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83: Appropriate Prayer

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 18:1-14

Outline:

  1. Persistent Luke 18:1-8
  2. Humble Luke 18:9-14

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus continues traveling with His disciples in northern Judea and southern Galilee teaching them and smaller groups of interested Jews. The subject of the moment is prayer. God honors two things in prayer; persistence and humility. Jesus’ first parable is specifically aimed at His disciples. They are to be persistent in praying for justice. Members of God’s Kingdom will struggle receiving justice in a world that refuses to acknowledge God. The Lord will provide justice in due time. It may come quickly and it may not come until Christ returns. But justice will come. The question is whether or not faith will be present to see justice prevail. So Jesus is saying we are to be persistent in praying and asking for justice and to also be persistent in exercising our faith.

The next parable is directed at the Pharisees and Sadducees. They have a reputation of being proud and arrogant. Jesus contrasts a Pharisee and a tax collector praying. The Pharisee’s prayer is all about what he has done. He does not acknowledge or recognize God’s sovereignty and/or involvement in mens lives. The Pharisee’s prayer is all about what he has done to deserve God’s attention. The prayer of the tax collector is just the opposite. It still is about what he has done; his sinfulness. But he asks for mercy. It’s a prayer God hears and honors.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. God honors persistence and dedication. We are to pray faithfully and be faithful for God is just.
  2. God honors humility. Our prayers are not to be about what we have done but about what He has done. God is God. Treat Him as God.
  3. God’s timing is perfect. We are to be faithful, persistent, and patient.
  4. The prayer most desired by God is the prayer of a sinner asking Him for mercy.

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