Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Say or sing the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. The opening parable, about a persistent widow, is intended by Jesus that His followers make prayer a central part of their lives and thus not give up to despair.
2. In the parable there was a judge who was essentially an atheist and uncaring. There was a widow, obviously poor and powerless, who continually approached the judge and asked his help. The judge refused at first, but after a while, due to the constancy of the widow, he grants her request.
3. The intent of the parable is that for Jesus’ followers (His elect), they are to continue in prayer and God will give them justice, answering their prayers.
4. Secondly, a Pharisee and a tax collector, are at the Temple praying. The Pharisee does not really pray but boasts of how superior he is in comparison with a despised tax collector, who is obviously Jewish.
5. The self-righteous religious Pharisee boasts of how wonderful he is while noting the despised tax collector. With five “I’s” the Pharisee lets God know how different he is from the tax collector.
6. This man, standing a good distance from the Pharisee, beats on his chest in his misery, and asks for forgiveness identifying himself as a “sinner.”
7. That “bad” man went home “justified,” that is, forgiven of his sin. Not so the Pharisee.