Luke 18 (7)
Pray Psalm 55.1-3.
Give ear to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and hear me;
I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,
Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the oppression of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble upon me,
And in wrath they hate me.
Sing Psalm 55.1-3.
(Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Hear now my prayer, O Lord, hide not from me.
Answer me by Your Word and set me free!
Wicked men sore oppress; restless am I.
Lord, ease my soul’s distress and hear my cry!
Read Luke 18.1-43; meditate on verses 7, 8.
1. What does God promise for His elect?
2. What will the Son of Man be looking for when He returns?
Luke 18 begins with Jesus teaching about prayer. It ends with Him answering an urgent, desperate prayer. And in between, all that He does and teaches can be seen as further instruction on prayer.
Especially in verses 7 and 8 does Jesus offer a wealth of insight concerning prayer. Let’s note a few things mentioned here as part of the curriculum for Jesus’ school of prayer.
First, Jesus expects us to “cry out” to Him. Our prayers must come from the depth of our souls, where we are aware that all the time of our life is a time of need, for which we seek mercy and grace through prayer (Heb. 4.16). And we must persist in prayer, crying out “day and night to Him”, hanging our day and every aspect of our lives on prayer.
Next, Jesus promises that God will not only hear our prayers but will act on them. Our prayers arise because of our sense of need, of being troubled, taunted, and tormented as we make our way in this sinful world. God’s answers to our prayers take the form of justice, of giving what is right according to His Word. The phrase “avenge” in the NKJV actually means “to do justice”. God is faithful to do justice for us, whatever is right according to His Word (Mic. 6.8; 1 Thess. 5.24).
No wonder, third, Jesus used prayer as a primary token of true faith. If we grow weary of prayer and cease to bring our requests to the Lord, how will anybody know that we are people of faith? By always being in prayer we can be sure that, when Jesus returns, He will find faith in us, faith that overflows with praise and glory to God expressed in prayer (v. 43).
The final exam in the school of prayer will be whether Jesus finds us in prayer, living out our faith, when He returns.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Jesus said that God will avenge His own, that He will do justice for us speedily. He hears us, and He always answers us according to His will. “I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live” (Ps. 116.1, 2).
Since God does all that for us, what should we do in response?
There is a second part to the verse, and it is a question put to us:
When I return, will I really find faith on the earth? (Lk. 18.8).
What will you do, believe, and be for Me?
In order for our lives to answer Him correctly, we must first be saved (Acts 16.30, 31).
Then we must be filled with His Holy Spirit (Acts 1.8).
Then we must obey His commandments (Ex. 20.1-17; Jn. 14.15).
Finally, we must do the good works that He has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2.10).
To accomplish all this we must seek first His Kingdom (Matt. 6.33) through committed study of His Word (2 Tim. 2.15; Heb. 4.12), and in constant, continuous communion with Him in prayer (1 Thess. 5.17).
Cheat sheets will not be allowed for the final exam, and the Cliff Notes version of the Bible is not recommended. Only thorough reading and study, together with daily fellowship and communication in prayer, will enable you to know Him as He should be known—doing, being, and believing to please Him.
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned
and been assured of…you have known the Holy Scriptures,
which are able to make you wise for salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Tim. 3.14-17)
It is possible to pass this final exam with flying colors! For truly, the things that seem impossible “are possible with God” (Lk. 18.27).
1. Why is prayer so important to our lives as followers of Jesus?
2. What will it look like as you become more persistent in prayer?
3. How will more persistence, humility, and constancy in prayer help you in bringing grace to your Personal Mission Field?
It is quite clear that God does not neglect us. Even if he makes us wait, he will nonetheless answer us and see to our case all of a sudden. When we pray all the time, we should not weary. We should eagerly cry out to him day and night, begging him with a broken heart and a humble spirit. Martyrius (fl. 635-640), Book of Perfection 75
Pray Psalm 55.16-23.
Call on the Lord to help you improve in your prayer life – more prayer, more attentiveness in prayer, more hope and trust in prayer, more mercy and grace for all your times of need, and more praise and glory to God in prayer.
Sing Psalm 55.16-23.
(Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Lord, I will call on You, answer and save!
Noon, morning, evening too, my voice I raise.
Grant me Your peace, O Lord; answer my foes!
All who reject God’s Word He overthrows.
Many assail, O Lord, many betray.
See how they draw their sword across my way.
Take up my burden, Lord; strengthen and bless!
Let judgment by Your Word their souls distress.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.
With Jesus in the School of Prayer
- T.M. Moore
- May 28, 2023
Lots of good lessons here. Luke 18.6-8
Luke 18 (7)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore