Faithlife Sermons

The Challenge for 2018

Stand alone   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views

2018 is the year of prayer.

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

The week between Christmas and New Years is one of my favorite times of year!
Family
Friends
Calories don’t even count. It’s amazing.
Sooner or later though, we all come to grips with the fact that we must prepare for a New Year. There is great significance in starting a new year.
Our God is a God of fresh starts. He is ready and willing to lead you and I through new horizons.
If you were to come up with one thing to do better for yourself in 2018, what would it be?
Keep it simple.
What about our church? What would be a goal for our entire congregation to focus on in 2018?

1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

2 saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.

3 “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’

4 “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,

5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will bwear me out.’ ”

6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said;

7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?

8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Prayer according to the Baker Bible Dictionary is “Offering up our desires unto God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of His mercies"
The Lexham Bible Dictionary says that prayer is "Communication with God, primarily offered in the 2nd person voice. May include petition, entreaty, supplication, thanksgiving, praise, hymns, lament.”
Offering up our desires unto God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of His mercies"
Let’s come up with our own FBC Jayton definition. “Prayer is telling God the desires of our hearts and expecting God to answer.”
"Communication with God, primarily offered in the 2nd person voice. May include petition, entreaty, supplication, thanksgiving, praise, hymns, lament.
The desire of our hearts must be aligned with the desire of Gods heart. When this happens, there is no limit to what God can do through this body of believers.
I believe that 2018 will be the year we all look back on and see that our prayers were heard by God and He provided results that changed the entire direction of our community.
We can learn from the parable of the persistent widow.
Parable - A story or saying that illustrates a truth using comparison, hyperbole, or simile. Can be a model, analogy, or example
Parable - A story or saying that illustrates a truth using comparison, hyperbole, or simile. Can be a model, analogy, or example
What lessons can we learn about prayer?

1. Prayer is not a hidden agenda. (v. 1)

Jesus is not compared to an unrighteous judge. This parable is of the “how much more...” variety. If a wicked man will sometimes do good, even if from bad motives, how much more will God do right?

Jesus is not compared to an unrighteous judge. This parable is of the “how much more...” variety. If a wicked man will sometimes do good, even if from bad motives, how much more will God do right?
Luke tells us the answer to this parable from the beginning. God does not want people to give up when they pray. They are to pray often.
There is no indication of time, but when praying people see no sign of the answer they long for, it is easy for them to be discouraged, but they must pray and not lose heart. this teaching went beyond the Jews, who tended to limit the times of prayer lest they weary God. The difficulties of life may tempt one to give up on prayer, but one should continue in prayer until the very end.
“all times” - night and day
There is no indication of time, but when praying people see no sign of the answer they long for, it is easy for them to be discouraged, but they must pray and not lose heart. this teaching went beyond the Jews, who tended to limit the times of prayer lest they weary God. The difficulties of life may tempt one to give up on prayer, but one should continue in prayer until the very end.
“lose heart” - become faint
I’ve been a part of way too many church planning meetings and not enough church prayer meetings.
God’s plan for the church is for the church to pray. Before a church begins to plan, scheme, or do anything, there must an earnest desire for prayer.
We cannot give up on prayer. It is the first line of defense for every Christian and for every Church.
E.M. Bounds
"If God is not the first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, he will be in the last place the remainder of the day."
"If God is not the first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, he will be in the last place the remainder of the day."
"The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men of prayer."
Luke is not denying that God has a clear agenda for us. We must continue to pray and never give up.

2. Prayer is meant to be persistent. (v. 2-5)

E.M. Bounds
A “judge” - controlled by his own ideas and inclinations.
A “widow” - symbol of helplessness.
She was in no position to bribe the judge and she had no protector to put pressure on him. She was armed with nothing. It is obvious that she had what was right on her side. She asked for justice and not for vengeance.
Her strongest defense was her persistence.
“came” kept coming
“feared not” defying the vengeance of God and despising the opinions of man.
Her persistence eventually wore the judge down. In the end, he did as she asked for no other reason than wanting to be rid of her. He did not want her to wear him out.
The verb for “wear me out” lit. means “give me a black eye” . “To strike under the eye.”
He was tired of her bothering him. He intentionally exaggerated his fear.
Physics at DBU.
Do our prayers look this way? Do we desire to see men and women know Jesus to the point that we won’t stop praying until God makes it happen?
The prayers of the church must be persistent. We must ask God to do what others may see as impossible!

3. Prayer will be answered. (v. 6-8)

Even the unjust judge can sometimes do justice, how much more should we expect our God to vindicate His people?
God’s people are called for service and cry out to Him day and night. They recognize that their only hope is in God. Even if God delays the vindication, He is doing it with a gracious purpose but He will quickly grant justice. If we know that our prayers will eventually be answered, why would anyone give up on prayer?
Who are God’s elect? The church! We are not like the widow in this story who was an object of indifference, but people who the apple of Gods eye.
Every cry from a Christian enters the ear of the Lord.
Vindication will be done speedily. We should understand this in terms of Gods time (one day is thousand years and a thousand years is one day). Jesus is speaking of the certainty of speedy action when the time comes.
Jesus is not suggesting that there will be no believers when He returns. He is saying that the characteristics of the worlds people at that time will not be of faith.
No one will ever be able to question God’s faithfulness, they can only question if whether human beings will be faithful to the end.

18 With all prayer and petition bpray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, dbe on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

gives a description of the Christians equipment for conflict. Paul says with each piece of armour, put on prayer.
Every incident of live is to be dealt with in prayer. We must be disciplined and constant.
True Christian prayer is in the Spirit. We are given a helper who can provide assistance in our prayer. Christians are not to just think of their own spirit conflict, but be concerned for the whole church, and for the victory of others in the fight.
Paul constantly asked the churches to pray for him. He wanted prayer that the gospel would break through.
“Boldly” - to make known
“Mystery” - secret purpose that God intends to put into effect in His kingdom.
How do we know if we are praying in God’s will?
Until He gives a definitive no, keep on! Pray with the kingdom of God in mind. Ask God to do amazing things in the lives of others.

The Challenge of 2018

I am challenging FBC Jayton to believe in the power of prayer and to make their actions reflect that belief.
Pray individually and collectively. Silently, vocally, in secret, and in public.
I believe that when we begin to pray boldly, we will see an amazing act of the Holy Spirit.
Related Media
Related Sermons