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Summary: Do you feel that prayer is not working for you? Have you considered what your prayer life looks like to God? It may just be lacking one or more essential ingredients. Let us take a good look and find out.

Praying Problems

Luke 18:1-18 Contrasts and Comparisons

The word for prayer from the Greek here is "earnest supplication".

The Lord is telling us to pray continously without giving up, until we receive the answer.

Avenge = serve justice; vindicate

IL. : A company manager told his secretary not to let anyone bother him for a stated time of 15 minutes each day. The president of the company stopped by his office to discuss an important matter. The secretary stated that he could not be bothered, that he was in "conference". The president insisted, but to no avail. So the president just wisked past the secretary and opened the door to the private office. Very quickly, he backed out and quietly closed the door. He asked the secretary, "Is this a daily conference, that he has?" She replied in the affirmitive. The president had found the manager on his knees before an open Bible.

Sinners don't pray because they are afraid that God is really there.

Some christians don't pray because they are afraid that God is not there, and don't want to have their faith shaken.

1. Sometimes the answer may be delayed, but keep praying anyway.

2. Perserverance in prayer is essential for success.

3. Keep praying because you are important to God.

Jesus uses a widow as an example in this parable. In bible times and eastern culture, a woman had limited rights and privileges. When her husband died, she had even fewer rights. She pretty much was at the bottom of the pecking order or totem pole. Her only recouse was that judges were bound to show peculiar attention to their needs. (Isa. 1:17, Jer. 22:3) They were defenseless otherwise, and easy prey for evil people.

It would seem that she was pushed aside and ignored by someone who really did not care or did not want to be bothered.

I. Real Prayer Requires Time and Effort

This widow had her own schedule. She was no doubt busy, without help of a husband, and yet was obligated to take time off and go meet this judge face to face. No easy task.

She had tenacity. She went to him time and time again.

She was persistent. She would not let the judge off easy.

She went to him not only in the day, but also at night.

She went to him often and obtained an audience with her judge.

True prayer will use some of your precious time.

True prayer will be an effort.

II. Prayer Needs a Reason

IL.: An athiest owned a brewery. The local church prayed dilligently that God would put the brewery out of business. One day lightning struck the brewry and it burned to the ground. The athiest sued the church. The church stated that they did not take responsibility for what happened. The judge said that this was the stangest case he ever saw. The athiest believed in answered prayer and the church would not take responsiblity for their prayers.

We need good reasons to pray.

This woman was desperate. She had to have an answer to continue on.

Maybe she was being stalked. Maybe she was being threatened. Maybe someone had stolen her identity. We don't know, but we know it was of the utmost importance.

That is what has to take place many times to get us to pray.

A serious need will get a proud man to pray.

Ps. 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

It just could be that the problems you and your family are having is for the intent of getting you on your knees a little more often.

Prayer works when there is a reason to pray. Otherwise, it merely becomes a religous exercise.

David wrote most of his psalms as a result of troubles, problems, spiritual warfare, etc. They are the cries of his heart in his time of need.

III. Prayer Requires Passion

Ps. 119:2

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

Think of it as energy. She put herself into it.

It is as if she becomes almost unstoppable, almost demanding to get what she must have to continue on with life.

She wasn't praying to impress others. For many, that is al they are doing. Like Jesus describes in

Mt. 15:8

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Consider the energy that so many put into sports, hobbies, entertainment, and studies. And yet their energy level for God is a big fat Zero.

There are some tell-tale signs of prayers that have energy. Tears, brokenness, surrender, groanings, sobbing, without care of what others are thinking.

Howard Taylor made the following statement about his father, Hudson Taylor---"These forty years have not seen the sun rise in China without my father kneeling in prayer."

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