Summary: Prayer is our privilege and our duty.
January 7, 2009 Wednesday Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Prayer is our privilege and our duty.
Focus Passage: Luke 18:1-8
Introduction: In his book Why Prayers are Unanswered, John Lavender retells a story about Norman Vincent Peale.
When Peale was a boy, he found a big, black cigar, slipped into an alley, and lit up. It didn't taste good, but it made him feel very grown up. . . until he saw his father coming. Quickly he put the cigar behind his back and tried to be casual. Desperate to divert his father's attention, Norman pointed to a billboard advertising the circus.
"Can I go, Dad? Please, let's go when it comes to town."
His father's reply taught Norman a lesson he never forgot. "Son, he answered quietly but firmly, "never make a petition while at the same time trying to hide a smoldering disobedience."
I. PERSISTENT PRAYER IS PERSISTENT v3
a. Widow KEPT COMING
II. PERSISTENT PRAYER IS INSISTENT v3
a. GRANT ME protection!
III. PERSISTENT PRAYER IS CONSISTENT v5
a. This is a parable of contrasts, not comparisons
b. The judge was evil and granted the request. How much more will our just God, who loves us, answer us?
1. It makes us sure of what God wants.
2. It makes us sure of what we want (not just self-centered prayers).
3. It trains us not to trust circumstances.
4. It demonstrates our sincerity.
5. It demonstrates vital faith.
Invitation: A church that seeks to grow must never shortchange prayer. We must be people who are involved in a multitude of prayer ministries, from ongoing prayer groups to special days of prayer. The question God is asking us is, “Will you persist in prayer?”