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The Fruit of Our Persistent Prayers

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.

The channel billed cuckoo is an ingenious bird. The female cunningly spies another bird’s nest laden with eggs, and whilst that bird is away, ruthlessly tosses the eggs aside and lays her own therein. She then flies freely away, handing the duties of motherhood onto another unknowing bird who will raise the fledglings as her own.

The channel billed cuckoo is a voracious bird. The chick cries night and day to its surrogate parents for food. And the parents become slaves to the calls of a bird that neither looks nor behaves anything like them. Just now this show is being played out in my backyard and the incessant cries of a huge chick are never placated by two frantic noisy friar birds who are running ragged back and forth with the next morsel of food. It is quite laughable to see these two smaller birds being bossed around by a chick probably twice their size.

The channel billed cuckoo is a determined bird. Its monotonous calls have driven my husband and I crazy and no amount of hose waving or shouting can drive it away. The chick may lighten in another tree nearby for a brief period of time, but then relentlessly returns to the nest crying pitifully for its next meal.

This scene brought to mind the parable Jesus told in Luke 1 about the persistent widow. It was a reminder that we ought to always pray and never give up. The channel bill cuckoo’s persistent calls availed much and so too do our earnest heartfelt cries to our Heavenly Father.

Let’s consider this case more closely. The woman was without a husband or other male relative to press her case. She had no legal leverage and nothing but right on her side. She sought justice, not revenge against a legal adversary who was exploiting her social vulnerability. The widow asked that the judge would plead her righteous cause.

Luke 18: 4-5 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

The judge ‘neither feared God nor respected man.’ Neither a sense of accountability before God or concern for the opinions of others could move the unrighteous judge. Only bribery or another appeal to his self-interest could sway the judge’s decisions, and the widow had no resources to win his support. No resources but one – her persistence. The judge, beaten down by the widow’s cries for help gave in to her stubborn persistence, lest her pleas would drive him mad!

Luke 18:7-8 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.

If even an unrighteous and reluctant judge will do what is right, how much more will God, the righteous judge? For those who like the widow, are suffering for doing good, God is eager to vindicate those whom He has chosen in His love. God will not keep putting us off (as the judge did to the widow). Any delay will have a good reason in His wisdom, and we can be confident that He is working all things together for our good in every circumstance (Romans 8:28).

What are you petitioning God for just now? The salvation of a loved one? Deliverance from a situation where you are being harshly or unfairly treated? A breakthrough in a relationship? Whatever the concern, let us come confidently into the throne room of our LORD, knowing that the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Like the widow, let us come humbly and persistently before our Savior, knowing that He is the Righteous One who hears our supplications and will deliver us from all our fears.

Heavenly LORD You are the Righteous One who hears and delivers me from all my troubles. I cry to You with a humble heart asking that You would help me in my time of need. Thank You.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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  1. Hi Jennifer,
    This was so interesting! That bird is a “bully” and a slacker huh? Takes over a nest, lays her eggs and takes off for the other bird to be the mom? Is that about right? Wow! What a character!
    The rest of the article was so important to our values as Christians. Thanks for a superb post, really enjoyed this.
    God Bless~

  2. There are lots of lessons to learn from the cuckoo bird, Camille. It was hard to choose which one to write about!

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