Christians have a legal right to have their prayers answered because prayer is not just an activity. Believers have an authorized right for God to hear and respond to their prayers. The widow in Luke 18 understands her right to bring her concern to the judge. Her story demonstrates the importance of believers knowing their rights and exercising those rights consistently. Just like the widow petitioned the judge, when believers petition God in prayer, we are exercising a legal right. The problem is that many believers don’t understand the importance of prayer and therefore don’t do it often, consistently, or at all. But if the right to prayer is not exercised, then the benefits of prayer will not be experienced. Christians should pray in a manner as walking in a continual conversation with God. Often, we are tempted to worry or complain when prayer would be a much better and more effective response. Instead of letting our concerns lead us to unproductive places, believers can choose instead to pray about anything as often as a thought about that concern arises.
In Luke 18, the widow petitioned the judge knowing that the law was on her side. Even though the judge was unrighteous, the widow understood that the judge was obligated to the law and interested in his reputation with regard to upholding the law. She badgered the judge, coming to him time and time again with her request. In the same way, believers need to know God’s Word and utilize it in prayer. Like the judge, God is obligated to His Word and to His glory. Unlike the judge, God is righteous and His righteous reputation is tied to His Word. We must persevere in our prayers even when it seems as if God is silent. Consistent prayer over the long haul matters. It is also important that believers pray by moving beyond simply sharing our desires. We want to share those desires in concert with what God has said in His Word and how the answers to our prayers will bring Him Glory.
Prayer is an exercise of faith. God is looking for faithful people on this earth who will consistently trust Him even as they move through the issues of life. One of the ways we tangibly demonstrate our faithfulness is by continuing to pray. So don’t quit seeking God for an answer to your prayers until He gives an answer. Don’t stop praying! Continue consulting with Him, talking to Him and interceding for others. Pray continuously in faith expecting divine intervention from God who “is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6). Be the believer who is willing to pray without fainting (Luke 18:1). And if you have fainted in or given up on prayer in the past, today is a good day to begin again.
- Take a moment to think about what God has already done. What prayer(s) has God already answered for you? How have you seen Him at work in response to your requests?
- Why is it important to know God’s Word in relationship to prayer? How do you intentionally seek to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word?
Let’s Get Personal
- Have you ever prayed about something fervently, but out of discouragement, stopped praying? How did today’s sermon encourage you in the importance of continuing in prayer?
- What prayer request has been foremost in your mind as you listened to this week’s sermon and discussed the content with your group? How can God be glorified in the answer to your prayer?
- In light of your understanding of the legal connection in prayer, what concerns or desires have you stopped praying about that you need to re-engage with in prayer?
Take the Next Step
- Would you say your prayer life is “great and consistent,” “just okay but inconsistent,” or “not okay and non-existent”? Why do you think your prayer life is in the state that it’s in? How does this week’s message encourage you to make changes in how you pray?
- Commit to continuing in prayer over that concern you may be experiencing. As you do so, share that request with your group so that they can pray with you.
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: 2 Corinthians 1:20; Luke 18:10-17; Numbers 14:11-21; Psalm 138:2
Renew Your Mind
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes;
therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
– 2 Corinthians 1:20