Luke 18:1“And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Romans 12:12 “Patient in tribulation, continuing instant (diligently) in prayer.”)
Luke 18:1-30, we find the last events in the Public Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded by Luke prior to the Final Journey to Jerusalem: Luke 18:31 “Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” In Luke 18:31 is where the story of the Final Journey begins. In this paragraph there are two Sections:
2 Parables on Prayer
- Perseverance in Prayer (Luke 18:1-8).
- Right Attitude in Prayer (Luke 18:9-14).
Which unquestionably took place in close connection? The First Parable was spoken to His (Jesus’) Disciples (Luke 18:1-8) and the Second Parable to the Crowd or Jewish Rulers, who trust in themselves. The two Parables moved in the same realm of thought but had two entirely different emphases.
- The Lesson of the Little Children – Luke 18:15-17
- The Hindrance of Riches – Luke 18:18-27
Luke 18:1“And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”
- The Necessity of Prayer – The First Parable opens with a very arresting statement. Our Lord Jesus Christ introduces this Parable in order to emphasize the Necessity for Prayer, and the Necessity for Prayer as a way of life for the Christian in the face of the events that surround Christ’s Second Coming (Luke 17:22-37).
- The Revelation – The Age in which we live would be days of great difficulty. The Parable, then, is a Revelation of what is necessary for the Life of Faith, in the Age which is not conducive to faith. In such an Age, Prayer is the very essence of life to carry us through to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Prayer or Faint – Under such circumstances, our Lord Jesus Christ says, in effect, there is one alternative offered to us, Prayer or Faint. Our Lord Jesus warns of the Age and of the life of His people through that Age, is that unless we Pray, we will Faint. Thus, the Revelation on the Purpose of the Parable is revealed in the opening verse of Luke 18:1 “And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Romans 12:12 “Patient in tribulation, continuing instant (diligently) in prayer.”).
- Readiness – Our Lord Jesus Christ was making an immediate application of His Prophecy on the Second Coming (Luke 17:22-37). Readiness for His Return will be conditioned by Prayer.
The Principle Enforced
- Positively – “Men ought always to pray.” “Ought” = Renders an infinitive (dein) which expresses a moral and spiritual obligation. It is only “always prayer” that will Prevent the Fainting.
- Negatively –“Not to faint” means “Never to lose heart.” The word “to faint” render a word (enkakein) which means “to give in to evil, to lose heart, or to play the coward:”
- It suggests great trials.
- It suggests a lack of spiritual health.
All of these meanings enhance Jesus’ Words about Prayer. Men are not to do these things but are to rely upon Prayer for strength, encouragement, and bravery. That the Apostles needed such an exhortation is seen in their conduct when Jesus was arrested. But that they kept Praying and received answer is evident in their conduct following Pentecost. It was to encourage them to be perseverance in Prayer that the Lord Jesus spoke the Parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8).
To be discouraged is to lose heart and strength. Doctors and Psychologists are convinced of the relationship between the two:
- Discouragement can actually paralyze both our wills to do something and our strength to carry it out.
- Discouragement saps our strength emotionally and physically.
- Weariness – We need to be aware of the relationship between weariness and discouragement. We are especially susceptible to discouragement when we are overly tired. A person often gets discouraged when he is too tired.
- Temptation – We need to be aware of the relationship between physical weariness and temptation. That is why it seems to be Satan’s prime strategy against those who really want to work for God.
- Faith – Luke 18:8 “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Our Lord Jesus is concerned that Christians might Fail to Pray persistently and therefore become discouraged and lose Faith.
To be continued….. Stay tuned