Summary: Praying has to be persistent to be effective.
Luke 18:1-8 KJV And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;  Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:  And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;  Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.  And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
I. INTRODUCTION—A PARABLE ON PRAYER AND BEYOND
-This is a parable about prayer and beyond. . . but it is a parable that moves prayer into one of the most incredible spiritual places of authority afforded to us. We can prayer with the force of the Kingdom of God behind us.
-This is one of the great Christian principles—persistence in prayer.
• Praying until an answer comes.
• Praying until deliverance comes.
• Praying until you can see what you were pursuing.
George Mueller—It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray alright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believing, continue in prayer until we obtain an answer.
-We can become convinced of the will of God in a lot of situations that life hurls at us. We can know with certainty because we understand what is in the Word of God.
-What is the will of God for a saint?
• Healing is in the will.
• Salvation is in the will.
• Victorious thinking is in the will.
• Peace is in the will.
• Joy is in the will.
-If you can understand that the devil wants you to give up in your praying so that the prayer will never be answered, it will help you keep on praying. But the devil knows that we are emotional creatures and he will do everything to use negative emotions to cause us to quit praying.
-Emotions such as:
• Anything that wars against the Spirit.
-If the devil can drop you down into complaining, whining, crying, it won’t be too long before you will quite praying and never get your answer. But this widow in Luke 18 was determined to get relief from her adversary through this judge.
• How many revivals have been lost because we quit praying?
• How many souls have been lost because we quit praying for them?
• How many times have you slipped back into the spot that you were because you quit praying?
-We have to walk in after a red-hot Sunday morning and pick up where we left off! When you have the advantage you have to keep on pressing!
II. REASONS FOR THE DELAY
-There are reasons that it takes time for prayers to be answered:
1. Sometimes demonic resistance delays the answer from God before you and heaven can prevail.
-You don’t need to look any further than the book of Daniel.
-Don’t be surprised when your prayers are not immediately answered. In Daniel 10:12-13, we find that Daniel was praying for twenty-one days before the answer came.
2. Sometimes it takes time for separate parts of complex situations to fit together.
-In Acts 16 before a revival could break out there was a time of pain and suffering. That is why we have to endure hardness as a good soldier. Sometimes enduring hardness means that you just keep on showing up and living out your commitment. Not a lot of fanfare just commitment.
-Paul and Silas had to move into a place that was just right for God to work. You might object and say, “What about their bodies and their pain?” To which I would tell you that God is more concerned with my holiness than he is my happiness.
3. Sometimes it takes time for God to coordinate circumstances to bring pressure on a person until they become willing to do what God wants them to do.
-Over the years, I have heard numbers of testimonies of people being converted but only after a long series of things that had taken place. It seemed as if God was never going to save them but finally they come in and get the Holy Ghost.