10.15.2016

Luke 18:1-8 (1)

ppt

Pray for what is right and never give up
Reading: Luke 18:1-8
Blanks: pray, keeps, justice, quickly
Prop: papers and pens
Words: justice, judge, just, unjust

Jesus helped his students to understand God and understand God’s way.
Then Jesus asked them to pray.
The more they understand God, the easier God can answer them.

Then today Jesus told this kind of story.
You know this story.
The story goes like this:

There was a judge.
His job was to bring justice to town.
So he needed to listen to people and find out how to bring justice to town.
In this way, he needed to protect the rights of people.

But then he got really tired of his job.
He didn’t really want to help anyone.
He didn’t care about anybody anymore.
He became a mean and awful human being.

Then a widow came to him.
I assume after she lost her husband, someone might have forced her out of her land and treated her unfairly.
So she asked the judge to help her.

But the judge didn’t even want to listen to her.
The judge was like:
“I am busy, lady. Go away.
Bye.
I don’t have time for this.”

But the next day, she came back.
She explained that she was unfairly treated.
But the judge was like:
“Didn’t I tell you yesterday, I don’t have time for this?
Now get out of here.”

The next day, she came back and begged for her justice.
But the judge was yelling at her:
“Didn’t I tell you I have no time for this!!!”
Then he complained about his life.
He never even thought about helping her.

But the next day, she came back.
She was asking for what was right for her.
She believed that this wicked judge could help her.
He put her hope back in this man and would not give up.
So she came back.
She came boldly, shamelessly and courageously.
Her courage overpowered any insecurity or fear about this man.

Who prays like this?
Who prays believing that God would help them like this?
Who prays as if their life depends on God?
Who prays without giving up after a couple of tries?

How many people may say:
“I prayed before but nothing happened.
Why should I pray now?
God must be very busy doing something else.
Why should I bother God?”

Or some may say:
“Pray?
Will anything happen because I pray?
Will God listen to me?”

Jesus is asking us to pray continually.
When we pray continually, God will answer.
Yes, sometimes for some reason, it may take some time for God to answer our prayer.
Or we could be the reason.
We may need to change or understand more of God.
We may be not blessable yet, because we don’t really love God, but try to use God.

So as we pray, God will also change us.
God will guide us to become new.
Then we may meet new people and go new places.

Back to the story, the lady came back again and again.
Then the judge ran away.
He said to himself:
“I don’t fear anybody.
But I cannot handle this lady.
I am exhausted.
She is bothering me too much.”

Who prays like this lady?
Who prays as if their life depends on God?
Who prays without giving up after a couple of tries?

So this judge listened to her story and gave an order so that she could get her justice.
Then she became thankful.

After telling this kind of story, Jesus said something like this:
“Yes! This wicked judge gave what she was asking.
Why do you think that this judge listens to her?”

“And what do you think God will do, if you pray like that?
Do you think God will act for you?
Yes, God will make sure that you get your justice.
So pray like your life depends on God.
God loves to answer.”

Jesus is asking us to pray.
We have been learning about God.
We have been getting to know God whom we pray to.
When we understand God, we know what to expect from God.
Then when we pray, we always experience God answers our prayer.
Then we may understand God even more.
So Jesus asks us to pray more.

Now this church has been in this area for 33 years.
We have been praying for 33 years.
Now we want to know God’s plan for next year.
We want to listen to God and do what God wants here.
What does God want here?

God wants us to pray, because God has a great plan for this area.
God wants us to pray and ask for what God has prepared for us.

So for a while, I just want us to pray.
Do nothing but pray.
And see what God does in God’s time.
If we want to change someone, we don’t talk about him or her.
But we only pray for them.
We want to see what if we do nothing but pray.
We may offer one hour of prayer to God every day.
If we could not offer one chunk of hour, we may offer various 10 minute or 20 minute to offer one hour of prayer.

There we may begin.
When we pray, something changes in a spiritual realm.
Then God changes this area and the world.
Then God helps missionaries through us.
Then God helps the Korean elderly in this area.

God will guide the direction of our church.
Then God may asks us to do something.
God may guide us to do what God asks us to do.

So let me make an example to see what would happen when we follow God’s lead.
Let’s say as we pray, God asks us to help the Korean elderly in this area.
So we think about how to serve them.
Then what would happen?
God may give us some idea.
We may also have some idea.
Then we may discuss to know which is God’s idea.
In the beginning, we may be not sure about that.
So we pray and think about those ideas.
We pray and discern to know God’s will.

