September 27, 2015
Dr. Montia Setzler, Senior Pastor
Series: Stand Strong
The Power of Answered Prayer
Luke 18:1–8 (HCSB)
1 He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: 2 “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. 3 And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ ” 6 Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? 8 I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”
1. NEVER GIVE UP ON PRAYER—PRAY PERSISTENTLY!
v 1 “He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged. . .”
- • We are admonished to “pray always.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (HCSB)
- • Prayer is not the last resort, it is the first line of defense.
2. PRAY LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ASKING—PRAY CONFIDENTLY!
- • Persisting in prayer helps us clarify what we are asking.
- • Sometimes we give up too early in our prayers.
- • Continuing in prayer helps me focus on God.
Jeremiah 29:13 (HCSB)
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
3. PRAY WHILE YOU PREPARE FOR THE ANSWER—PRAY EXPECTANTLY!
- • Keep praying, expecting God to give you an answer.
1 John 5:14–15 (HCSB)
14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.
- • Sometimes God delays His answer because He has more than we are asking in store for us.
Ephesians 3:20 (HCSB)
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us . . .
4. PRAY KNOWING THAT IT WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH—PRAY FAITHFULLY!
v 8 “I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”
- • Prayer and faith go hand in hand.
- • Persistent praying helps build our faith.
Galatians 6:9 (HCSB)
So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.
- • The question remains whether or not we will continue in prayer long enough to be found faithful.
This parable goes deeper than showing persistent prayer as a virtue. The question is do we have enough faith to persist in prayer until we hear from God and to act on what we hear?