Presentation on theme: "LUKE 18:1-8. Introduction Have you ever wondered if prayer really makes a difference? Have you stopped praying because of discouragement and doubt?"— Presentation transcript:
Introduction Have you ever wondered if prayer really makes a difference? Have you stopped praying because of discouragement and doubt? How many of us have actually given up and stopped praying?
This parable of Jesus is immediately after His warning concerning the Second Coming. (Luke 17:20-36) Jesus was emphasizing the need to be watchful with the need to pray. Jesus gives 5 wonderful reasons never to give up. What are they?
1. There is too much at stake. Jesus point in telling this parable was that they do not lose heart in prayer.. (v.1) Prayer is not something that we ought to do if it pleases us. We “must” pray. If we do not pray, we will lose heart.
It is said that George Mueller, the founder of the great Christian orphanage in England was a great man of prayer. He continued to pray even when the answer seemed delayed. When he was young, he prayed for two of his friends to be saved.
He prayed for more than sixty years. One was converted shortly before Mueller’s death. The other, a year after his death. The first character in this parable is a judge. He did not fear God or man.
In New Testament times, the courtroom was not a building but a tent. It moved from place to place. The judge set the agenda. Only those who were approved and accepted had their cases tried.
2.The circumstances may seem to be against you. (v.3) The second character in this parable is a widow. As a widow, she had little standing before the law. Widows were often oppressed and taken advantage of. (Is. 1:17, 23)
She did not have a husband to stand with her in the court. She was also poor and her adversary was oppressing her. Her situation seemed hopeless. But she was persistent. Every day she begged the judge for help.
In the court, in front of his friends, in the street, in the market and at his home. Her only option was to keep asking the judge to help her. She had no other alternative.
3. The answer may be round the corner (v.4,5) Verse 4 says that the judge finally became weary of her constant petitions. Although the judge keeps refusing, she keeps coming. The judge is finally moved to help to save his own reputation.
A Note from Wesley’s Diary Sunday morning May 5 – preached at St. Ann’s, asked not to come back again. Sunday p.m. May 5, preached at St. John’s. Told to get out and stay out. Sunday a.m. May 12, preached at St. Jude – cannot go back there again. Sunday p.m. May 12 preached at St. George’s – kicked out again.
Sunday a.m. May 19 preached at St. Peter’s – told not to return. Sunday p.m. May 19 preached in the street – kicked off the street. May 26 a.m. preached in a meadow – a bull was let loose. Sunday June 2 a.m. preached at the edge of town, kicked out again.
June 2 p.m. afternoon service in a field – 10,000 people came to hear the Word. Do not give up, the answer is around the corner.
4. God is working out the answer. (v.7-8) Delay is not denial. We have always struggled with the silence of God in regards to some prayers. God answers all pleas of justice and does so quickly.
The moment God hears our request, if it is His will, He begins to work out the answer. A soldier was hitchhiking his way back home. Stops a car. Gets a lift. Just 30 minutes from his home, begins to share the Gospel to the driver.
The driver stops the car. Bows down his head and receives Christ. Thanks the soldier for sharing Christ. The date was May 7. Five years later, the soldier decides to visit his friend. Unable to meet him, but meets his wife.
Inquires about her husband. Tells her how he shared the Gospel to him. Asks if he remembers the date. May 7. Her husband was involved in a car crash that day. He never came home.
She had prayed for years for her husband salvation. Never knew God had kept His word. Do not give up. God is working out the answers
5. Jesus always keeps His promises. v.8 Why are we to be persistent in prayer? Because prayer demonstrates faith. Without faith, prayer is but a ritual. We need to concern ourselves not on the faithfulness of the Lord but rather on our own faithfulness.