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Summary: Pray Until Something Happens!

Sermon.988

See Parable.014, 016

“P.U.S.H”

Luke 18:1-14

Notice that this passage of scripture is two separate parables which are connected by a major theme.

Jesus told many parables that illustrate the principles that prayer is an obligation and a privilege that should be practiced with persistence and humility.

Read Luke 18:1-14

Let’s pause to pray that God will lead us in our Bible study and add His great blessings to our efforts.

In 1972, a family gathered to seek wisdom about one of the members of the family launching a political career to fill a seat in Congress.

The family members decided to split up in various room of the home and pray for about a half hour each.

Thirty minutes later they came back together and talked it over.

Although he didn’t win the congressional seat, that prayerful decision launched the very successful political career for John Ashcroft, the Attorney General of the United States.

It pays to pray!

In these two parables which are connected in a major theme, Jesus taught us that action about prayer pays off.

Today we have a lot of information available to us about prayer.

We have books, cassette tapes, CD’s, seminars, sermons, and videos about prayer.

All of these things give us information about prayer and the majority of them are good resources about prayer.

However, information without action is useless!

What we need concerning prayer in our individual lives and in the life of our church is action developed upon the information we already have.

To encourage us, Jesus focused upon action concerning prayer.

He used words that communicate the necessity of prayer.

Jesus said, “…they should always pray and not give up” (verse 1).

That verse could be translated “It is necessary for us to always pray and not faint.”

Jesus was giving us emphasis not only to the duty of prayer, but to the necessity of it.

We can also say that persistence in prayer pays off.

The prescription here is to be tireless in prayer and not give in to the temptation to give up too soon.

Listen to what the parable teaches us in the situation of the widow.

The widow was experiencing injustice of some nature.

We don’t know exactly what the situation was in the widow’s life, but it did involve an adversary.

Her adversary, whoever he or she might have been, was making attacks against her, so she went to a judge to get him to try her case, protect her from her adversary, and vindicate her position.

The judge was a secular judge and he didn’t care one bit about God, didn’t have any respect for man or the poor woman.

The poor widow didn’t have any money to bribe the unrighteous judge and she didn’t have any influence with the noblemen to persuade the judge in his decision, so she was forced to rely upon what she did have, which was persistence.

The text indicates the widow kept bothering the judge to the point that she exhausted him.

She was like the Energizer Bunny and the Timex watch which keep running and running and running.

The judge saw her persistence and he granted her request because she was going to wear him out if he didn’t!

We are not to tire out and give up!

Persistence in your prayer life pays off.

What are you tempted to give up on right now?

Pray about it until something happens. PUSH

The letters in P.U.S.H. stand for: PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS!

Why should you and I Pray Until Something Happens?

Because God leads us to His purpose through a process!

A wealthy Asian man commissioned a work of art.

He had one aim in his mind.

He wanted the art to represent good fortune.

He told the artist he was at liberty to choose the painting, the sculpture, or any other form of art as long as the work of art represented good fortune.

The artist came back with a work of Calligraphy!

It was beautifully done with three large statements:

1. Grandfather dies.

2. Father dies.

3. Son dies.

The wealthy Asian man who commissioned the work of art admired its beauty but he protested that the work of art was depressing.

“How can this possibly represent good fortune?” he complained. "In your work of art, everyone dies!"

The artist responded with a smile, “Yes, Everyone dies! The good fortune is in the sequence!”

Grandfather dies, then the father dies, then the son dies!

We are to pray with persistence knowing God may be taking us through the sequence.

Action in prayer pays.

Persistence in prayer pays.

And we are also taught that dependence in prayer pays.

This is explained in the connecting parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

The Pharisee asked God to join him in a praise session of himself.

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