By Judy Moyer
Jesus’ ending remark in the parable of the persistent widow is, “shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to Him?”
Will God avenge his own, which cry day and night? I had been crying a lot about a situation. Is it possible this verse fit my problem? I hadn’t thought of my problem in this way before. I just thought I had a problem husband—drinking into all hours of the night, everyday. I’ll try looking at this at a new angle.
OK, what if God were to “avenge me of my adversary”? Avenge means to do one justice and adversary means opponent. So, it’s saying, God’s going to do justice for me to my opponent. Who is my adversary? Who is my opponent? That’s plain, isn’t it? That’s my husband……
Well, that’s what I thought until my eyes landed on the scripture in Ephesians 6:12—“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” So, my adversary wasn’t my husband; it’s the principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness, Satan’s arena.
It says in John 10:10, “The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Jesus was speaking here, and the thief he is referring to is the devil, Satan. It was a light bulb moment for me: it’s the devil who is trying to steal, kill, and destroy my marriage, not my husband!
OK, back to the widow and the judge, what did she do? She, basically, wouldn’t let the matter go. She troubled him by her continual coming; she was persistent in her matter before the judge, and what else? That thing that Jesus said at the beginning of the narrative—“men ought always to pray and not grow faint,” so, it’s OK to pray and keep on praying.
Pray for someone who was making my life miserable? But, that’s an idea that I had never thought of before. I had tried everything else in my marriage but prayer. Could this be the answer I had been asking for from God? And there is a promise—“that he will avenge.” I remembered the verse that says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
So, I decided to try praying. I began to pray for my husband. When he was gone long hours into the night, when he came home with alcohol on his breath, when he had hangover’s, when he was grouchy and verbally abusive, when he…I prayed. I asked my friends and pastor to pray. I even prayed when the police locked him in jail for a traffic accident.
Something was starting to happen, something was changing. I continued praying for 10 years, until he, of his own volition, gave his heart to the Lord and has faithfully served Him, who delivered him from the snare of alcohol, for the last 25 years. And even today, I still pray for him.
Persistent praying is good for your relationship with God. Don’t quit, don’t give up. God is listening. God loves you!