Then we will know what God wants to do.
Then we may become clear about what God wants.
Then we pray accordingly.

Then we move slowly with God.
As we think and pray, we continually do what God asks us.
Then we may eventually know how to help the elderly.
In this way, we may also grow spiritually.
We may learn more about God.

Then God will make our service move smoothly.
We may slowly make our service better as we pray and think.
We may improve our service according to God’s good will.

But when we serve God, we may also think about this.
In the Bible, we see those who were chosen to serve God.
When they did God’s will, God gave them success.
But when they did something without praying about that or when they did something according to their sinful hearts, they experienced various defeat and failure. 1 Chronicles 21.
Because of their disobedience some of them were totally destroyed.
God chose them to bless them and do God’s will.
But they worried about something that was not important.
Then they made this kind of mistakes.
Because they didn’t know God’s will, they made worse instead of improving.

So we need to continually watch and pray.
We always need to know God’s will.
We want our God to guide us.
So as we serve God, we need to value our praying time.
We need to think and contemplate more than just doing something.

We serve Almighty God.
God has all the power.
God can do something great.
God can bless us, more than we ever experience.
So we want to listen to God, and obey.
We want to do only what God asks us.

Today Jesus asks us to pray continually.
When we continually pray, we receive what is right for us.

But sometimes, we forget to pray.
We may forget about what we need to pray for.
So, we may need to remind us about prayer.

When I just became a Christian, I was taught to build up my own prayer list.
So I try to make my own prayer list and try to pray continually.
When God answers my prayer, I mark it and thank God.
And I know that God really listens to our prayer.

Then I was suggested to write down only names that I want to pray for continually.
I looked at those names and prayed.
In the past, I prayed:
“God, help this person learn more of you.
Help them to understand you.
Be with them.
Keep them safe.
Let them know you.
Let them understand you.”

But sometimes, when I prayed like that, God helped me to pray in a specific way.
Then my prayer was answered.

For example, in the past, when I pray with my old list, suddenly I thought this particular person could be a good missionary.
So I pray according to this impression.
It think God guided me to pray like that.
Then she became a missionary.

God guides us to pray and answer our prayer.
As we pray, God may guide us pray according to his will.
So if we pray, our life can be very different.

I also learn to write my prayer journal when I want to know God’s will.
Then I can think about what I am praying.
Sometimes, I wrote my questions to God.
Then when I feel God is saying something, then I wrote down God’s possible answer.
Then I think about what God is saying or guiding me.
Then I may hear God better.

Also as I read the story of Jesus, sometimes I stop and pray.
Or I wrote down what God seems saying to me.
I can not be 100% sure.
But sometimes, I am more sure because I feel a very calming peace as I hear that words.

Anyway, my reading makes me think and pray.
My readings helps me receive the faith of Jesus Christ.
Then I can pray for something that I have not prayed before.
I pray because now I have faith.

In order to discern God’s will in my life, sometimes, I also write my answers to these questions:
What did I enjoy in these days?
What have I learned?
What did I notice?
What feelings am I aware of?
What feelings did I experience in my days?
For which experiences am I grateful?
How was Jesus present to me?
In what ways, was Jesus trying to communicate with me?
Is Jesus calling me to an action?

Then I may know what Jesus may have been saying to me.

I don’t know what method is better for you.
But I hope that you learn to pray.
You may write down your prayer.
You may write down the names that you want to pray for.
Or you may pray calling various names you remember.
You may relax and wait for God to speak to you, since prayer is listening.

If you pray according to God’s plan, God accomplishes according to what you pray.
So your prayer really help people around you.
It may take some time.
But God will show you when God has answered your prayer.

I pray that we become a praying church.
We pray for our family, friend, people of this area, Korea, USA and the world.
Then we are become God’s partner on earth.
We also pray for whoever comes here.
We don’t judge them.
We just pray for them regularly.
Then we will see that they change for God.
We will also change for God.
Then God will be very happy as God’s will is accomplished right here.
And we will experience God more.
Then when we have the faith of Jesus Christ, we may pray and live according to God’s great plan for us.

Let’s pray:
Thank you Jesus for your presence in our life.
Help us to understand that you are in us and we are in you.
Thank you for giving us a wonderful life.

Jesus, we offer various names that we remember.
Be with them so that they may also live your life on earth.
We pray this in your name.
Amen.