COMMUNICATIONS CLINIC: JESUS TEACHES ON PRAYER
Lesson #6 – KEEP PRAYING – LUKE 18:1-8
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Colossians 4:2 – Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Ephesians 6:18 – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
1 Peter 4:7 – But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
· What are some things that you do that you have been doing for a long time and expect to do as long as you can?
· Why should prayer be something that we continue to do? The verses listed above should help you answer this question.
· Why do some Christians never really get into the prayer habit?
· Why do some Christians stop the prayer habit?
Like eating, sleeping, and breathing, praying should be something we are committed to doing until the day we die. Using a prayer parable, Jesus encourages us to keep on praying.
A PURPOSEFUL PARABLE – Vs. 1
· We are not always told why Jesus gives a parable, but in this case we are.
· Jesus told the parable because he just talked about tough times coming before His return. (Luke 17:22-37) He didn’t want his followers to “faint” or “lose heart” when things looked particularly bleak.
· What does it mean to always pray or to pray “without ceasing”? Does this mean that the only thing I am to do is pray?
· How will a lack of steady prayer cause us to “faint” or “lose heart”?
A PERVERTED JUDGE – Vs. 2
· Why is the fear of God an important attribute for a judge? Do you think that a lack of reverence for God has impacted our judicial system? 2 Chronicles 19:6-7 – And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
· Why is regard for man another important attribute for being a good judge?
A PERSISTENT WIDOW – Vs. 3
· This widow was looking for justice. She had a legitimate legal appeal.
· What factors would have been “stacked up” against this widow?
· The widow did not come just once to the judge. She kept appealing to the judge.
A POSITIVE RESULT – Vss. 4-5
· Vs. 4 – For whatever reason the judge ignored the widow. But she would not be ignored. She kept pursuing him for justice.
· Vs. 5 – The judge finally gave in. He gave in because he didn’t want her to weary him, or blacken his eye. The idea was to hit as a boxer did and leave damage around the eye.
A PERSONAL APPLICATION – Vss. 6-8a
· Vs. 6 – In what way may God appear to be like the unrighteous judge?
· Vs. 7 – How is God different from the unrighteous judge?
· Why does God delay his answers to prayer? Romans 8:28, James 1:2-4, 2 Peter 3:8-9
· Who is God dealing with when we pray? How does this encourage you? John 1:12 – But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Galatians 4:6-7 – And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
· Vs. 8a – To “avenge speedily” does not mean there is no delay. It means when God acts He will act in a decisive, speedy way. How have you seen God answer prayer in a decisive way?
A PERPLEXING QUESTION – Vs. 8b
· This appears to be a rhetorical question designed to challenge the disciples and us.
· Of course there will be faith on the earth when Jesus comes, although most of the world will be unbelieving.
· Jesus seems to be asking if there was going to be the kind of praying going on that the widow evidenced in this parable. Are God’s people going to be showing their faith by their continued prayer?
· Also note that the woman’s prayer was for justice. What are some of the things that we can pray for that are cries for justice?