Dedicated To The Men of God Who Preach the Word of God As It Is To Men As They Are

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"Preach The Word"


TEXT:      Luke 18:1-8
In his book, No Easy Answers, W.L. Craig tells the story of a time when
he was painting a friend’s house.  They had a little black dog, who
would go to the back door and bark and bark until someone finally got
the message, and let it out.  One day, he said, he was painting, while
everyone else was gone.  Their little dog, however, took up his station
at the back door, and barked incessantly all day.  The tragedy was that,
it never dawned in his little brain that all of his barking was totally
useless, because no one was home to hear! 

In much the same way, many times we, as God’s children, wonder if
anyone is at home.  We know to pray, and we do pray; yet, it seems as
if, in spite of all of our praying, that there’s no one around to
listen.  It seems, at times, as if God is asleep, and He doesn’t hear
us.  No doubt, in times like these, we would strongly concur with the
words of Joseph Parker, when he said, "The prayer closet is the
battlefield, and prayer is the battle!"
The inevitable question we must answer, this morning, is, "What do we
do when it seems that our prayers fall on deaf ears?"  "What should we
do though there seems to be no answer?"  In Luke 18, Jesus answers these questions, in a very Christ-like manner, by telling us to "Keep Prayin’
Till The Answer Comes!"  Briefly, I want you to notice the three stages
of these eight verses.  We see, first of all, the:

In this very familiar verse, of our text, Jesus discusses what seemed to
be the disciples problem, as well as, our problem today.  He breaks it
into two categories, by discussing the:

A.  AREA OF WATCHFULNESS   "ought always pray"
1.  The first problem, and area that He addresses is the area of
ALWAYS(lit.):  "to be ready, on guard, or to be watchful"
PICTURE:  Of an officer on duty constantly watching, and in surveillance
2.  Thus, the Lord Jesus exhorts us to be ready, to be on guard, and to
be watchful in our prayer life.
3.  Several times, through the Word of God, we are exhorted, and
reminded to "always" be in prayer.
c.f. Eph. 6:18—"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in
the Spirit…"
    I Thess. 5:17—"Pray without ceasing."
4.  Are we being told that we’re to always, twenty-four hours a day, be
on our knees, in our prayer closet?
5.  I ask you, is it reasonable to believe that we’re able to spend
every hour of every day on our knees, with heads bowed and eyes closed?
6.  Certainly not!  The secret, and the idea here is that we’re to
always be in the attitude and atmosphere of prayer.
7.  You see, prayer is an opportunity!  It is an opportunity for us to
be in touch, and fellowship with the Father.  Thus, it ought to be as
natural to us as breathing is.  We’re to be ready, on guard, and
watching unto prayer, and communion with the Lord.

B.  AREA OF WEARINESS     "..not to faint"
1.  He not only discusses the problem by addressing the area of
watchfulness, but also, the area of weariness.
FAINT(lit.):  "to lose heart, to become slothful, to grow weary"
IDEA:  Of someone losing their initial enthusiasm over something over
SAME WORD FOUND IN Galatians 6:9, where Paul exhorted us, by saying,
   "And let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we
    shall reap, if we faint not."
2.  Thus, he informs us that while prayer is an opportunity, it also an
3.  Simply put, we have a choice to make.  We can either be Watchful to
Prayer, or Weary in Prayer!  The decision is ours to make.

     No doubt, some of you this morning, have prayed for years for God
to do something in your life.  Right now, you’re at the point of saying,
"What’s the use?"  Well, the Lord Jesus tells us that there’s a multiple
choice test for us to take.  A:  We become Watchful! Or  B:  We become
4.  God demands, and desires that we pray.  However, He does not develop it within us.  It is our choice.  The great writer, Oswald Chambers,
described this choice well, by saying, "Men ought always to pray, and
not lose heart!"
5.  Therefore, the choice to be made is ours.  We can either focus on
the Area of Watchfulness, or fall to the Area of Weariness. That’s the
Problem that is Discussed!

