Luke 18 is the parable of the ‘unjust judge and the pestering widow.’
The judge is unjust. The widow is in need.
Because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, lest she come and give me a black eye (Luke 18:5).
The unjust judge, fearful of his personal health and well-being caves in to the request.
The point of the parable?
Injustice abounds in the world. Only with faith can it be addressed adequately:
Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere for solace to its troubles (Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum).
‘Seeking elsewhere’ is ‘seeking God.’
Persistence and perseverance in prayer is required. Call it ‘rigorous prayer’ if you like.
Just how badly do we want things to change?
The ‘thermometer’ is petitionary prayer.
Is our prayer like the widow, threatening God with a ‘black eye,’ so much so, that he is deeply moved by our persistence and petition?
Prayer is a profound act, perhaps the most primordial human act.
According to Augustine (354-430) in his Letter to Proba, prayer enlarges desire and desire enlarges the heart.