January 27, 2021
Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
January 27, 2021
And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to Him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”
Matthew Henry said, “When God intends to bless or grant mercy, He calls His people to pray.” It is a good sign when God’s people want to pray and begin to pray. It is often a sign that God is about to bless in some wonderful ways. When it comes to prayer I think we always need to be refreshed in terms of our prayer life. If we hold to the principle so well taught by the Puritans in what was called the regulative principle. Meaning that our worship, private and public, should be regulated by the Word of God.
Let me remind you of some things that should characterize our prayer life.
- Simplicity. Jesus taught His disciples the danger of heaping up empty phrases and thinking you could be heard by God by your eloquence or long prayers. So God doesn’t want long prayers, He wants simple prayers, nothing fancy. Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Give us our daily bread. That is a simple prayer; short, simple sentences.
- Humility. God wants humble prayers. It is interesting how the Lord starts out the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn.” That describes a humble person. Before He even gets into teaching them how to pray, He emphasizes that whole matter of humility. Next to the grace of faith, there is no grace more important when it comes to praying than humility. Remember what Peter says in 1 Peter 5, “Cast all your cares before Him because He cares for you. Humble yourselves.
- Perseveringly. Jesus devotes a whole parable to the matter of praying with perseverance. It’s a picture of a woman who is up against incredible odds. She is against a corrupt judge who neither fears God or men; and he ends up helping her; not because he cares for her but because he doesn’t want to be bothered by her. Jesus is not comparing God to this evil judge, it’s a parable of contrast. It’s an argument from the worst of the worst to the best of the best. The worst of the worst is this evil judge and the best of the best is God. If this evil judge, the worst of the worst, will answer the persevering prayer you could say, than certainly our God will if we keep on persevering. He loves to hear persevering faith when we articulate that in our prayers. Keep on knocking and seeking.
- Corporately. Jesus wants His people to pray together. We pray for one another and also with one another. Jesus taught that the house of God is a house of prayer, not just a closet of prayer but a house of prayer. It is interesting in the book of Acts the church is praying, Acts 1, 2, and 4.
- Confidently. With boldness. Hebrews 4, we can go to the throne of grace with boldness. Why? Because of Christ Jesus. Because we have a great high priest we are accepted in the beloved. We have confidence that God will hear us because we come in the name of Christ and we believe on His Son Jesus.
- Adoringly. We often pray reverently but we ought to pray adoringly. I picked that up from Matthew Henry, one of the Puritans who said, “We ought to begin our prayers reverently adoring Him. Adoration should be a major part of our praying. Praying and thanking God, not for what He is but for who He is. The fact that He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting; He is sovereign, unsearchable, God only wise, irresistible in power, always true, always good, never changes. He is the holy, sovereign one. We should pray adoringly.
- Filially. We should pray as sons and daughters, as children of God. We should have the spirit of adoption when we cry, “Abba Father.” God wants to bless His children. Like our Lord said, “Even those who are evil fathers love to give to their children, how much more shall the Father in heaven. So when you ask Him for bread, He won’t give you a stone. If you ask Him for a fish He will not give you a scorpion.
When we go to the Lord we should think who we are going to. We are going to a king, large petitions bring (Newton). Let’s pray simply, humbly, perseveringly, corporately, boldly, adoringly, and filially.