In this sermon, Pastor Neil explains the importance of persistent prayer, using the parables as examples, including the one about the persistent widow. Here are some excerpts;

The Persistent Widow

Jesus tells this story in Luke 18 to show… that we “should always pray and not give up” (18:1). The story, as we’ve noted, has two characters: A widow who has been wronged in some way, and a judge who has jurisdiction in her complaint.

The widow has four things going against her:

  1. As a woman, she had little or no standing before the court. Women didn’t have many rights in that time and were usually ignored by judges and other government officials.
  2. As a widow, she didn’t have a husband to plead her cause or support her in her plea for justice. Apparently she had no one to go to bat for her. No friend or advocate. No attorney to take up her cause. As a woman and a widow, she was doubly disadvantaged.
  3. She apparently didn’t have the financial resources to, you know, grease the wheels ofjustice. The judge may have been amenable to a bribe. He probably was. But shedidn’t have any money with which to bribe him.
  4. The fourth thing she had going against her was the judge himself. He didn’t give a hoot about justice…  All he really cared about was himself. So, what does he care about awoman who thinks she has been treated unjustly? He doesn’t.

But this woman, despite her disadvantages, doesn’t give up. What does she do? She keeps on showing up at the court. Day after day. She keeps on pestering the judge… Finally, he relents. Not because he cares about justice. Not becausehe cares about her or her cause. He just wants to get her out of his hair…

Persistent Prayer– Our God is Not Like the Unjust Judge

…Jesus is not suggesting that God is like this unjust judge who must be badgered into hearing our prayers, and granting our requests. No! The point is not that God is like the judge. The point is that God is not like the judge. You don’thave to cajole or pester or argue or bribe God into answering your prayers. Unlike this uncaring, self-absorbed judge, God is a loving Father who is always attentive to your cries, always generous in the gifts of His grace, always ready to answer when you call on Him, always wise in His answers, with your eternal good and His glory in view.

Persistent Prayer– Cast All Your Cares on Him

If the Lord declines to give us what we ask for, or delays in giving it to us, we must trust that He knows what is best for us and will do what is best. The question is, will we persist in faith when life gets hard? Will we continue to trust Him when His answers don’t come when we want or in the way we want? Sometimes we just have to wait…

…It doesn’t matter where you are, where you go, or what you are going through. Your Heavenly Father is always just a prayer away. Jesus knew it, lived it, and taught it. He wants us to know it, too. He wants us to live it. And He wants us to pass it on to our children and our children’s children.

Cast all your cares on Him – on the Lord. Why? Because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

 

August 5, 2018

Luke 18:1-8

Dr. Neil Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)