Rahab, in Joshua 2, pleaded with the spies for protection. She was asking them to spare her life and her family. She knew she was in danger and asked the spies to help because she knew they were the only ones who could help. She demonstrated an allegiance to the spies by hiding them from the officials. This kindness to the strangers was an active way to plead with them for mercy. She wanted the spies to spare her own life and the life of her family. Everyone who came into her house, she wanted to be spared from destruction.
Prayer is recognizing we need help and calling on the only one who can help.
In the New Testament, Jesus told a parable of a Widow. He told this story to teach the people to pray and not to give up. Jesus wanted to show the importance of endurance in prayer. The Widow’s story is found in Luke 18:1-8.
The Widow continually came to the town’s Judge day after day, beating on his door, and asking for protection from her enemy. Because the Judge was weary with her continual coming, he gave her what she asked. Jesus concluded the parable saying, God is much kinder than the “unjust judge” in the story. Therefore, God would hear and answer those who ask Him for help.
Rahab had never heard the story of the unjust judge, but she lingered with the spies and continued to ask them for deliverance from destruction. She hid them to buy some time to plead more for her life and the life of her family. She knew God would be destroying the city in which she lived. She had the only people who could do anything about it within range for them to hear. She didn’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to ask the only ones who could do anything about sparing her life when the city was destroyed.
We can learn much from the action of Rahab and the parable of the Widow. When we pray, we pray to God. God is ultimately the only one who can do anything about what we need. Sometimes when we pray, we do not know the outcome. We do not know how it will turn out. But pray to God always, don’t give up, and diligently ask for help from the only One who can do anything about your situation.
Hebrews 11:31 says “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” Rahab welcomed the spies and interacted with them for her own benefit and salvation, and that of her family. When we pray to God, we accept Him, give ourselves to Him, and interact with Him for our own benefit and salvation (or those for whom we pray). We keep praying as the persistent Widow. We know God hears and will answer us.
We can know that when we pray and don’t faint, God will hear and give us what only He is able to do. Jesus solidified this understanding with the following passage: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8