This is never a fun thing to say, but I have to say it.
I was wrong.
In February 2015, I wrote a post called Pray without Ceasing? in which I questioned necessity of praying over and over for the exact same thing. In this post, I said that after hours of searching, “I found only one valid example [in the Bible] of a person praying multiple times for the exact same thing.”
And I left it at that. For two years, the content of this post was in the back of my mind, but I never found an example (other than Paul) of someone who repeatedly came to God about the same issue.
A few days ago, I read Luke 18 which tells the story of a begging widow and an evil judge. The judge had no concern for the widow’s wellbeing; he “neither feared God nor cared what people thought” (verse 2). Because the widow was desperate for justice, she came to the judge regularly to plead her case.
She came regularly. The exact translation says, “she kept coming to him.” She didn’t make one earnest plea. She didn’t hang her head and walk away. She came, and when he denied her, she came again. She kept coming.
After some time, the judge thought to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, I will see that the widow gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”
Jesus explained the parable this way in verses 6b-8a:
Listen to what the unfair judge said. God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly.
If an evil judge is willing to help a poor widow, surely our compassionate Father will help His children. This parable shows we can keep coming before the throne of God. We can keep asking over and over again.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.