In March, we at Gravity Church looked at prayer.
Let’s look in Scripture at Luke 18 verses 1 to 8. See below:
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
The message begins in prayer and we dive right into our teaching.
What is prayer? Prayer is communication with God, the Creator of the universe! This parable indicates to us that we are to pray.
When to pray? At all times. What happens when we lose heart about a situation in our lives? This is when we often stop praying or have prayer at the bottom of our to do list. When hopeless or losing heart, this parable indicates that this is the time to PRAY!
This parable gives us a couple of characters to examine. One being the judge. This judge does not hear God or regard men. The widow, she loses her husband and this would invoke sympathy in most. Verse 4 tells us the weariness that the judge begins to experience by the consistent request of this widow.
When we pray, the most important thing is the character of the One to whom we are praying to. Many religions and belief systems have prayer as a function. However, it is essential to know the character of Him who we are praying to- whether it be in praise, for healing, for direction, for forgiveness, for freedom. God will listen and not become weary with our consistent requests.
How do we appear before God? We appear before Him as His children. Our Father will always be available for our call!
Prayer should be an automatic reaction to the circumstances within our lives. Have you experienced prayer in action? Do you consider coincidence as simply coincidence or the hand of God? Or as fulfillment or movement of prayer?
As Christians, we can take coincidence out of our vocabulary and deem it as the work of God.
Here are six reasons why people don’t pray:
- Don’t have time
- Do not see immediate results
- Do not believe it makes a difference
- Do not audibly receive a response
- Do not believe it is important
- There is no God
What is prayer? Simply put, it is communication with God. Talking with God, connecting with God’s heart.
Refer again to Luke 18 verses 1 to 8.
Jesus uses parables, a picture that becomes a mirror that becomes a window. When you look at it, it’s a picture of something else, it is actually a mirror of something in your own life, yet it reveals something, becoming a window. Learning something about the character of God. “Always to pray and not lose heart!”. Do not give up on prayer and do not lose heart in your situation.
Is there a situation that you have prayed about? Something that you may have lost heart over? We can often give up on prayer. The reason this parable is in the Bible is to encourage and tell you to pray and not be discouraged.
When hopeless or losing heart, this is the very time to be praying and seeking. Prayer is a glimmer of faith.
Verse 2. What matters here is the character of the judge. He doesn’t fear God or regard man. There is the suggestion that this may be the worst choice for a judge. In this God is showing stark contrast between His character as a judge and this judge.
Second character is a widow. It is unclear as to how she lost her husband, all we know is he is gone. The widow is in the same city and she comes to the judge.
What do we know about the adversary? Not much.
Verse 4. The judge is becoming weary. The Greek word for weary is a boxing term. A picture of someone being pummelled. Constant flow of persistent and consistent requests.
For a while, the judge does not care and is not responsive. However, over time, the widow continues hoping, praying, pressing and pursuing the judge for the desired outcome.
The judge finally comes to a point. This just has to end!
There is a direct contrast between the character of God and the character of the judge:
Even a judge who does not care for a persons’ needs or for justice bends towards the persistence of the widow, how much more will a Father, a judge who desires so much more for us and cares for us will desire to give us?
When you are in relationship with God as your Father, God gives us access to Him as kids. No matter what, where or when, we have access to the Lord.
Scripture tells us that as believers, we are the Bride of Christ. A widow feels alone, a bride does not. The widow approaches the judge alone and we never approach God the judge alone, we have an advocate; Jesus! To help, the widow goes to a court of law. We approach a throne of grace!
What prayer can become and this is evidenced in other religions but is beginning to permeate the Christian church as well. Now prayer becomes mantra prayer, or repetition. This is a meeting in the middle of Christianity and New Ageism. The belief that simply stating the same thing over and over or throughout all circumstances, this is prayer.
Prayer is diverse and it is a conversation! True prayer is faith that through Jesus, God hears our prayers and cares about our prayers.
When the Son of Man comes will He really find faith on the earth??! He is looking for faith in me, in you right now!
Hebrews 11 verse 1.
Switch gears: Here are four gifts to choose from.
1. The original Mona Lisa
2. Keys to a brand new Lamborghini
3. Million dollars in cash
Each of us can only pick one. Here is another note of information to ensure you make the right choice. 10 000 feet and you need the parachute.
The only one of the four gifts that would benefit or help you.
The others may have value, but do not have any benefit against the law of gravity.
Think about the four major religions:
If we are given each of these, what would you choose? All of humanity face eternity. One out of one people will die! 150 000 people on this earth will face eternity by the end of the day! Fear helped to make the right choice. We know what the law of gravity will do.
We can let fear work for us.
After death, we have to face the law of sin and death. This is the Biblical perspective. The following is a questioning and a review of the Ten Commandments. When we face judgement,
Have you loved God above all??
Made a god in your own mind? This is idolatry. Idolaters will not enter into heaven.
Used the Lords’ name in vain?
Honoured your parents completely??
Maintained a day off that is dedicated every week for the Lord?
Have you never liked someone? Hatred, the root of murder.
God knows our inner heart and He cares about us!!
Had sex before marriage? Fornication?
Ninth commandment, lied?
If we’ve broken even one law, then we have broken all of it!
Confess sin to the Lord. How do we do this? PRAYER?! Important in the area of our sin.
Matthew 12 verse 36. We will give an account for ALL on the day of judgement.
John 3 verse 36.
Let’s look back at the main religions addressed previously:
Hinduism- if you have been bad, come back as an animal. Good, come back as a prince.
In perspective of our plane analogy: If you jump out of the plane you will be somehow sucked back into the plane- good= first class, bad= economy class.
Buddhism- denies that God even exists. Life and death are somewhat an illusion.
Analogy: Standing at the door of the plane, there is no gravity or no land.
Islam- acknowledges the reality of sin and hell. The hope it offers that sinners can escape God’s judgement when good works are done. Works will be weighed at judgement.
Analogy: Like jumping out of the plane and flapping your arms against a ten thousand foot drop.
Opportunity to respond.
Please view the link attached to this summary. What a powerful message. How powerful, truly is prayer! Praise God and all His people said, AMEN!
Next report….. Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?!?!?!