The Daily Office | March 4, 2018
Psalms 19, 20, 21
Psalms 22, 23
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: The Third Sunday in Lent
Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The parable of the persistent widow can be more troubling than comforting. Especially when we have been praying for something earnestly and repeatedly for a while, reading this parable may make us roll our eyes more than desire to pray more diligently.
The unrighteous judge, through his mere annoyance, seems sometimes to be more just than than the God of justice and mercy. "And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?" Well, sometimes it seems so.
What then do we do? How do we approach this as someone who has been faithfully praying for years? Yet a day is like a year and a year like a day to God. We are not told how long this widow kept coming to the judge; simply, continuously. Never ceasing. Paul tells us as well in 1 Thessalonians to "pray without ceasing."
When we come to God with our wants and needs, and faithfully and persistently seek Him and intercede to him for these things, God is faithful in his time. God's faithfulness may not meet our timing; it may not meet our expectations either. Sometimes the most faithful answer is "no", "not yet", or "maybe, if". No matter, Christ calls us to continue seeking God in prayer and petition, and He promises God's faithfulness and justice, though not that it will meet our expectations. Trust in the Lord. Press into God with steadfastness and persistence. For his faithfulness certainly will be proved the end.