Eastwood Tulsa
Persisting in Prayer and Not Giving Up
Sunday morning worship service at Eastwood Tulsa.
Locations & Times
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  • Eastwood Baptist Church
    948 S 91st E Ave, Tulsa, OK 74112, USA
    Sunday 10:00 AM
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About Eastwood Tulsa
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Believe, Belong & Be Loved.
At Eastwood Tulsa, we believe church is the perfect place for those three powerful things. We come together to be reminded of the incredible truths of God’s Word, which we believe wholeheartedly.

In classes, ministries, outreaches, and small groups, we build close, transformative relationships that give us a strong sense of belonging to God and to the body of Christ. And in corporate worship, we experience God’s amazing presence, hear Him speak to our hearts, and are constantly reminded of how deeply, powerfully, and unconditionally loved we are.

We're glad you're joining us today! Visit www.eastwoodtulsa.org to learn more about our church.

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My One

Starting on January 5, after the New Year Celebration is over, we are starting a 40-day devotional and 30-day prayer guide as a Church. Devotional Booklets and Prayer Guides will be available in the foyer or you can access them online at:

https://eastwoodtulsa.org/my-one/

Watch Live Online Now!

Please join us live on our website or Facebook.com/eastwood or in real life at 948 S 91st E Ave, Tulsa, OK.

https://eastwoodtulsa.org/live-stream/
On Sunday mornings, we have been looking at prayer and its importance in the life of a follower of Jesus. Last week we looked at When God Delays His Answer to Your Prayer. We were reminded that God’s delayed answer does not mean He won’t answer. We must continue to wait upon Him. We trust in His goodness.

This morning we will look at Persisting in Prayer and Not Giving Up. This message is not just meant to give you more information; my desire is to motivate you to not lose heart or give up. Think of an athlete that keeps the goal in sight and doesn’t give up even after a loss or physical setback.
This text we just read has been called The Parable of the Persistent Widow. The story is intriguing because of the contrast Jesus makes with His Father and an unjust judge. God is a perfect judge. Why make this contrast?

Parables are everyday stories that shed light on spiritual truth; they compare the secular to the spiritual. This parable is a contrast and an example. Jesus contrasts an unkind, unjust, unbelieving judge to His kind, righteous and faithful, Father. He also uses a widow, an unlikely person, to make His point. Let’s look at the parable carefully, beginning with verse one.

Luke gives us the point of the parable upfront:
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 (NKJV)

The purpose of the parable is to exhort us to pray and not give up.

Three things are crucial concerning prayer (V1).

1. Prayer is expected always.
There is never a time when prayer is suspended or not needed. We should pray at all times! There is never a situation or time when prayer is not essential.

2. Prayer is something everyone ought to do.
My mom used to say, “You must wash your hands before you eat.” (A great reminder in the times we are in!). The word ought that Jesus uses is a strong word. He says it with Nicodemus: “You must be born again.” The word ought can also be translated must. It is not optional. It’s necessary. In our text, you ought to (must) pray.

3. Prayer is a heart issue; we can’t faint, weaken, give up, or quit.
Translations use different words: lose heart (NKJV, ESV), give up (NIV), never give up (NLT). The underlying idea is to weaken or faint. When we pray, we must keep on keeping on!

I believe that this was a real story. It was not made up just to make a point. Jesus says that there was a certain city, a particular judge, and a widow in that certain city. This was the worst kind of judge to bring your needs to. You wouldn’t want him to hear your case. He simply didn’t care about anyone but himself.

Three things this widow had against her.

1. The judge was not God-fearing (V2)
This judge did not base his decisions on God’s viewpoint. He didn’t follow Scripture. He wasn’t a believer.

2. The judge was not a man of principle (V2)
He didn’t care what people thought. He didn’t respect men or their opinions. He wasn’t a people pleaser.

3. This judge was unkind, didn’t care, and was selfish (V2)
The Bible is very specific about how orphans and widows were to be treated. God is their defender.

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. Psalm 68:5 (NKJV)

This judge was in a position to be an extension of God’s will on earth. But he simply didn’t have time for an insignificant widow. But because of this widow’s persistence, the judge granted her request (V5)!

…yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. Luke 18:5 (NKJV)

Then Jesus makes His contrast clear (Vs 6-7).

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? Luke 18:6-7 (NKJV)

Two things God will do if we don’t faint in prayer. And one thing He expects of us who do pray.

Two things God will do if we don’t faint in prayer.
1. He will give justice to His elect (V7).
At the beginning of the parable, the plea of the widow is stated: Give me justice from my adversary (V3). A widow would have no voice, no hope, no justice from this judge, but not with God.

God will stand on our behalf. No enemy can stand against us. Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit is pleading within us with perfect knowledge of our needs!

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:34 (NKJV)

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

2. He will answer quickly (V8)!
Last week we were reminded that a delay is not a denial. This widow came many times. We don’t know how many. Her request was granted, even by an unlikely person. Don’t quit asking; don’t faint.

One thing God expects from His elect.

FAITH!
… Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8b (NKJV)

This widow was a person who was persistent. Her faith that an answer was going to come was proved by her coming!

Invitation and Ministry Time
Are you a person who believes God? Are you a person who has faith in a prayer hearing God? Are we people of the body of Christ? We are not speaking into the air. We are not burning candles and chanting mantras. We are not superstitious. The Christian faith is different from other religions. Our God hears and responds!

How can you respond in faith to this message?

I hope this message has encouraged you to persist and expect God to answer your prayers. Now is the best time to call upon God in Jesus’ name. Now is the time to pray! Be persistent. Don’t Give up! Don’t quit!
Questions to consider with your family and friends:

1. Has there ever been a time in your life when you found yourself unable to pray? How did you overcome the lack of fellowship with yourself and God the Father?

2. The Bible teaches that God loves us and wants to give us what is best for our good and His glory. What causes you the most fear when seeking God’s will for your life?

3. What kind of man was the Judge? Why would the widow go to such a man for help? What motivates you to ask God for help? Pray that God would give you a heart that desires to pray like the persistent widow.

4. How does our view of God affect our prayers? How does not praying persistently affect our own faith?

5. Do you have a persistent prayer life? Why or why not? “Faith prompts prayer, while prayer strengthens faith.” What is your prayer life like? What needs to change?

6. What does persistent prayer show and encourage in our own lives? Pray that God would affirm to you His faithfulness and increase your faith in Him.

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Prayer Requests

We would love the opportunity to pray for you. Please let us know your specific request and our staff will be praying for you. ~ Jeremy Rhodes

https://eastwoodtulsa.org/help-hope-tulsa/
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