Luke 18:1-5, 1 Kings 18:41-45, John 11:21-22, Isaiah 59:21
Pastor Jerry Webb - September 18, 2022
A. Luke 18:1-5 TPT
“One day Jesus taught the apostles to keep praying and never stop or lose hope. He shared with them this illustration: “In a certain town there was a judge, a thick-skinned and godless man who had no fear of others’ opinions. And in the same town there was a poor widow who kept pleading with the judge, ‘Grant me justice and protect me from my oppressor!’ “He ignored her pleas for quite some time, but she kept asking. Eventually he said to himself, ‘This widow keeps annoying me, demanding her rights, and I’m tired of listening to her. Even though I’m not a religious man, and I don’t care about the opinions of others, I’ll get her off my back by answering her claims for justice and I’ll rule in her favor. Then she’ll leave me alone.’ ””
B. This parable of the persistent widow is a picture of prayer in Scripture. 1. Praying Hard is praying through.
2.Just as the Woman was persistent, our prayers must be persistent with faith.
Praying Hard is Two-Dimensional
1. Praying like it depends on God
2. Working like it depends on you
a. This brings fresh insight on Hebrews declaring that Faith without works is dead.
b. When we pray, we can’t leave it all on God, with have to put faith in the midst and beginning to put our hand to the plow again.
3. Example of Praying Persistent with Faith:
A whole village has decided come together to begin to pray for rain as their area has been in a severe drought. When the day comes to pray, everyone heads to the center of the town. They are are believing for rain, but one little boy brings and umbrella putting works with his faith.
a. It’s doing whatever it takes to show God that you are serious.
b. For the little boy, it was bringing an umbrella out when there wasn’t even a cloud. Just like the Woman with her persistent request, she was doing whatever it took.
c. The Judge eventually knew the lady and her request and answered because she was wearing him out, other translations say.
4. Does the Judge know you? Does he know how desperate you are for him?
God will honor your bold prayers, because your bold prayer will honor God.
1. We must arrive to a moment of Holy Desperation.
A. Let’s begin to pray with audacity and tenacity.
B. We don’t have to have fancy vocabulary but our intensity must increase as we “circle” around the promises.
Persistence Quotient: The conventional definition of persistence/perseverance is refusing to give up on your outcome in spite of difficulty or opposition.
C. There are no shortcuts. There are no substitutes. Success is a derivative of persistence.
Let’s observe 1 Kings 18:41-45 AMP:
“Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of the roar of an abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down to the earth and put his face between his knees, and he said to his servant, “Go up, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” Elijah said, “Go back” seven times. And at the seventh time the servant said, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And Elijah said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the rain shower does not stop you.’ ” In a little while the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and there were heavy showers. And Ahab mounted and rode [his chariot] and went [inland] to Jezreel.”
A. Six times Elijah told the servant to go and look for a sign of rain and there wasn’t one, this might be the moment of giving up right? NO.
B. We can’t stop praying just because we aren’t seeing a tangible difference with our natural eyes.
a. We can’t allow the circumstances to get between us and God. Instead let’s pit God between us and the circumstances.
It’s easy to give up on dreams, give up on miracles, and give up on promises. But go look one more time! Don’t’ lose heart, don’t lose faith.
Let your faith become reactivated. Remember the last miracle he did for you? He will do it again.
b. The only way you fail, is if you stop praying. 100% of the prayers I don’t pray wont get answered.
A. Never put a comma where God puts and period and vice versa. (Reference to Jesus healing Lazarus in John 11)
1. Examining Martha’s Statement:
“Martha said to Jesus, “My Lord, if only you had come sooner, my brother wouldn’t have died. But I know that if you were to ask God for anything, he would do it for you.”” - John 11:21-22 TPT
a. Two degrees of Faith made in Martha’s Statement:
1. First degree of Faith is preventative faith.
i. Keeping bad things from happening. Divine protection Safety.
2. Second degree of faith is resurrection faith.
i. Faith that bellies God can reverse the irreversible.
ii. Faith that says its not over until God says its over.
2. Our most powerful prayers are hyperlinked to the promises of God.
a. When we pray the promises of God, we can pray with Holy Confidence.
““And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
- Isaiah 59:21 NLT
Remember the promise God gave to Joshua, it was originally applied to Moses and transferred to Joshua. Through Christ all of God’s promises are transferred to us. Go ahead, I dare you to stand on his promise.
God’s promises are the High Ground (Star Wars reference), the Holy Ground on which we can stand. Remember the parable Jesus gave about building on the rock.