Luke 18:1

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

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

Luke 18:1 in Other Translations

1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.
1 Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.
1 He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged:

Luke 18:1 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 18:1

And he spoke a parable unto them
To his own disciples, as the Ethiopic version reads, in order to encourage them to prayer, with perseverance in it; since such sore times of trial and affliction were coming upon the Jews, of which he had spoken in the preceding chapter; and such times more especially call for prayer; see ( Psalms 50:15 )

[to this end], that men ought always to pray.
This is opposed to them, who pray not at all, or have left off prayer before God, or who pray only in distress; and suggests, that a man should pray as often as he has an opportunity; should be constant and assiduous at the throne of grace, and continue putting up his requests to God, though he does not presently return an answer:

and not to faint;
by reason of afflictions, temptations, desertions, and delays in answering prayer; and prayer itself is an admirable antidote against fainting under afflictive providences: it is with the Jews an affirmative precept that a man should pray, (Mwy lkb) , "every day" F11; it was usual with them to pray three times a day; see ( Psalms 55:17 ) ( Daniel 6:10 ) there is no set time fixed by Christ; men should be always praying. This is not to be understood, that a man should be always actually engaged in the work of prayer; that he should be continually either in his closet, in private devotion to God, or attending exercises of more public prayer, with the saints; for there are other religious exercises to be performed, besides prayer; and besides, there are many civil affairs of life, it is every man's indispensable duty to regard: nor does our Lord mean in the least to break in upon, or interrupt the natural and civil duties of life; but his meaning is, that a man should persevere in prayer, and not leave off, or be dejected, because he has not an immediate answer; and this is clear from the following case.


F11 Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 1. sect. 1.

Luke 18:1 In-Context

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.
3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,
5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”

Cross References 1

  • 1. Isaiah 40:31; Luke 11:5-8; S Acts 1:14; S Romans 1:10; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17