Summary: Your prayers are heard by your heavenly Father, who loves you & cares about you supremely.
LUKE 18: 1-8 [PARABLES IN LUKE]
BE PERSISTENCE IN PRAYING
In order to be recipients of the abundant blessings Jesus has for us we need to be constantly walking with God. Prayer is an essential component of life with God. Prayer involves asking God for what you need, believing He will provide. Persistence is needed in prayer. In other words, don’t give up. Hang in there and keep on praying in faith. Prayer is based on faith in God. You pray because you believe He is real and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
In this parable [found only in Luke] Jesus introduces a very human judge who did not fear God or respect people. The story of the unrighteous judge and the widow teaches that if an unrighteous, secular judge will finally hear your appeals, how much more will your appeals be heard by your heavenly Father, who loves you and cares about you supremely. [The constancy in prayer is stressed by arguing from the lesser (judge) to the greater (God).Your prayers are heard by your heavenly Father, who loves you and cares about you supremely (CIT).]
I. PRAYER STRENGTHS THE HEART, 1.
II. BE PERSISTENT IN PRAYER, 2-5.
III. PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER INCREASES OUR FAITH, 6-8.
Verse 1 introduces the parable which teaches that God responds to the His children’s [persistent] prayer. “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,” [NASV}
Again and again Jesus imparts to His disciples new truths for kingdom living. Here He teaches His disciples yet another truth about prayer. Jesus consistently prayed and wants His disciples to pray consistently also.
Jesus is teaching the need for persistent prayer in the life of every believer. Why? Because prayer is where you meet God in genuine conversation. God has given prayer to His children so that we can be in touch with Him Prayer is not intended to do something for an all-knowing, all caring sovereign God, but to do something for us and in us. . God does not need our prayer, but He has us pray because we need prayer to become all that God desires for us to be. [Bock, Darrell. The IVP NT Com. Luke. InterVarsity Press, Dover Grove, IL. p.292.] We will never become all God has for us without a persistent prayer life.
Without prayer we don’t have what it takes to do God’s will day after day. Prayer enables us to draw on our Father’s limitless resources of grace. His disciples should always pray and not give up.
II. BE PERSISTENT IN PRAYER, 2-5.
Verses 2-5 contain the parable itself. Jesus’ parables are filled with interesting characters. In verse 2 we are introduced to a uncaring and cold judge. “... saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.”
The judge was indifferent toward God’s law and apathetic toward people, regardless of their status. If one does not fear God, he will not truly respect man. That’s sad in any life, but such an attitude makes a judge unfit for duty since he is to do his best to pass down God’s own verdict (Deut. 1:16-17).
It is interesting that, although our own judicial system has increasingly moved to restrict prayer, Jesus uses a parable set in a courtroom to teach us about prayer.
In verse 3 we are introduced to a relentless widow. “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’
A local widow came to this uncaring judge to pled for justice in a dispute with a neighbor. This widow continued to keep coming before this judge to plead for justice [or protection] in her case. As a widow she should have received special protection and care from the justice system (Ex. 22:22; Deut. 10:18; 24:17-21; 27:19; Jas. 1:27). In spite of the fact that the judge refused to rule in her case she never gave up. She persisted in continuing to present her case. No matter how long the judge ignored her or denied her plea, she returned to his court asking for justice. [Butler, Trent. Holman NT Com. Luke. 2000. Broadman& Holman Publishers. Nashville, TN. P. 296.]
[In Jesus’ time, there was no city courthouse. A judge would travel from town to town, staying for three to five days at a time. If the needs were great that the judge’s docket would be filled. Then, the only way a person could have his case heard would be to bribe the judge’s assistants.]
As time worn on it appeared like this widow didn’t have a chance to be heard. Yet in verse 4 we learn that her persistent pleas are getting to the judge. “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,”