March 13 – Devotion Sharing (Luke 18)

Submitted by Joy X. from Gracepoint Berkeley Church

Luke 18:1-8

  • What would cause a person to not pray and give up?

Prayer is a hard work.  It doesn’t come naturally.  We need to push ourselves, constantly clear our heart and mind to focus on praying and not distracted or discouraged.  Especially because we are living in a world full of distractions, constant nagging feeling to check emails, texts, and endless things on the to do list, our mind is constantly bombarded and loaded with things that distract us from engaging in earnest prayer.  These kind of distraction can cause us to stop praying and give up easily.

Another reason a person would not pray and give up might be the delayed or unanswered prayers.  Again we are so used to instant gratification, instant and quick result that we often want God to answer our prayers immediately.  Instead of waiting, being persistent and patient in our prayers and asking God without losing hope, it is really easy to think that God doesn’t care about us, about my prayer that He would not answer my prayer and give up on praying.  I am also prone to these kinds of distractions when it comes to prayer.  Instead of patiently waiting and be persistent in my prayers, I often want immediate result that I easily get distracted and even tempted to give up on praying either for my needs, for my sin issues or for others.  But one thing I have learned in the past from delayed or unanswered prayer is that I got to learn to be persistent and patient and that I actually got to experience the heart of God even more deeply and learn to rely on Him instead of looking to other things to fulfill my needs.

  • What would be such a person’s view of God?

A person who gives up easily in their prayer may think that God doesn’t care about her needs and pains that she is going through.  She might think that God is too busy with more important matters in the world to be even bothered to hear her prayers.  Or simply God doesn’t care about us just like the unjust judge who didn’t care about his people.   A person who gives up easily in their prayer may hold this kind of view of God that she may think that prayer is just another futile attempt to get God’s attention, who doesn’t want to be bothered and who is aloof and distant from us, instead of relating to God at a personal level, as a chosen one by God.

  • How does Luke 18:7-8 challenge such a view of God?

The unjust judge who neither feared God nor cared for men was willing, though reluctant, to see the widow gets her justice because of her persistence.  If this kind of corrupt person would relent when someone is being persistent, how much more God would be willing to listen to our pleas?  God is just, good, and He cares and loves us deeply, so we can take heart and persist in our prayer as Jesus has commanded in v.1 and not give up even if it may take a long time to have our prayers answered.

  • What is different about the judge’s relationship with the widow versus God’s relationship with his chosen ones?

Even though this corrupt judge neither feared God nor cared about men, out of annoyance and fear that this woman might wear him out, he grants her justice reluctantly.  Unlike this unjust judge, God is interested in us and wants us to come to Him with our concerns, fears and worries in our prayers, and He wants us to learn His heart and actively participate in what concerns Him through prayers.  In v.8, Jesus says that God will see that we get justice, and quickly.   He is not reluctant in listening to our prayers and granting us justice.  This also reminds me that I don’t have to babble like pagans when I pray as if God wouldn’t hear me unless I perform certain rituals, and I can have faith in God that He is listening to my prayer. It’s almost like God is waiting for me to turn to Him in prayer so that I will learn to relate to Him and depend on Him.

  • What point is Jesus making by contrasting God to an uncaring, unjust judge?

Unlike the uncaring and unjust judge, God is our creator, He has chosen us and He desires loving relationship with us as it is proven through the cross of Jesus.  God didn’t spare His one and only Son to save us from our sins and forgive us.  He is not like the unjust judge who didn’t care for his people and only reluctantly granted the widow’s plea out of annoyance. This judge in the parable neither feared God nor cared about men.  If this kind of corrupt judge would listen to the widow’s persistent plea, how much more God who cares for us since we are His children?

  • How is faith characterized in this parable?

Jesus is reminding us at the end of this parable that He will be coming back.   And unless we have proper understanding of who God is that He is not like the unjust judge and unless we pray and not give up with hopes and trust in God, we won’t be found faithful.  Faith is characterized as unceasing prayer to God in this parable.  We can have this kind of attitude and persistence in our prayers only when we have proper understanding of who God is and have trust in God that He cares for us and listens to our prayers.

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