Friday, January 13, 2017

Anonymous Quote:  Prayerlessness is declaring our independence from God.
It’s not about urgency, it’s not about priority, Prayer is about DESIRE!

What is the desire of your heart?  If it is the Lord, first, then how are your desires matching up with what God wants in your life?  This is real.  A BATTLE PLAN is needed.  We are in the battle for truth.  The battle for justice.  The battle for life – unborn to on the death bed.  The battle for time.  The battle for faith in the Lord.  Luke 18:1-8

I.   THE POWER IN PRAYER:  A believer in Christ is dependent on prayer.  A Battle Plan of Prayer is very necessary for daily living.  Opportunities for practicing faith in God and opportunities for answered prayer.  Direction.  Strength in the midst of suffering.    In the Gospels, Jesus withdrew daily to spend time in prayer.  He then taught his disciples in Matthew the Lord’s Prayer.  Paul was led on his missionary journey by the Holy Spirit.  There is no way he could have known where to go without prayer.

The problem in this passage is the injustice given by the judge to the widow.  It’s important to note that Jesus taught that this judge did not fear God nor did he respect man.  Therefore, he could care less about the welfare of anyone much less this widow.  In the book of Acts and James, we are told as believers to care for orphans and widows as well as other places.  

II.  THE PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER:  How many times have you heard a basketball coach said that “free throws win games!”  So it takes a player to shoot 25-30 a day to make sure they are persistent in a game.   Jesus is teaching to be “persistent in prayer” in this parable:  Verse 1 “all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.” And Verse 7 “His elect who cry out to Him day and night”. 

1 Thess. 5:17 – “pray without ceasing” - Romans 12:12 – “Be persistent in prayer”
By being persistent, you are demonstrating faith.  Persistence is simply another word for faith.  If you don’t have faith, you’d never persist.  The widow in this parable was persistent in her requests.  She petitions the judge over and over and it is because of this the judge grants the request.  Focus on the persistence in prayer and leave the results in the Lord.     
III.  THE PATIENCE IN PRAYER:  Sometimes we are like the judge.  No respect for man and for God when it comes to prayer.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him (Psalms 37:7). Have you prayed and prayed and waited and waited? Do you feel like there are times where you see nothing move? Sometimes you just want to give up.  Sometimes we wait and we get angry with the Lord. 

Patience in Prayer tackles our worry.  With taking out our worry, we don't let our emotions sway our faith.  In our sadness, we tend to lock out the world and the Lord.  He knows your need better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all.  If we are praying and waiting patiently, it takes works from our hands.  We are told to "believe" (John 6:29), and when you believe, you may then know that all is well.  Our desires and our wants are the Lord's, not ours.  Jesus finishes the parable by saying that when the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth.    

Pastor H.B. Charles tells the following story about a woman he knew who showed up at church and prayed the same simple prayer. "O Lord, thank you Jesus," she prayed week after week. The kids at church would start laughing every time she opened her mouth because they knew it would be the same prayer—"O Lord, thank you Jesus."  Finally somebody asked her, "Why do you pray the same little prayer?" She said, "Well, I'm just combining the two prayers that I know. We live in a bad neighborhood and some nights there are bullets flying and I have to grab my daughter and hide on the floor, and in that desperate state all I know how to cry out is, 'O Lord.' But when I wake up in the morning and see that we're okay I say, 'Thank you Jesus.' When I got to take my baby to the bus stop and she gets on that bus and I don't know what's going to happen to her while she's away, I cry, 'O Lord.' And then when 3:00 P.M. comes and that bus arrives and my baby is safe, I say, 'Thank you Jesus.'"
She said, "Those are the only two prayers I know and when I get to church God has been so good I just put my two prayers together, "O Lord, thank you Jesus."

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