When It’s Hard to Pray, Lk 18:18

Lk 18:1-8 is, in part, about what to do when you find it really hard to pray.  Doctrinally we can find where Lk 18:1-8 fits, perfectly.  v.8 says, “when the Son of man cometh”.  So, we’re right before the Second Advent.  This is about God avenging his own elect.  We find them in Rev 6:9-11.  They are praying to God and asking, “dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth”?  You can see their frustration because God hasn’t avenged them yet.  Of course, v.11 shows you the reason why.

Spiritually, this parable is a real help to us when we find it hard to pray for certain things in circumstances where it appears God isn’t going to answer.

It’s really hard to pray when:

You expect God to answer.  Lk 18:3 says, “There was a widow”.    Widows certainly should expect to be avenged when they are being mistreated by an adversary.  Ps 68:5 says of the Lord, “a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation”.  God takes care of widows.  She shouldn’t be faced with this type of mistreatment from an adversary.  Yet, she is being disregarded by the judge.

By comparison, we are God’s children, and we certainly expect God to hear our prayers and answer out petitions.  He is our Father, Matt 7:7-11.  To whom else can we turn?

You suffer unjustly.  In Lk 18:3 the widow said, “avenge me of mine adversary”.  It’s evident that this adversary was trying to take advantage of her.  You would expect God to come to your aid in answer to your prayers immediately in this case.  When what you’re going through, like what this widow was going through, is an injustice, God should answer.  Your adversary isn’t going away.  And you think the God of all justice should deliver you, without even having to ask.  But consider what happened to Paul and Silas in Philippi when they are thrown in in jail.  God sent them down there and they did absolutely nothing wrong.

God delays his response.  Lk 18:4 says, “He would not for a while”.  Why the delay?  The question raised by the Tribulation martyrs is “How long, O Lord…”?  It’s hard to keep praying day in and day out, night and day, when it appears that God isn’t going to answer.  It’s easy to get frustrated with God and quit because he’s letting this thing go on.

Conclusion: Do you know what to do in a case like this, when it’s hard to pray?  “Men ought always to pray, and no to faint”, Lk 18:1.  Don’t faint. Keep coming before the throne, Lk 18:5.  “He will avenge them speedily”, Lk 18:8.  When God shows up with the answer, he gets it done.  Just don’t give up.