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Men Ought Always to Pray
Luk 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
Luk 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The Purpose of The Parable
The purpose of this parable is to give assurance that God will hear and answer our prayers. Jesus says that men ought always to pray and not faint - which means to not grow weary because He will answer.
Ought does not mean prayer is optional as in men ought to pray but if they don't then that is OK. Ought in this verse means necessary. The meaning of the text is that men, if they want to receive from God, must pray.
Men Ought Always to Pray
The always means that we pray about everything, anything, all things, the whole.
Jesus tells us to not become discouraged, to not allow life to bring us to the place where we no longer pray. Continue to pray for God says He will answer your prayers.
A Word About Answers to Prayer
One reason for discouragement in prayer is that God does not always answer our prayer in the way we think He should. We must never become discouraged in the way God answers our prayers. We do the praying, God does the answering, and we leave it at that. We have His promise that He is going to both hear and answer our prayers, so how and when He answers we leave to Him. We let Him be God.
The Unjust Judge
The unjust judge does not care about man, He does not care about God. He does not care about doing the right thing. He cares only about his life.
The widow was a woman without power or status. She had no means and she had no position within her culture. She was completely dependent on the unjust judge who cared nothing for her, cared nothing for her needs, cared nothing for her life, and cared nothing about her future. But she prevailed.
We have a covenant relationship with God whereby we are made acceptable to Him. He answers our prayers because we have been made favorable to Him. Jesus said that God sees us as the elect, and chosen before the world began to Salvation. It is because we have been made perfectly right with Him that He will answer our prayers!
If the widow can prevail with an unjust judge who cared nothing for her how much more can we prevail with God who loves His children. Unlike the unjust judge, God loves us. He redeemed us, and we have been translated into His kingdom. The contrast between the uncaring and unjust judge and our loving Heavenly Father gives assurance that He is going to hear and answer our prayers.
Pray for Results
The widow refused to quit asking, she would not be denied. We don't know how many times the unjust judge denied her request, but in the end her request was granted. If the unjust judge will hear her prayer then how much more will God hear the prayers of His people who cry before Him day and night. So, dear Christian, press on, God loves you and He has promised to hear and to answer your prayers.
A Sobering Question
Jesus asks, Even though God will hear and answer prayer, will He, Jesus, find faith when He returns. Will He find people who will pray until they get the answer. Many pray, but few know how to prevail upon God. This is what Jesus is asking - on His return, how many will be receiving answers to their prayers?
Reasons for Unanswered Prayer
- Ongoing, willful and unrepentant sin-God will not hear us Isa 59:1-2
- Double mindedness-not really believing what God says; James 1:7-8
- Treating our wives badly; 1Pet 3:7
- Requesting things to consume on our lusts; James 4:3
- Praying out of the will of God, asking for things that may not be wrong but are not His will. Pauls thorn. 2Cor 12:7-9
- Sometimes God hides Himself and we have to wait. Psa 13:1-2
God bless you,