Summary: PERSISTANT PRAYER IS ANSWERED PRAYER!
PRAYER PART II: A MATTER OF PERSISTENCE
LUKE 18: 1-8
FEBRUARY 16, 2003
INTRODUCTION: ASAP = ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER: POEM
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for today is very basic in nature. I believe it to be one of those texts that we can all understand at first reading. Luke begins by explaining what Jesus is teaching so as to make it completely clear. Even the parable is not left unexplained. You don’t hear the disciples asking of this parable, “Lord are you speaking to us or to everyone?” and you don’t hear, “Lord, what does this parable mean?” These questions don’t need to be asked because the text is straightforward. With all this said, my job is not to make this text confusing, but to keep it as simple as it is. The power of this text is that it teaches us a lesson we all know, but often forget.
THESIS SENTENCE: PERSISTANT PRAYER IS ANSWERED PRAYER!
I. PERSISTANT PRAYER IS ADMONISHED PERSEVERANCE VV. 1
A. Perseverance is always praying
1. Two weeks ago in our text from Nehemiah 1: 1-11, Nehemiah makes a powerful statement. In verse 6 Nehemiah prays, “Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.”
2. Is Nehemiah overstating his case, or is modeling for us perseverance in prayer?
3. The truth of scripture is that we should always pray!!
4. In I Thessalonians 5: 17 we are taught, “Pray continually…” The King James renders this verse, “Pray without ceasing.”
5. Daniel 10: 12-14 is a great example of the power of continual prayer. 6. Throughout the whole of scripture, we are taught to pray and to prayer all the time.
B. Perseverance in prayer is not giving up
1. Matthew 7: 7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
2. We seem to understand this in theory, but in practice, we struggle.
3. Prayer is a battle to be fought, but the enemy wants us to busy to pray. And not only is business our struggle, often we become weary, for we have not seen the answers we want. We can become very defeatist in prayer and give up, but Luke states, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
4. What is so interesting here is the previous chapter. Jesus has just taught on the dreadful day of the coming of the kingdom of God. The disciples were more than likely overwhelmed by the information and needed to know how to respond to a great crisis. Where should we begin? We should always say a prayer!!
II. PERSITANT PRAYER IS A REVEALING PARABLE VV. 2-5
A. The justless Judge
1. Why would Jesus tell a parable comparing a justless Judge to the one who hears prayers?
2. The answer is the argument from lesser to greater. If this basic principle is true, consider what the greater principle teaches. This is Jesus argument. 3. In chapter 11 verses 5-10, Jesus has taught a similar lesson. The issue is not the one being addressed, but really focuses on the one doing the addressing. 4. Just looking at this Judge, you might say, “what’s the use, he will not listen.” We probably have all felt this way in prayer, especially if we have not yet received what we have asked.
5. Jesus sets of this judge as a model of this world that we can understand and He says to us, the squeaky wheel gets oiled!
6. Yes, there is opposition in prayer, but don’t be discouraged by a nay saying Judge, just keep at it and see what happens. You might just wear this fellow out and he will give you what you ask for.
B. The persistent widow
1. In contrast to this man of power and prestige, we have a widow as our example to follow.
2. A widow in Jesus day was as low on the totem pole as you could get. In a culture dominated by men, a woman who had no man was almost completely helpless. Social Security did not exist in Palestine. Family was to carry the load and if no other family existed, a widow was hopeless.
3. Jesus point here is that this person, the widow, had no clout, no ability of her own to get what she needed. She was completely powerless in her plea for justice. 4. The bottom line here is what was the outcome. The helpless, hopeless widow got justice. This is just what she asked for!!