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March 3, 2019

Sermon: Pray Like Jesus: To Persist

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Scripture Lesson

Deuteronomy 1:16-17; Luke 18:1-8

I charged your judges at that time: ‘Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien. You must not be partial in judging: hear out the small and the great alike; you shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgement is God’s. Any case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.’

The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” ’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
Pray Like Jesus: To Persist
Deuteronomy 1:16-17; Luke 18:1-8

I. Introduction: Baby Blues
II. Series: Pray Like Jesus
III. The Israelite context (Deut. 1:17; Lk. 1:2-3)
     A. “There was a judge” (18:2)
         1. Very powerful
         2. Equal justice to all (1:16-17)
         3. Acts in place of God (1:17)
         4. Luke’s judge (18:2)
     B. “There was also a widow” (1:3; Deut. 10:18)
IV. The parable (Lk. 18:1-8)
     A. The persistent widow (1:3)
     B. The right thing for the wrong reason (1:5)
     C. If the unjust judge grants justice, then . . .
     D. The point (18:1)
V. Observations (Lk. 18:7-8)
     A. God appreciates persistent prayer (18:7)
     B. A new definition of faith
     C. Will God find faith? (18:8)
VI. Application (Lk. 17:37-18:1)
     A. Times may be difficult (17:37)
     B. “Pray always” (18:1)
     C. Reorder priorities
     D. “Do not lose heart” (18:1)
VII. Conclusion: St. Monica (332-387)


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