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BE PERSISTENT IN PRAYER

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persistence in prayer

TEXT:  LUKE 18:1-8

Persistence is vital to prayer. While God is not reluctant, prayer develops intimacy with God. Our greatest need is this intimacy; it is more than our need for anything else, no matter how desperate we are.

When we spend time regularly and be consistent with God, we learn to place our trust in him and grow deeper in our understanding of who God is.

Persistence is very important because of the spiritual nature of prayer.  Maybe that battle is only to draw us closer to God, while we are more concerned to search for only our own material needs.  Persistence involves persevering in our commitment and faith, even when tempted to trust in our own understanding and strength.

“MEN OUGHT TO PRAY ALWAYS”

Prayer is more than uttering words with our mouth. It also involves the desires of our hearts. To “always pray” means to be in constant communion with God and not lose heart while seeking him.

To illustrate the need to always pray, Jesus told a parable about a woman and an unjust judge (verses 2-3).

Under the law, Judges were expected to fear God. But the Roman Magistrates were o often corrupt and even sought for bribes on many occasions. They failed to respect the beliefs of the Jewish people or their personality. Jesus did not disclose much about the widow. She was probably poor and likely could not afford a bribe.  Amid her difficulties, an enemy was trying to harm her in some way. Since she could not afford any bribe, she had only one choice; continue to approach the judge.

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In the midst of wickedness, sin, oppression, and injustice in the world today, we also have no viable option except to continually approach God. While we wait for the answer to our prayer, we must develop our hearts to align with God’s will and purpose for our lives, we shall not be weary of calling out to him regardless of our circumstances.

Jesus intended this parable to encourage us not to lose heart and perhaps even doubt God’s love on us when the answer to our prayer does not come as expected.

JUSTICE GRANTED

The description of the judge in Luke 18:4-8, suggests this would have been a secular court official common to that day. Such a judge could be accessed easily and would be approached by those unable to take their cases to the high religious court. Thus, he would be inundated with requests from people like the widow.

The passage indicates that this judge got weary of her frequent pleading and decided to grant her request. He was not concerned for her but simply annoyed, responding to her disturbance.

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The significance of this parable is very clear; if the unjust judge was willing to grant justice to this widow because of her pleading, how much more can our loving and righteous God be trusted to hear and respond to his people?  The answer is he can be thoroughly trusted to act on our behalf whenever we face trouble and injustice (verses 7-8). We must be willing, however, to place our confidence in him.

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PERSISTENT PRAYER THE KEY TO ALL CHALLENGES OF LIFE

While this parable teaches the importance of prayer and continually coming before God, it also highlights the reality of injustice for believers in a World full of inequities.  We sometimes experience ridicule and intimidation from those who hate Christianity.   In spite of these attacks,  we know God will ultimately judge evil and vindicate his people. The unjust judge was impatient with the widow. But God is loving and patient with his children as they bring their needs to him.  God will vindicate his children.

We must persevere,  having the assurance that God will bring justice and answer to our cries for help.

We must also develop the attitude of believing every word of assurance from God. 1 John 5:14-15, says “If we ask anything according to his will,  he heareth us; And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

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