Summary: Why should we pray? A few reasons.

(I got this illustration from Sermon Central)

-A young man went into a drugstore to get 3 boxes of chocolate: small, medium and large – pharmacist asked - small if hold hand, medium if peck on cheek, large is serious kissing

-At dinner the boy prayed for five minutes

-You didn’t tell me you were so religious, you didn’t tell me your day was a pharmacist

-It is a good thing to pray – whatever the circumstances

-According to a 2000 Gallup poll, 90% of Americans say they pray, 86% say they believe in God – that’s interesting (who are they praying to?), 83% favor prayer at graduations and 70% said they would like Christian prayers in schools

-It is a great think that people are so religious and see some possible positive effects of praying

-In the recent past, several studies have come out demonstrating that people who are prayed for recover more quickly from hospitalizations and surgeries

-There is something to this thing we call prayers – it does make a difference

-Jesus tells a parable or story about the importance of prayer

-What would you do if you made an agreement with a contractor to have some work done on your home, they took the money and didn’t complete the work?

-What would you do?

-You would begin by talking to the contractor and getting them to live up to their end of the bargain

-If that didn’t work, you would see the Better Business Bureau, file a suit in small claims court and hopefully get your money back or the work done

-That is situation that the widow in our Gospel lesson today faced

-In Middle Eastern cultures, including the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day, a woman’s rights were not well protected – She needed a husband or some other adult male to ensure her rights

-Not only was this widow hindered by the fact that she was a female without a husband to stick up for her but she was also impeded by the fact that he judge that had jurisdiction was not a kind nor fair person

-The widow understood that she wasn’t going to get what she desired without asking for it

-She went repeatedly and asked this Judge Wapner on steroids for justice and he repeatedly denied his request

-However, by her persistence he finally caved

-Even an evil person, faced with the right circumstances will do the right thing

-I heard this story a few weeks ago on the radio – two men decided to break into a warehouse and steal some copper wire – the new big crime these days

-What they didn’t know is that there were policemen in the warehouse doing K-9 training. One officer had hidden in the warehouse and the K-9 cop called for him to come out or he would release the dog.

-One of the criminals, thinking that the had been nabbed, came out with his hands up

-Once they did a cursory search they found his accomplice

-That was some of the easiest police work they’ve ever had to do

-Similarly, the evil judge finally caved when he realized that she wasn’t going to give up until she got justice

-He realized that it was in his own best interests – and that’s all he really cared about – to get her off his back

Four truths about prayers

Prayer changes God

-Abraham – God came to earth to recon with Sodom and Gomorrah – in Genesis 18, Abraham pleads with God for the fate of the people in the cities – he begs God not to destroy the city for the sake of 50 righteous people there and finally gets God down to 10 individuals – unfortunately, God only found 4

(I got this illustration from Sermon Central)

– Have you ever heard of George Mueller? One day he looked down the streets of Bristol, England, & saw 100’s of homeless children. He was so moved with concern for them that he decided that something had to be done.

He had only two pence in his pocket. That’s two cents. But he decided to start an orphanage. In 60 years, beginning with two pence, George Mueller took care of 10,000 orphans. He looked out & saw homeless kids. He could have said, "But, I don’t have any money. But, there is no way to care for them, to meet their needs, to buy the food."

Instead, he looked at them & said, "Therefore, I will reach out & help them." And God blessed his efforts in a mighty way. He told amazing stories of answered prayers.

He kept a record of his prayers, & his prayer records filled more than 3,000 pages. His notes show that more than 30,000 prayers were answered.

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