Prayer – Part 1

Luke 18:1-8 GNB  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.  (2) “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. (3) And there was a widow in that same town who kept coming to him and pleading for her rights, saying, ‘Help me against my opponent!’  (4) For a long time the judge refused to act, but at last he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, (5) yet because of all the trouble this widow is giving me, I will see to it that she gets her rights. If I don’t, she will keep on coming and finally wear me out!’ ”  (6) And the Lord continued, “Listen to what that corrupt judge said. (7) Now, will God not judge in favor of his own people who cry to him day and night for help? Will he be slow to help them? (8) I tell you, he will judge in their favor and do it quickly. But will the Son of Man find faith on earth when he comes?”

Luke 18:8 TLB  Yes! He will answer them quickly! But the question is: When I, the Messiah, return, how many will I find who have faith and are praying?” 

Why would Jesus tell us to always pray if prayer does not work? Why would He also tell us to not lose heart or become discouraged when we are praying for something? 

I believe that He knew that it was a great possibility that we could get discouraged while we were praying for something.

Why did Jesus pray? 

Was it simply to be an example to us? Not necessarily. Jesus is an example for us but I believe the reason that Jesus spent much time in prayer was because He needed to pray.

Philippians 2:7 AMPC  But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 

He laid aside all of His Divinity and picked up His humanity and as a human He needed the power and direction of the Holy Spirit in His life. 

  • Jesus needed to commune and fellowship with His Father.

If Jesus, when He was on this earth needed to pray, do you think there is a possibility that we need to pray? 

Why don’t we pray more?
  • Complacency

Complacency – a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger; self-satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc. 

There are things that we could avert, change or avoid altogether if we would pray about situations. 

  • Unbelief

We really don’t believe that something is going to happen. 

If we really believed that time spent in prayer would accomplish more than time invested in other ways, we would spend that time praying. 

  • Discouragement

Perhaps, we have prayed for something that did not happen and we get discouraged.

Or it may seem that God is not moving in that situation that we are praying about and so we get discouraged. 

Two Attributes of God

There are two attributes of God that we should understand because if we understand them, they will motivate us to pray instead of not praying. 

The enemy is so subtle that he has taken these two character attributes of God and he twisted them to get us not to pray. 

  1. The Sovereignty of God

This is a characteristic of God. 

The word sovereign means supreme ruler. God is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. 

Satan has twisted this to get us to believe that because God is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, He is going to do whatever He wants to do and God’s will is going to happen no matter what we do. 

Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. 

We say, “God knows my needs, and if they are going to be met, He will just meet them.” 

Matthew 6:8 NKJV  “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 

God’s will = God’s desire. 

God’s desire is that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

2 Peter 3:9 NKJV The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

This is the will or desire of God but does that mean it is automatically going to come to pass because He is Sovereign? No. 

      • In His Sovereignty, God created us in His image with the right to choose and to have a will.

In other words, if there are those that die and go to Hell, it is not because of the will of God; it is because of our human will. 

      • Your will is going to determine how far you go in the Lord.
      • Your will is going to determine what you are going to receive from God.
      • Your will is going to determine how spiritual your family is.
      • Your will is going to determine how much you do for the Lord.

We determine our future. God has a great plan for our lives, but we determine by our will whether we experience that plan or not. 

He has given us the ability and privilege to pray, and if we pray, He is going to move on our behalf. 

He has put it in your hands. He gave the stewardship of your life to you. 

God is looking for a person to cooperate and agree with Him.

God is not going to move in your family, unless you pray. 

The reason God’s Sovereignty is a reason to pray, is because you have the right and the privilege to agree and come together in prayer with the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. 

Example: In 1 Kings 18, God told Elijah, I am going to send rain on the earth. He could have sat back and said, “Well, God said it would happen and so it will happen.” No, he prayed that it would rain. If God said He was going to do it, then why did Elijah have to pray. It was the will of God (His desire) that it rain. Elijah, knew that the way that God’s desire gets from Heaven to earth is for a man to pray that desire in the earth. 

Example: In Matthew 6, The disciples asked Jesus to teach us to pray. Jesus’ response was to instruct them to pray this way, “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

  1. The Immutability of God.

Malachi 3:6 TLB  “For I am the Lord—I do not change. That is why you are not already utterly destroyed, for my mercy endures forever. 

The enemy wants us to believe that you are not going to change God so why bother praying. 

Just because God’s character will never change does not mean He will not change His mind. 

He cannot change Who He is as a person, but He can His mind. He cannot change His character because He is perfect.

In the Bible there are many cases in the Bible where God changed His mind because people prayed. 

Moses prayed for the Children of Israel and God changed His mind about the punishment that they had incurred. 

God said something and then did not do it. He did not lie, He changed His mind. 

The story of Jonah is another example of God changing His mind. 

It was not God’s desire to destroy Nineveh but His righteous character was requiring it to happen. If it was not His desire to save Nineveh, why did He send Jonah? They repented and God changed His mind. Their will determined their future and not God. 

Ezekiel 22:30 GW  “‘I looked for someone among you who could build walls or stand in front of me by the gaps in the walls to defend the land and keep it from being destroyed. But I couldn’t find anyone. 

God is saying that these people were in sin. My Justice demanded Judgment but My Love wanted to have mercy. So I looked for a human that would pray and agree with my love, I would have had mercy. He could find no one to agree with Him and therefore His justice had to legally prevail. 

The reason to pray is that because God cannot change, this means that He will always be merciful, compassionate and want to be good to people. 

He is the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe and He can and will answer prayer. He cannot change and therefore He will always be kind, compassionate, and merciful if someone will ask Him. 

God’s will is to bless and prosper you but it will not happen if you don’t pray. 

Your prayers are the pipeline from earth to Heaven.

We need to pray and God will move when we pray.