In Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Luke 18:1-8 He gives us the two options we each have when it comes to prayer—lose strength or gain strength. To be more accurate the negative descriptive given in Jesus’ teaching is “to lose heart” or ‘to give up’ (18: 1). In light of this we would think that it would be a no brainer for us to choose praying over not praying. But if we’re honest we must admit that this is not always the case. Rather than looking at the reasons that keep us from praying, for we know them very well, let us get in line with Jesus’ focus in this account—the reason that should keep us engaged in prayer. In this short story Jesus says that a widow continually pursued an unmovable judge till he granted her the legal protection she needed. Her actions made it very clear to him that he was her only option and that she would only stop pursuing him when he responded favorably. Note that her need and her confidence that this judge was the only one who could meet her need was what kept the widow going. She therefore pursued him wholeheartedly to connect with him and to have him provide what she needed. This is a key aspect of prayer in that it reveals the greatest motivation for prayer and the greatest reason why we don’t pray—our view of the pivotal place of God in our lives. The key reason why we should be fully committed and engaged in prayer is our awareness that God is the only one who can meet our needs. He is our only option. Jesus adds a twist to the story though, as He gives another positive motivation to pray—God cares. Note the deep relational descriptive that’s stated of God—‘His elect, who cry to him day and night’ (18:7). Peter also notes this intimate relationship in 1 Peter 5:7 when he states ‘casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.’ Our view of God is then the reason why Jesus states in the final statement of this account a pivotal conclusion—If prayer is not key to our lives then this indicates that we are not walking by faith. Jesus put it this way, ‘I tell you that he will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?’ (18:8). How will Jesus know that faith is present on earth when He returns? He will find an active pursuit of God through prayer. So why do we pray? We pray because it keeps us strong against the challenges of life and reveals our deep need/faith in God. May the Lord bless us this day as we commit to make prayer a character trait of our lives.