By Pastor John Mateos Ong and Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
Luke 18:1-8 says, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
-It is a teaching on prayer.
-In life, we will face injustice.
-Widow kept coming to the judge.
-Judge did not fear God or care for people,
-After a while, the judge got tired of the widow.
-God will bring justice to the chosen ones.
Prayer is the way God gave us to communicate with Him. When we talk about the unjust judge, we are not talking about God. The judge we are talking about is not just, therefore, it cannot be God.
Pray persistently in faith.
1. Align with God. Verse 3 says “grant me JUSTICE against my adversaries. God is very good, He is always good. He does not bring evil and He does not change. he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God loves justice; He is the God of justice. Before we pray, we have to make sure that our prayers align with God. Many people ask, “What is God’s will for me?” The only way to know this is to know God and to get into His word. If this does not align with the word of God, you will not have an answered prayer. It is not God’s will. The will of God is always aligned to His character and His word. They never contradict. All of God’s plans are perfect and good. The question is “are you aligned?” Sometimes our prayers are good but our motivations are selfish. When our prayers only benefit ourselves, there is a good chance that they will not be answered how we want them to be answered. 1 John 5:14 says “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” It is according to His will. When our hearts and spirits are attuned to God, it is impossible to ask for things that are not of God. And every prayer you pray will bring back glory to Jesus.
WHEN NOT TO PRAY:
The Bible actually mentions many instances when you should not pray.
A. When it is already time to act. Exodus 14:15 says Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” God is already telling you to move and act.
B. When you are doing it for show. Matthew 6:5 says “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” If you just want to showcase yourself, God will not answer that prayer.
C. When God is not listening. Jeremiah 7:16 says “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.” When God is not listening, it is probably because we are so caught up in our sin. Jeremiah 14:11 says “Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.” Do you know how many times God was asking them to come back to Him? Even John 9:31 says “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.” It is very important to align our prayers with God’s will. Most of the time, we do the opposite - rather than knowing His will and praying accordingly, people just pray about anything and hope it is according to His will.
2. Pray in faith. Verse 8 says, “ I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, WILL HE FIND FAITH on the earth.” It is not a question of whether God’s word will happen, but whether you actually have the faith to push it to happen. Faith is very important that Hebrews 10:38 mentions, “And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.” As God’s people, we were not called to be safe and comfortable but to live a life of faith. We have to take bold steps of faith so that the world could see Jesus in our lives. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It is believing even when you do not see. If you are the type of person who waits for things to become favorable before you act, that is not faith. And it is insulting to God our Father if we only pray man-sized prayers because it shows how big, or small, your faith is in Him. How come you are only asking for small things? Things we pray for are those that we are depending on God for. Have a prayer list so that you know when God answers, you know it is Him and not you.
Also, when your prayers get answered, you will not forget that you prayed for it.
Matthew 21:21-22 says “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Jesus used the mountain because they are immovable things. Just as with one breath of God He created the whole world, you can move a mountain through faith. But we do not have enough of it. Our mind has been trained as to what is possible what is not. Science has killed our spiritual minds.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” Those who can discern spiritually are limited to those who have the Holy Spirit. If you do not have the Holy Spirit, you cannot discern spiritually. And if you cannot spiritually discern, things in the Bible or any act done spiritually will be foolishness to you. This was Paul’s warning to the people of Corinth. God’s word will not make sense to everyone because man uses his natural mind. We need to spiritually discern the things of God. People will even mock us and make fun of us. Are you ready to be called crazy for Jesus?
So what is the difference between the natural mind and spiritual mind? When you say natural mind, you use your sight, sound, taste, touch, smell and natural reasoning. Whenever we decide on what is and what is not based on these things, we are using our natural mind. The spiritual mind works through the revelation of God. You are called and you hold God’s word in your hands. The song Way Maker says, “Even when I don’t see it, you’re working, even when I don’t feel it you’re working. You never stop working.” Live by faith and not by sight . Some prayers do not get answered because they are blocked by our natural mind.
We pray in the spirit but our natural mind tells us otherwise. If we doubt, it does not manifest in our physical body. The lack of faith hinders prayers from manifesting in the physical realm. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We need to renew our minds everyday. The mind is the door that can let in the word of God manifest in the physical realm. Ephesians 1:3 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Bless in in the past tense, which means, you already are blessed! What prevents us from realizing this is our natural mind. A renewed mind will allow the blessed life to manifest in the physical.
Ther are times that no matter what we do, God does not answer our prayers. The Bible is not silent on this. Hebrews 11:39-40 says “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” While people who live in the natural may question why certain things happen, the last line of this verse gives the answer. God will provide something better for us. We live in the physical, but God knows that the physical is temporal. And He wants to bless us eternally. He wants us to be made perfect. So we do not understand what is happening to us because we are using the natural mind.
Our life is not based on earth alone. This is not eternity. Eternity is after we pass here on earth. This is just a dress rehearsal. If you feel like your prayers are not being answered, faith will tell you to trust God because He has something better for you. God is not concerned about your physical comfort. He is more worried about you not making it in the eternal.Don’t we all want to be with Jesus? Spend time with the word of God. You will see His heart in His word. Activate your faith. Focus on the author and perfector of your faith.
3. Persist in prayer. Verse 5 says “Because this widow KEEPS BOTHERING me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me.” There will be times you feel like it is not God’s will, persist. Do not stop. Endure until the very end. Persistency reveals our heart. It shows how badly we want something. It stretches your muscles util you see it through. John 11:40 says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” If you do not persist, you will miss it. God is showing up but we need to persist.
It is God’s will for you to be well, to live life in abundance, to redeem and restore you, to be your provider. Are you going to align withHim? Are you going to pray in faith? Are you going to persist? Romans 8:25 says “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Your persistence shows the size of your faith. Don’t give up on people. Don’t give up on dead dreams. Don’t give up on the declarations of man. Look for the declarations of God in His word. Focus on that truth and not on what people are saying.Focus on faith.