Luke 18:1-8-Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer…specifically to pray and not become discouraged when they don’t immediately receive an answer. He illustrates it by telling them about a judge who refused to hear a widow’s request. Finally, he did so because she would not leave him alone (:3-“kept coming”, :5-“bothers me”, :5-“continually coming”). The point: if an evil man (the judge “did not fear God, and did not respect man”, :2,4) hears the requests of people, how much more will God hear the requests of His people. Notice that God’s people “cry to Him day and night” (:7). As a result, God responds is to “not delay long over the” (:7) and to act “for them speedily” (:8-this does not necessarily mean immediately, but it happens it do so quickly). The question Jesus poses in verse 8 is: When He comes, will people still be living obediently (in faith) even though they may not have received an answer to their prayers? In other words, is there anything that we demand as a prerequisite (for instance: requiring that God answer our prayers) for our being obedient to God? Or, will be obedient, regardless?
Luke 18:9-16-Jesus teaches about those who “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and view others with contempt.” He tells a parable about two men who went to the Temple to pray…a Pharisee, and a tax-gatherer. It is a lesson on humility in prayer. None of us deserve to have God hear, much less answer, our prayers. It is a humbling thought when we realize that Almighty God, creator and sustainer of the universe…would allow us the privilege of lifting up our prayers to Him. The moment that we begin to compare our worthiness to be heard by God to others, and believe that we somehow are more deserving…at that moment, God will begin a process to humble us. We can either recognize the greatness of God and humble ourselves before Him…or, God will humble us.
Luke 18:15-17-When the disciples tried to stop people from bringing their babies to Jesus to be blessed…He stopped them. He said that all people must come to Him as these children do. Another lesson on humility. These children had no pretensions. They did not see themselves as being worthy to come to Jesus. They simply came…because He was willing to receive them…not because they were worthy of coming. And so it must be with us, as well.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You hear and receive my prayers readily. Please…help me to pray with anticipation. Thank You that You are willing to receive me.