Summary: This message emphasizes the need for prayer. However, it is not just about prayer itself, but about the need for us to continue in prayer. Being steadfast is a vital characteristic of our prayer lives.
"pray, Pray, PRAY!"
There’s a magazine cartoon that shows a little fellow kneeling beside his bed for his bedtime prayer. He says with some measure of disgust, "Dear God, Uncle Jim still doesn’t have a job; Sis still doesn’t have a date for the social; Grandma is still feeling sick - and I’m tired of praying for this family and not getting results."
Without a doubt…
All of us have felt this way, at one time or another, in regard to our prayers.
-Each one of us has probably felt like quitting.
-Each one of us has probably felt like giving up on seeing answers to our prayers.
-And…probably more than a few of us have actually stopped praying, maybe not altogether, but we have quit praying for certain things.
*Things that God had laid on our heart!
*Things that are important and not trivial.
*Things like seeing a loved one saved or return to Christ.
*Things like having a marriage restored…for successful ministry…sickness or infirmity healed…or an urgent need met.
Why did we quit praying???
We quit praying because of discouragement and doubt.
We quit praying because we sometimes wonder if it does pay to pray.
-And even though we would never voice such thoughts, the idea does sometimes come into our minds.
And you know what???
Jesus knew that his disciples would be tempted to quit praying too.
In Luke 18…Jesus had just finished talking to his disciples about his return and the coming Kingdom of God.
-He told them that his coming, and the establishment of Kingdom of God with it, might be delayed and that during this time they would long for his return.
-And things would not be as good as they might hope for them to be.
That is us, isn’t it???
We are living in the “in-between the times”, and as such, we face troubles, opposition, adversity, etc...
And it is during these times (like you and I face) before Jesus’ returns; that Jesus knew that his disciples would be tempted to give up on prayer…
-So he spoke often on the subject of PERSERVING in PRAYER!
-To give his disciples encouragement and incentives to not give up on prayer.
And this passage is one of those times!
In this passage Jesus gives his disciples THREE reasons to keep on praying.
#1 - Keep on praying because…sometimes the answer to prayer will be delayed.
READ - Luke 18:1
“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart…”
In other words…
We should not stop praying just because we don’t see results quickly.
In verse 1 we are told that Jesus gave this parable to show his disciples that they "should always pray and not give up."
-Understand that there would be no need for such a teaching if most prayers were answered quickly!
-After all, we’re only tempted to give up on something when we are not seeing significant results in a timely manner…or in a timely fashion that WE want.
For example…when we diet to lose weight, we’re likely to give up in discouragement if we weigh ourselves after 2-3 days and expect significant results.
It is only if we approach the diet with the understanding that achieving the goal may take some time…then we will persevere.
-And it is the same with prayer.
-We need to understand that the answers and results that we seek in prayer may be postponed or delayed significantly due to various reasons.
Verse 7, which I will discuss in more detail later, also indicates that sometimes God DOES delay in answering our prayers.
-It would make no sense for Jesus to ask if God will keep putting off answering his people’s prayers unless he had already been doing so!
That is why we must…
Keep on praying because sometimes the answer to prayer will be delayed.
Why do we need to hear this???
Because this knowledge motivates us to not allow for ourselves to be discouraged when the answer does not come quickly…
-We will recognize that the delay is what Jesus told us to expect.
-So…Do not make the mistake of equating a delay in the answer to your prayers as a denial to answer your prayers.
-You CAN pray for something that is within the will of God and still not see a quick or easy answer.
Maybe there is something that you have been praying for…but it has been for a logn time, and discouragement is setting in…
-There is NO reason at all that you should not receive your answer, but regardless…you are not!
-Don’t give in to the temptation to stop praying…
-Just remember to…Keep on praying because sometimes the answer to prayer will be delayed.