Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: But why people decide not to pray? There are some reasons: 1. Prayer Takes Time and Effort, 2. Prayer Needs a Reason, 3. Prayer Requires Passion, and, 4. Prayer Demands Faith

Why People Decide Not to Pray?

(Luke 18:1-8)


ILLUSTRATION. During the lunch our, the president of a large factory wanted to talk to his company’s manger about an urgent matter, but the manager’s secretary said, “He can not be disturbed for he is in conference—as he is everyday at this time.” “But,” said the impatient official, “tell him the president wants to see him.” She firmly replied, “I have strict orders, sir, not to disturb him while he is in conference.” Angrily the man brushed the secretary aside and opened the door to the manager’s private office. After one quick look be backed out, gently closed the door, and said, “I’m sorry! Is this a daily conference?” Yes, everyday he spends fifteen minutes in such conference.” The president had found the manager on his knees before his open Bible. -Hudson Taylor

Steve Brown is fond of saying, "Non-Christians don’t pray, because they’re afraid God is there. Christians don’t pray because they’re afraid God is not there, and they don’t want to lose their faith."

John encourages us to pray and to approach God confidently, because God is there.

Jesus teaches us the proper motive about prayer by looking on the experience of a widow woman.

But why people decide not to pray? There are some reasons!

I. Prayer Takes Time and Effort

· Who can tell us that prayer is easy as lying?

· This widow woman, who already had a busy schedule, and no help, was going to have to take the time herself and go meet this judge face to face.

· Not just a once-off event either. She was going to stay at it until an answer was received - perseverance - tenacity!

· This widow woman was not cheap with her time with this judge.

· She invested time each and every day - had a set time she would go to meet this judge and cry-out before him her case.

· She would go not only during the day but also at night.

“Without time for prayer, nothing can be accomplished.” –W. Graham Scroggie

II. Prayer Needs a Reason - We need good reasons to pray!

ILLUSTRATION. An atheist owned a brewery. A local church prayed earnestly that God would somehow do away with this brewery. One day the brewery was struck by lightning and was destroyed. The atheist sued the church. But the church said they took no responsibility for the act. The judge said, “This is the strangest case I’ve ever seen. An atheist believes in answered prayer, and a church takes no responsibility for prayer.” –John Bunyan

We need good reasons to pray!

· This woman had a desperate need - about to lose everything - it focused all her energies on obtaining protection from this judge. It was not an "exercise in futility" - This woman set out to petition her only hope! And was out to get an answer!

· Our times of prayer have become so shallow - don’t really come to God in times of need anymore - just times of griping and defeat and frustration

· There is nothing like a good NEED to get a proud man to pray (Ps 119:67). Next time, realise the troubles your family is experiencing may be to get you all on your knees and maybe somebody saved!

· David had learned this, and most of the Psalms are him praying in times of need - times of trouble - times of disaster - times of spiritual warfare

· That’s the trouble with prayer - it won’t work without a reason! It has to be more than religious exercise!

III. Prayer Requires Passion (Cf Ps 119:2,10,58,145) - Heart energy!

· This woman is going after this judge with all her heart and energies - will not stop until she has obtained what she needs!

· Not like children who throw tantrums for what they want

· But like a mother who keeps at the doctor until he or she finds a cure for her dying child

· Most hearts are so far from God - their prayers are only words to impress others around them (Mt 15:8)

· We put so much energy into our hobbies, and studies and activities (fishing, sports, and gardening). Yet our energy for God is near zero!

· True prayer comes only from the heart, and can include

a. Tears; brokenness; surrender; total dependence - not caring what anyone else thinks

b. This is how the Centurian, and the Canaanite woman, and Jairus came to Jesus when they asked Him to help their situation at home

“These forty years have not seen the sun rise in China without my father kneeling in prayer.” –Howard Taylor son of Hudson Taylon

That’s the trouble with prayer - it can’t work without passion!

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