1. In this verse Luke explained the lesson that Jesus was teaching in the parable that follows (vs.2-8). 2. The lesson is: "men ought always to pray, and not to faint." 3. This is a lesson we need to learn from the year 2020. 4. As we approach the end of this difficult year, perhaps this is a good time for us to be reminded of some general principles that relate to prayer. 5. The first point we want to make is that . . . Discussion: I. THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO PRAY WHEN DIFFICULTIES ARISE
A. The woman in the parable (Luke 18:2-8) approached the judge because she had an "adversary." B. Consider what God said to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:12-14. C. Bible characters who prayed when difficulties arose include: 1. Ezra (Ezra 9:5) 2. Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:1-4) 3. Jonah (Jonah 1:17-2:1). D. These verses and these Bible characters teach us to always pray and not faint. E. Let us be reminded of . . . II. WHAT PRAYER IS
A. "Prayer" is the means that we have of talking to God. B. (1 Timothy 2:1) There are various forms of communicating with God, including: 1. prayers: addresses made to God 2. supplications: asking God to supply needs (Matthew 6:11) 3. intercessions: making petitions on behalf of others (James 5:16a) 4. giving of thanks: expressions of gratitude. C. With this reminder of what prayer is, we need to point out that . . . III. ALL 3 MEMBERS OF THE GODHEAD ARE INVOLVED IN PRAYER
A. Our prayers are to be addressed to the Father (Matthew 6:9). B. Our prayers are to be addressed to the Father through the Son (John 16:23) who serves as our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). C. (Romans 8:26-27) The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf when we pray. IV. THE BIBLE ASSURES US THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
A. Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 7:7-8. B. However, we must understand that God answers our prayers according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). C. When we pray, God's answer may be: 1. "yes" (James 5:17-18) 2. "no" (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44) 3. different from ours. D. Because God may not answer our prayers according to the way we make our requests, we must pray "patiently" (Psalm 40:1) and "persistently" (Luke 18:1). E. Because God answers our prayers, we ought to pray with the confidence expressed in Psalm 86:7. F. The Scriptures affirm that God answers prayer; however, . . . V. WE MUST MEET CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR OUR PRAYERS TO BE ACCEPTABLE
A. (Matthew 21:22) We must pray "believing" [in faith]. B. (John 15:7) We must abide in Christ, and His words must abide in us. C. (James 4:3) We must pray with the proper motives. D. We must be living "righteous" lives (James 5:16b). E. We must be obedient to God's commandments (1 John 3:22). Conclusion:
1. God's children are blessed to be able to talk to Him through prayer. 2. As we conclude this lesson, are you among those who can address God as "Father?" 3. We learn from Galatians 3:26-27 how to become His children.