In the next four verses, Jesus does, as he does quite often, and He
explains the point of verse 1, by use of a parable.  This parable has
been referred to as the parable of the "unjust judge and the demanding
lady!"  In it, we see:

A.  A DEVIOUS MAN     (v. 2)
1.  It doesn’t take long to read this verse, and see, that this judge
was a devious man.  He had:
a.  Here is a man who had no respect for spiritual things.
b.  He was anti-God, had no fear of God, and cared not for the things of

     A sad, but excellent picture of this judge, today, is Ted Turner,
the cable television millionaire.  Turner, at the American Humanist
Association banquet, where he received an award for his work on the
environment and world peace, openly criticized fundamental
Christianity.  He said, "Jesus would be sick at his stomach over the way
his ideas have been twisted."  He went on to say, "I’ve been saved seven
or eight times.  But, I gave up on it, when, despite my prayers, my
sister died.  The more I strayed from my faith, the better I felt!"2
c.  In much the same way, this judge had no respect for the spiritual.
a.  Not only did he have no respect for the spiritual, but he had no
regard for the natural.
b.  He was unprincipled, and unbridled.  He was loose, and lawless. He
had no manners, or morals.
c.  He had no care, concern, or compassion for his fellow man.  He
didn’t respect the spiritual nor regard the natural.  He was a devious

B.  A DILIGENT WOMAN     (v. 3-5) Not only do we see, in this parable, a devious man, but a diligent
woman.  Her diligence is displayed because of the:

a.  It’s quite easy to see that this dear widow faced great opposition,
and resistance.
     The parable now unfolds as we see this widow woman approaching the
judge for some help, and relief from her problem, and her adversaries.
In those day, it was a common occurrence for the widows to be neglected,
abused, and mistreated.  She seeks help, from the only source available
to her:  a wicked judge.  Though he is devious, and cares not for God or
man, that’s the only place she could turn.
b.  Therefore, it’s very obvious, that this lady was hitting her head
against a wall.  She wasn’t getting anywhere with this wicked, devious
judge.  She faced great resistance.

     In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of
413 famous and exceptionally gifted people, called Cradles of Eminence.
They spent years attempting to understand what produced such greatness
in these peoples’ lives.  Surprisingly, the most outstanding fact was
that virtually all of them, 392 out of 413, had faced extremely
difficult obstacles, and problems, in order to become who they were.  
c.  If that was any indication, this woman would’ve been one of the
greatest women that ever lived.  She faced an unyielding, unwilling, and
uncaring judge.  That’s the Resistance She Faced!"

a.  Not only did this woman face resistance, she also forged resilience.
b.  Notice the words, in verse 5, to describe her resilience:  "this
widow troubleth me…her continual coming.."
TROUBLETH(lit.):  "to hold out, to present, or to offer"
IDEA:   To persistently be the cause of someone to give in to something
c.  Thus, we see that though this widow, at first, received no help,
despite her continual pleading: her perseverance, and her dedication,
and her resilience eventually paid off.  Though he tuned her out, she
just kept coming, and coming, and coming until he offered to help her.

     John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher, encountered many times
of refusal, and denial, during his early years in the ministry.  He
logged a few of these instances in his diary:
Sunday A.M., May 5:Preached in St. Anne’s.  Asked not to come back.
Sunday P.M., May 5:Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said, "Get out,
and    stay  out!"
Sunday A.M., May 12:Preached in St. Jude’s.  Can’t go back there either.
Sunday P.M., May 19:Preached in St. Somebody Else’s.  Deacons
called     special meeting, and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday A.M., May 26:Preached on street.  Kicked off street.
Sunday A.M., June 2:Preached at the edge of town.  Kicked off highway.
Sunday P.M., June 2:Preached in a pasture.  Ten thousand came.
d.  You see, friend, if you and I are to get an answer, it may take some
action.  Consistent, and Persistent action!
e.  I believe that George Mueller, the great prayer warrior said it
well, when he said, "The great fault of the children of God is, they do
not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not
f.  Though she encountered a devious man, who had no respect for the
spiritual, and no regard for the natural.  She was a diligent woman, who
faced resistance, and who forged resilience.  She kept asking until the
answer came.  That’s the Parable that is Delivered!

