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Praying Always

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Luke 18:1–8 NKJV
1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Prophecy Series
The Position of This Parable
Preceded by a verse about Christ’s return
Jesus had just spoke to the disciples about the end-times
reminded of Noah and sudden judgement
This passage also ends with a verse about Christ’s return
This is a Parable for Our Time - These end times
How Shall We Pray in the Last Days?
Body

Praying Instead of Fainting (v. 1)

He said we ought “always” to pray and not to lose heart
Too often people give up when circumstances seem impossible
Too often people give up when the answer seems delayed
Jesus emphasizes that we should not “lose heart” (not give up)
Personal stories here: Board meeting, Exec Director leaving, and now...
There will always be plenty of “evidence” to support quitting
But if God has given us a mission, a vision, a Word, a dream.... whose report will we believe?

The privilege of prayer

We have been given an awesome privilege
There are many invitations to pray (; )
Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV
3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
John 16:24 NKJV
24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Prayer should come first in crises ()
Hebrews 4:14–16 NKJV
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
heb4.1
Prayer gets results ()
1 John 5:11–15 NKJV
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Prayer works: many examples throughout history
George Mueller
Moravians
“This is the confidence we have in HIM...
Do you have this confidence?
When we ask, do we “know” that HE hears?
Do we “know” that we have the petitions that we ask?

Sometimes we feel like fainting

The problem is, sometimes, we all feel like “losing heart”
There are times when all strength seems gone
We have “emotions” which war against our faith
Our emotions work together with our circumstances and cloud our reason
Feelings can become overwhelming
We’re tired of the struggle
That’s when to pray; not faint

End time conditions are to be perilous ()

The bible says that times will be difficult in these days
If it seems hard now, it will only get worse until Jesus comes
Jeremiah asked “If you run with the footmen and they wearied you, how shall you contend with the horses?
The bible says that some will fall - even a great falling away from the faith
Some will be tempted to cave in
God is up to the occasion - those who know their God...
When your knees are about to give way: Pray!

Praying That Is Faithful (vs. 2–7)

Jesus gives an example of a troubled widow comes to an unjust judge
God is not unjust
Sometimes we act as if He were unjust
Have you ever doubted God’s justice?
Here Jesus meets us where we are -
even in the case of the unjust judge, the widow came back, fervently, with her petition
shall we not come to God, who is always just, with our petitions? - even through our emotions, and frustrations?

The Widow and Her Adversary

This widow had and “adversary” she was seeking the judge’s intervention for
She was helpless to overcome him herself
She was afflicted somehow by this adversary
We also have an adversary
)
1 Peter 5:7–8 NKJV
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
()
Our adversary, the devil, wants to devour you
he wants to do us harm, in every way he can
he wants to consume, destroy and withhold all of the blessings God has given us
But while we have an adversary, we also have an Advocate - Jesus Christ!
Cast all your care on Him!
The bibles has a lot of stories about Widows
Some who were weak and needy
Some for whom God intervenes
This widow had bulldog faith
She kept coming back even when she received no answer
There are times when it seems God hasn’t answered
maybe He did and we missed it
Maybe the answer was intercepted -
Maybe the answer was drowned out (by other voices, circumstances, doubt, false instructors, etc.)
Maybe we don’t know why the answer is delayed....
Will you keep praying?
The judge granted her request

Praying That Will Be Found When Jesus Comes (v. 8)

Jesus returns to the point of His parable at the end of the story
“Shall he find faith on the earth?”
A question that is not answered
Spurgeon: “If such faith is to be found, Jesus is the one to find it”
How will He find you when He comes?
Will Christ find you persistent in prayer?
Will He find you in faith?
Only prayer and faith can enable us to overcome our adversary
Conclusion
Time to Pray Persistently and Believingly
Believing Prayer Is the Need of This Time
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