Persistent Prayer – Luke 18:1-8 ESV, Pastor Colin Munroe

Persistent Prayer

Luke 18:1-8 ESV

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

  • Why does Jesus intentionally use a widow in this Parable?
    • They were one of the neediest members of society.
    • Caring for them has always been high on God’s list.
    • In the 1st century widow’s voice was often unheard.
    • Usually no husband and no advocacy.
  • The widow symbolizes the perception of the 1st century culture.
    • That when it comes to prayer we must petition like this.
      • Because we have no voice or status
      • We must become a perceived annoyance.
      • Beat God down to get our perceived justice.

Luke 18:1 ESV

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

  • Here is what Jesus wants His listeners to know and understand.
  • Prayer is how we don’t lose heart!
  • Have you ever felt like giving up?
  • Have you ever felt like giving in?
  • Have you ever lost hope?
  • Have you ever got weary in the battle?
  • Jesus just finished describing His demise and return.
  • Jesus just described the dark context they would face and gives them the necessary discipline to not lose heart. Pray!
  • Prayer is where we find out perspective, hope and strength!
  • Prayer is where the Lord imparts His heart and power.
  • If our prayer life is weak so will we.

Luke 18:2-5 ESV

He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

  • Is this the relationship we have with our heavenly Father in prayer?
  • It is our poor perception of our Father’s heart that hinders our prayers.
  • God is not the best version of us, He is so much better!
  • Our heavenly Father sees us, knows us, loves us and hears us.
  • If we are in Christ the curtain is torn!
  • We are not widows or orphans in prayer.
  • We are dearly loved children that have the Father’s ear and heart.
  • Our Father never refuses an opportunity with us.
  • If this widow got her request how confident should we be in prayer.
  • When it comes to justice we can always count on God!

Luke 18:6-7 ESV

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

  • We must trust the Lord and His timing!
  • We are God’s chosen ones, His children and He is a good Father!
  • We come to Him in prayer as a faithful loving Father!
  • The widow lacked access to the Judge we are invited in!

Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:19-22 (ESV)
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

  • We have understanding and advocacy in Jesus!

1 John 2:1 (ESV)
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

  • We have been given intimate access.
  • We even have help to pray according to His will in the Holy Spirit!

 Luke 18:8 ESV

I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

  • Prayer is one of the greatest statements of faith!
  • Remember who our Heavenly Father is when you pray!

1 John 5:14-15 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

  • Seek the Lord in prayer so you don’t grow weary and lose heart!

Prayer