It’s Me Again, Lord

Title: It's Me Again, Lord

Bible Book: Luke 18 : 1-8

Author: Terry Trivette

Subject: Prayer


On its surface, it seems so simple and easy. You take a club, and you swing it at a little white ball. The object is to hit that ball into a hole in the ground, several hundred yards away. The simplicity of this task is increased by the fact that the rules allow you several swings in your attempt to get this little white ball into the hole.

I am referring, of course, to the game of golf. And for anyone who has ever attempted to play the silly game, you know that contrary to the appearance, golf is anything but easy. 

In much the same way, prayer is an act that on its surface seems simple enough. We “let our requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6)”, and then, almost magically, “we have the petitions that we desired of him. (I John 5:15)”

Like golf, anyone who has ever seriously and earnestly attempted the act of prayer has found that it is not nearly as simple as it first appears to be.

The basic principles and doctrines of prayer are simple, but the execution and practice of those principles is far from simple and easy.

The fact is that because prayer is such a challenging endeavor, very few of God’s people ever really reach the “effective and fervent” type of prayer life that regularly and consistently sees prayers answered.

The reality is; it is not that prayer does not work, but rather that we will not work at prayer. The reason more of our prayers are not answered lies in the fact that we very often do not persist and persevere in our prayer lives. That is; we give up too soon.

In Luke 18, the Lord Jesus gives a parable for the purpose of encouraging us not to give up in our prayer lives.

It is a story set against a secular background. There is nothing spiritual going on in this story. The main characters are a whiny, nagging, widow woman, and a pagan, corrupt judge.

As only He can, the Lord Jesus takes these two earthly figures and uses them to illustrate the heavenly truth of persistent and persevering prayer.

Here the Lord teaches us to pray in such a way, that everyday, we approach the throne of grace and say, “It’s me again, Lord”. That is the heart of persistent prayer, and that is the message of this parable.

There are three things we notice as we study this story given by our Lord. Notice first of all:


Again, as we have already seen in other parables, as you read this story told some 2,000 years ago, there is something in it that is familiar and recognizable to us 2,000 years later.

The story deals with a widow woman that has suffered some sort of injustice. She appeals to the court, but is virtually ignored by an unjust judge, that “feared not God, neither regarded man.”

We may not be widows, and we may not be battling a corrupt and indifferent judge, but there is in this story some things to which we as believers can relate.

Notice a couple of things about this story and this experience to which we can relate. Notice first of all that we should recognize:

A. The experience of dependence

The widow in this parable is an interesting character. The Lord Jesus does not give us all the details of her story, but apparently, someone had done her wrong.

Someone had cheated her, and now she is trying to get help with her situation. There is no husband to stand up for her, and she likely has no money with which to fight for herself. So she is forced to come to this judge.

She is completely dependent upon his ruling. If he does not intervene, she will not be vindicated, and her situation will not change.

In a similar way, prayer is an act that by its nature requires us to be dependent. To seek God about a matter is to admit that we cannot do it apart from His help.

We like to be independent. We like to do things ourselves. Yet, there are so many situations in life that force us to our knees, and force us to confess our needs to God.

We want to be self-reliant, and self-sufficient, but if we are honest, there is so much in our lives that we simply cannot do ourselves.

For instance, we cannot save our loved-ones. We cannot heal our own bodies. We cannot supply all the shortfalls in our finances. We cannot insure the safety of our children.

We too, like the widow, in many ways find ourselves totally dependent upon the ruling of God. We must have His intervention in our lives, or else there are many things we simply will not have.

The late Pastor Adrian Rogers once said, “Prayerlessness is a spirit of independence from God.”[i] In other words, when we do not pray, we say that we do not need God.

However, like the widow woman, the reality is that we do need God! We have no other option apart from His gracious intervention in our lives! We must have Him, and therefore we must seek Him!

Notice something else we recognize from this story. We recognize not only the experience of dependence, but we recognize also further:

B. The experience of delay

As we will see later, we as believers are not like this widow women when it comes to our prayer lives, and the act of coming to God in prayer. In fact, she is actually a contrast to us when it comes to the matter of approaching God in prayer.

However, there are some ways in which our situation is like this widow woman’s. As we have already seen, she had to be dependent. There is something else though; she had to wait. She asked for something, but she did not immediately receive it.

Likewise, there are times when we bring our requests to God in prayer, and then we are faced with a delay. God, for some reason, does not immediately give us the thing we have asked for.

Like the widow, our request is a “just” thing. We are asking for something that is in accordance with God’s will, and nevertheless, the answer does not immediately come.

