They Ought Always to Pray and Not Lose Heart

George Marshall - 1/7/2024


Call to worship: Psalm 119:145-152

Text: Luke 18:1-8


With this passage in Luke, we tackle the second theme of our "First Five" series, prayer. In ongoing discussion of discipleship, humility, and eschatological judgment, Jesus cuts to the chase, calling for persistence in prayer. Working from a proper understanding of who God is and how he responds, we are encouraged to pray, to set our hopes in the context of the already-but-not-yet kingdom and rule of Christ. While we often root God's willingness to hear and respond to his people in his loving character, Jesus points to the centrality of God's justice. We are beckoned to consider the relationship between love and justice illustrated in his calling and care for a people promised to bear his name.

Sermon Outline:

  • Love: The God worthy of our prayers
  • Justice: The God who hears our prayers
  • Faith: The God who awaits our prayers


Discussion Questions:

  • Read Luke 18:1-8. What is the main point of the parable? Who are the main characters in the parable? How would you describe their different roles? What do we learn about God in this parable?
  • Read the leadup to the parable of the persistent widow, Luke 17:20-37. How does this inform the way we read The parable? How does the context Luke provides keep us from misunderstanding Jesus' words? What images or words bridge these two sections? What do we learn about Jesus' mission?
  • Read the following story, Luke 18:9-14. What additional insights about discipleship and prayer are provided? What words and ideas unite these two teaching elements? What does this tell us about God's mission?
  • How is a knowledge of parables and their interpretation important to reading this parable? What are some difficulties you see as you read or hear this parable read? How should your prayers be affected by hearing this parable?
  • How does our understanding of God's character affect our prayers? Is it necessary to know the one we are praying to? How is the knowledge of God's character we obtain from Scripture comforting? How is the fear of God related to prayer?
Downloads & Resources