Summary: In-depth look at the prayer life of the church
“What The Church Needs Now”
In Luke 18:1-8, we read
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
A parable is a story that is told to explain something that the hearer is already familiar with. It is a story that reveals a greater truth, from a common fact.
This morning, by God’s grace, I’d like to open up this parable to you. And in doing so, reveal a greater truth from a common fact. What fact? That the church of the Most High God stands in need. We may not speak it openly, but in our minds we know it’s true. We may try to put a beautiful mask on an ugly pig, but I’m here to tell you it’s time that we face that ugly pig in the mirror.
· The church has lost some of her glory from by-gone days.
· She has ‘fallen down’ in the cesspool that we call this world, and is acting like she can’t get up.
· She was lost her virtue, her modesty and her purpose.
This morning, I’d like to rediscover what the Bible has to say about prayer.
· But not simply for the sake of knowing, but for the sake of growing.
· Not for an exercise in futility, but for an exercise in faithfulness.
· Not for occupying time, but for the sake of redeeming the time that we have left on this present earth.
This morning I’d like to say that What The Church Needs Now is to face reality, regarding our sin of prayerlessness. I Sam. 12:23 reads, “…God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you:…”
Not praying for others is a sin, according to I Sam. 12:23. But, it doesn’t stop there. Christians have slipped down a path of prayerlessness even for themselves. And when we pray, we see little to no effect from our prayers.
· We have ‘named it and claimed it’, ‘blabbed it and grabbed’ and still walk around empty handed.
· We have refused to ‘claim’ sickness, and then die of that very sickness.
· We have denied the power of the enemy over our lives, and then fallen victim to his very temptations and traps.
· We have spoken that which is not as if it were and still have nothing to show for it!
Now, as bad as this is, there’s something that makes it a hundred times worse. While all of this has been going on, the unbelievers, the unsaved, have been on the sideline watching…waiting….to see what would happen when we pray. When they heard our loud prayers and shrilled petitions, and then see the results, they laughed at us. And when they see the redeemed of the Lord say one thing and do another, they mocked us. When they listened to our messages, and then see the things we do at home and work, they became disgusted with us.
Christian friend, it’s time that the church face it’s reality.
· The reality is the church has lost some of her splendor.
· The reality is the church has lost some of her power.
· The reality is the church has lost some of her drive.
· The reality is the church has lost some of her testimony.
· The reality is the church has lost some of her holiness.
· The reality is the church needs to face reality.
As we look at Luke 18, we see a woman, a widow, who was called upon to face her own reality. Take a look at what she had to face:
· Reality: she is a female, in a male dominated world!
· Reality: she is a widow, without a husband to represent her needs.
· Reality: she is without children or her children are not there for her in her time of need.
· Reality: the one person who could help her, the judge, is known to be unjust, unfair, and doesn’t care about people.