Summary: Jesus told this parable so He might teach us to pray and not faint. That word faint means to lose courage, to lose heart or hope. It means that you won’t want to give up, which speaks of discouragement. The Lord’s only answer for discouragement in life wa
Subject: “A Call to Prayer: The When, How and Why of Prayer”
Text: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus in Luke 17 concludes the chapter by making the disciples aware of the turbulent times ahead. Jesus describes those days as the days of Lot when sin and sorrow would greatly increase. In verse 32, he said, “Remember Lot’s Wife” as a way for his disciples to be alert and ready for the return of the Lord. Jesus encourages prayer as the only solutions for surviving evil days. During evil days, there will be a temptation to stray from the straight and narrow way and conform to the world. And there will also be a temptation to become so attached to this world that His coming will catch them and us unprepared. But finally, during evil days, men will be tempted to faint or to give up. So the text says, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint,” Jesus told this parable so He might teach us to pray and not faint. That word faint means to lose courage, to lose heart or hope. It means that you won’t want to give up, which speaks of discouragement. The Lord’s only answer for discouragement in life was prayer. When we get discouraged we may try binge eating, or to stop eating, shopping, or walking or working out. Some will try to escape by golfing, fishing, reading or any other number of ways. Others throw a pity party and make everyone else miserable. Some get drunk or high. The ways we’ve devised to deal with our problem are endless, but according to Christ, prayer is the only effective method for dealing with it. The woman of our text teaching several things about prayer: (1) we should pray with faith. This woman had faith that the judge could take care of her problem. She didn’t bother going to her friends. She didn’t bother her extended family about avenging her. She demonstrated her faith by going straight to the power source, the judge to get help for her problem.
(2) We should Pray with persistence - Not only did the woman have faith that the judge would take care of her problem, she proved to him that her case was important to her. I understand that we teach that we can take our problems to God and leave them there, but there are instances in our lives where the Bible seems to say to us that God wants to see how important these things are to us. The Bible gives many examples of the prayer of intercession. Abraham made repeated intercessions for the deliverance of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jacob wrestled with the angel all night. Moses prayed for 40 days and 40 nights. Daniel prayed and fasted for 21 days. On more than one occasion, the Lord Jesus Himself went into some deserted place and spent the entire night praying. How seriously are you seeking God’s help in your time of need? Do you really want God’s deliverance? Are you willing to beg for it? Are you willing to come day after day after day in prayer, communicating to God your own insufficiency to meet your needs, recognizing at the same time God’s complete sufficiency with those same needs?
(3) We should pray with confidence. The woman’s confidence was that the judge would avenge her injustice. We are not told exactly what her trouble was or how long she was confronted with it. But we are told about the Judge with whom she was doing business. We can be sure that our God is totally opposite of the unjust Judge. The object of our faith is a kind loving Father who delights in answering his children cry. So when our prayers are communicated with persistence, we can be confident that He will hear and speedily answer our prayer and bring us through the difficulties we face. Discouragements in the hard places of life are no fun. As a matter of fact, if it is not dealt with quickly, it can become a prison that drains us of our peace, joy and power.
Jesus tells us when men ought to pray: “Always” and this parable teaches us how men ought to pray; with faith in God as our source, with persistence and with confidence. Why is it so important for men to always pray? Listen to following reasons I believe that men ought always to pray:
1. First of all, Prayer is a way of keeping open communicating with God. – Our children call us all the time. Many times they want to know how we are doing or where we have been in revival. They call for advice. They call to share good news. Sometimes, they call to say thank you for being good parents or to tell me how we looked in a particular photograph. They keep the channel of communication open. When they have a need, they don’t mind sharing it with me, and I don’t mind responding to their need.