Jesus now gives us the moral of the story.  He now defines the
principle, and in verse 6, turns our attention back to "what the unjust
judge saith."  Thus, He defines the principle, by showing us:

1.  In this wonderful verse, Jesus answers a question, by asking a
2.  In so doing, He’s drawing a comparison between an unrighteous judge,
and a righteous King.
3.  It takes no theologian to see that there is no comparison; however,
that’s just the point Jesus is trying to make.  If a devious, devilish,
and despicable judge would avenge and relieve a woman of her adversary;
then, would not our divine, delightful, and delicate King do the same.
4.  Many writers believe that what Jesus is referring to here is
"prevailing prayer."  If that be the case, we need not believe that, if
we keep praying, we’re belaboring, bothering, or bugging God.  But, the
point He’s wishing to make is that if this judge heard the cry of this
woman, then He does, and will hear the cry of His children "which cry
day and night."  That’s the Gracious Comparison!

1.  We see, here, a blessed promise in the first part of this verse.
2.  He answered His own question, in verse 7; however, now he re-affirms
it, by saying, "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily."
3.  What a hope, what a promise, what a confidence to know that our
prayers are not falling on deaf ears!  That’s the Glorious Confidence!

1.  We move now from the gracious comparison, and the glorious
confidence, to the genuine concern.
2.  Again, Jesus makes a profound statement by asking a question, "when
the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
3.  It seems as if, again, that we are faced with a choice.  For this
question is hanging in the uncertain, and the unanswered arena.
4.  The key to understanding what’s being asked is in the word "faith."
Literally, in the original text, you would read it as "the faith."
5.  Thus, "the faith", being referred to is "the faith" that has already
been discussed.
6.  You see, friend, prayer is faith.  It takes faith for us to talk to
a God we’ve never seen, and trust Him for an answer we know not about.
7.  Simply put, "prayer is not faith professed, but faith expressed!"  
8.  Therefore, the question is, "when the Son of Man cometh, shall he
find the faith, of men involved in the blessed privilege of expressing
themselves, without halt, or hindrance, to the Father.
9.  As Ray Stedman so eloquently put it, "Prayer is the true expression
of faith, and to fail in this is inevitably to stop talking with God,
and to start talking about God!"  4
10.   I ask you, this morning, if He were to come today, would He find
you expressing this faith.  Would He find you praying?  That’s the
question.  That’s the Genuine Concern.  That’s the Principle that is

     While crossing the Atlantic, on an oceanliner, F.B. Meyer was asked
to address the passengers on the subject of answered prayer.  An
agnostic, who was present at the service was asked, "What did you think
of Dr. Meyer’s sermon?"  To which he replied, "I didn’t believe a word
of it."
     Later that afternoon, the agnostic was on his way to another
service, just to hear, as he put it, what the "babbler had to say."  He
put two oranges in his pocket, and as he walked toward the meeting
place, he passed an elderly woman, who was sitting in her chair, fast
asleep.  In the spirit of fun, the man slipped those two oranges into
her outstretched palms.
     After the meeting, he saw the old lady happily eating one of those
oranges.  He remarked, "You seem to be enjoying those oranges ma’am!"
To which she replied, "Yes sir, my Father is very good to me!"  He said,
"Your Father?  Surely you father can’t still be alive!"  She exclaimed,
"Praise God, He’s very much alive!"  She then went on to explain it to
the agnostic, and said, "You see, I’ve been sea sick for days.  I was
asking God to somehow send me an orange to help ease my sickness.  I
suppose I fell asleep while I was praying.  However, when I woke up, I
found that He had not only sent me one orange, but two!"  To this
response, the agnostic was speechless.  Later on that same cruise, he
was converted to Christ, and was made a believer that God answers

Friend, have you prayed, and prayed, and there still seems to be no
answer.  Does it seem as if God is asleep, and absent from your cry.
Well, the Lord Jesus has given us the solution by Discussing the
Problem, Delivering the Parable, and Defining the Principle.  Therefore,
don’t give up, don’t lose heart, don’t quit now, but just "Keep Prayin’
Till The Answer Comes!"

1.  No Easy Answers., W.L. Craig., Moody., 1990., p. 43.
2.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution., May 1, 1990.
3.  Holy Sweat., Tim Hansel., 1987., Word Publishers., p. 134.
4.  Why Pray?, Studies in Prayer from the N.T., Ray Stedman., Feb. 2,


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