January 16, 2022

Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer

Passage: Luke 18:1-14
Service Type:


  • Does God answer prayer?
    • Do you pray and seem to have no answer?
    • Do you wonder how you ought to pray?
    • Others might ask if there is a need to pray?
  • Looking at some of Jesus' teaching on prayer
    • The 1st parable - addressed to Jesus' disciples
      • Don't be discouraged - continually pray
      • A motivating parable to pray in difficult days
      • At the Second Coming - will God's people be praying of faith
    • The 2nd parable - addresses particularly the person who is not a Christian
      • The one who cries out to God for mercy will go home in peace with God
  • Jesus exemplified prayer in His life
  • Luke speaks more about Jesus' prayer life than any other gospel writer
    • Examples of His baptism, death and ascension
    • Examples of significant life events couched in prayer
    • Examples of events in the disciples lives, couched in prayer
    • Jesus was often in prayer (Luke 5:16)
  • If we have any doubts about prayer - look to the Lord Jesus
  • Overview:
    • The 1st parable
    • The 2nd parable

The parable of the persistent widow

  • We should always pray - v1
    • 1 Thess 5 - We are to always pray
    • We are to pray in difficult days
      • Don't be discouraged
  • The characters
    • The widow - small and insignificant
    • The judge - powerful and unjust
      • He does not regard men or God
      • He is not bothered about treating fairly
  • The widow does not give up - such that the judge gives her what she wants – v6
    • Will God not answer His people?
    • A great example of perseverance
    • Examples of those who have persevered
    • Jesus is encouraging His disciples to pray
  • God will bring justice - v7
    • At the Second Coming
    • Example of David delivered by God
    • It is often the little people with odds stacked against them - that see a might victory - examples
      • If you feel small and insignificant - God hears the cries of His people
  • So much encouragement

The parable of the tax collector

  • Very challenging - looking at the pharisees (cf Luke 17)
    • Anyone who trusts in themselves, who looks down at others, who think themselves superior
  • This parable is very straightforward - two men and two results
    • A Pharisee:
      • Stands and prays - probably at the front with others looking at him
      • Prays within himself
      • He compares himself better than others
      • He congratulates himself for his behaviour
    • A tax collector:
      • Stands at the back
      • He is so wracked by sin he cannot lift his eyes to heaven
      • He beats his breast
      • He prays a very short prayer
  • The tax collector was justified (and not the pharisee)
    • Whoever is lifted up will be humbled and whoever is humbled, God will lift
  • Application:
    • Do we expect God to accept us based on what we have done?
    • Are we self-righteous (like the pharisee) or like the tax collector?
    • Are we like Simon Peter?
    • Do we really feel our sin?
  • This parable reminds us that Jesus came into the world to save not the righteous but sinners
    • Ps 85:2
    • Ps 86:15
    • Ps 103:8-12
    • Micah 7:18-19

Closing Remarks

  • Do you realise you are a sinner?
  • Do you continue to trust in yourself, your good deeds or your religion of works
  • Confess your sin, turn to Jesus Christ, believe in Him and be forgiven of your sin
  • Pray, pray, pray