer and trust his timing. This widow kept going back until she got justice. The judge’s indifferent and evil attitude did not stop her from going back every day or losing hope.

How often do we quit because of the indifference of others and the evil words spoken by others? God wants you to constantly rely on him and trust in his unfailing love. Keep knocking that door in prayer to your heavenly father. God’s ears are wide open to listen and hear all that you have to say.

Will you continually seek God in prayer without losing hope or getting discouraged?

2. Have Faith in God’s Justice and Timing

I have waited on God in prayers not knowing if my answer will ever come. As I look back, it looked as if at a time, the answer looked impossible.

But then, God showed up fighting that battle in my favor using the most unlikely person. I had exhausted all possible options of using my own wisdom to get answers. I then decided to let it go and left that place. I was away when some months later, I got a call that God had done it. My miracle was here.

God is never late. He is always right on time. We always want ‘now’ answers, miracles and solutions. Yet God in his infinite wisdom always wants us to walk through the process that leads us to our miracles, dreams and answers. It is the journey through the storm and fire that changes us from inside out, purges our thoughts, cleanses our heart, redefines our faith, builds our character and makes us more like Christ.

We must learn to trust in God’s character, faithfulness and his eventual justice, even when our prayers seem delayed or unanswered. Let your faith in God remain steadfast because your heavenly father hears you and will act in his perfect timing. Will you trust God’s timing today for the answer to that prayer?

3. Human justice Vs Divine justice

This unjust judge was unwilling to give justice to the widow but for her persistent coming. God is nothing like the unjust judge, the bible says that he will give justice to those who cry out to him day and night.

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. – Luke 18:7-8

Human justice can be delayed and just like the judge in the parable who had the power to give justice to this widow, he refused to do it. How many times have many been denied of justice simply because those in authority refuse to do what is right and just?

The widow in the story represents the weak, helpless and poor in the society who are denied of their basic rights to life and justice every single day. While the unjust judge mirrors poor leadership across nations and how those in authority continually deny its citizens of their right to justice.

However, we have a just God who always fights our battles for us. I like how a word in Yoruba language (NIGERIA) describes God as ‘OLUGBEJA’ loosely translated as DEFENDER.  Today, keep standing in faith and trust that God’s divine justice will  always prevail in your life.

The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; Your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair.Deuteronomy 32:4

4. Embrace your Rights as a Child of God

One thing we can learn from the widow in the parable is that she knew her rights as a citizen. This gave her the boldness to keep going back to ask for justice. We have become children of God by virtue of our salvation and this new life comes with rights and privileges in God’s kingdom.

But the question is, how many have learned to embrace their rights as God’s children and citizens of God’s kingdom. There is so much God has made available for you as a child of God. Dig into God’s word and find out his will and promises for your life. Don’t just stop at knowing, embrace and consistently pray these promises over your life. And just like the persistent widow, knowing who you are in God and his promises will give you the confidence to go before him to make your requests.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”1 John 5:14

5. A Question of Faith

I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the son of man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith? Luke 18:8 NLT

Jesus closes his parable by asking a question about finding those who have faith on the earth when he returns. A faith that is persistent. A faith that waits for God’s perfect will and timing. A faith that builds your intimacy with God.

Will your faith remain unwavering amidst life’s trials and delays? Will you remain resolute in your faith in God even when things look impossible? Will you keep standing in faith even when if the answer never comes? The bible says this about Abraham.

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.Romans 4:20-21

May your faith in God never diminish or fade away even until Christ’s return.


The parable of the persistent widow reemphasizes to us the importance and significance of persistent prayer in our lives as children of God. It teaches us of the need to have an unwavering faith in God and an assurance that God hears and listens, and he will always respond according to his perfect will and timing for our lives.

The persistent widow


Dear Lord, I will not give up or lose hope as I wait for the fulfillment of your promises in my life. I will trust in your unfailing love for me and will wait for your perfect will and timing concerning every area of my life. I receive grace today to keep standing in faith and holding on to the truth of your word. I will remain steadfast in prayers trusting in God’s promises for my life. Amen!

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. – Luke 18:1

Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. – Luke 18:1 MSG

Read also:

Breaking Free: The woman who was bound for 18 years

The widow of Zarephath

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