Yes, there are times when God instantly and immediately responds to our request, and grants us the thing we have asked for. Yet, there are equally as many times when God puts us on hold, and chooses to delay the answer to our request.

There are many reasons why God might delay the answer, but the truth we are confronted with in this story is the simple fact that at times, God does ask us to wait.

The principle of waiting on the Lord is one that is repeated throughout the Bible. In the Book of Psalms alone, the word “wait” appears 22 times.

It is an undeniable fact. Many times, like this widow, our requests are not immediately answered, and we are forced to wait for that which we have asked.

In this story, we recognize the experience of both needing and waiting on the Lord. If you are going to pray, then you will come understand dependence and patience, for they are part of any true prayer life.

Notice something else we draw from this story. Notice not only that we see the experience that is recognizable, but notice also secondly that we see:


The story of this widow, and her fight for justice, is a story that points us to an encouraging truth. This parable was told by the Lord Jesus for the purpose of encouraging us.

Most people, when they look at their prayer life, are anything but encouraged. If we were honest, most of us would admit that our prayer lives are sub-par, and never seem to achieve quite what the Scripture says they should.

In this parable we find encouragement for our prayer lives. Notice a couple of things that encourage us from this story. Notice first of all that we are encouraged by:

A. The cause of this parable

Saintly old Matthew Henry said of this story, “This parable has its key hanging at the door.” Henry was referring to verse one, where Luke tells us, “And he [Jesus] spake a parable to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

Up front, Luke tells us the reason and meaning of this parable. Christ told this story with the intention of encouraging men not to give up in their prayers.

The tendency in our lives is that when we make a request to God, if there is no answer in short order, we get discouraged and give up. That is exactly what the Lord Jesus is trying to prevent from happening.

Notice again in verse one that this parable was told to encourage us “not to faint.” The phrase “to faint” comes from a Greek word that literally means to turn coward, or to lose heart.

Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of grace…”, however, if we are forced to wait for God’s reply, too often we turn cowardly, afraid God will not answer, and we lose heart. The result is that we quit praying over that particular request.

Yet, before us in Luke 18, there is a story told by our Lord, for the purpose of cheering us on, and encouraging us not to quit praying or seeking God.

From the Word, the blessed Son of God, our heavenly Intercessor, says to you, “Don’t give up! Don’t stop now! Don’t lose heart! Keep praying! Keep asking! I want you to keep on coming to Me!”

Growing up playing sports, I used to feel that there was nothing on earth more useless and pointless than a cheerleader. Who needs these silly girls screaming out senseless chants, and waving bushes around?

As I have gotten a little older, I have grown to appreciate those people who come alongside us in life and cheer us on. Encouragement is the oil that keeps life moving.

Perhaps you have given up praying over a particular issue. Right now, before you is a story that Christ told for no other reason than to cheer you on. He says, “Don’t give up! Keep praying!”

There is something else in this story from which we receive encouragement. Notice not only that there is encourage found in the cause of this parable, but notice also further that there is encouragement found in:

B. The contrast of this parable

If you are not careful, you will read this parable, and assume that we are to be like this nagging, incessant, whining widow, and that God is like this cruel and indifferent judge.

If you misinterpret this parable, you will walk away thinking that God has to be bothered, nagged, and worn down before He will finally, and begrudgingly give us that for which we have asked.

This is simply not the case. In the parable, the Lord Jesus is teaching through contrast. He is showing how that if persistence is effective in the case of a widow dealing with an unjust judge, how much more effective will persistence be in dealing with our Heavenly Father.

Note some of the contrasts in this story. For instance, this widow was a stranger. This judge had no connection to her. Yet when we come to God, we are not coming as strangers, but as sons!

Likewise, this judge tried to make this widow go away. Our Father wants and desires for us to come to Him with our needs and requests.

Furthermore, this was an unjust judge, who did not care for this woman. Our Father is a righteous judge, who loves us with an unconditional, unending love.

This woman could only come to this judge at certain times, and yet as Christ says in verse seven, we can cry out to our father “day and night.”

Don’t you see the beautiful contrast? If persistence and perseverance paid off for a widow dealing with an unjust judge, how much more should we be continuous and persistent in bringing our request to the Father!

The old puritan, Thomas Watson, once said, “Prayer delights God’s ear, it melts His heart, it opens His hand: God cannot deny a praying soul.”[ii]

Let this story encourage you. Don’t get faint hearted and quit praying now! Your Father is listening and working!

There is a third point that we glean from this parable. We see here not only the experience that is recognizable, and the encouragement that is received, but notice also thirdly and finally that we see:


In this story we are brought face to face with a truth regarding prayer. Prayer is an exercise. It is a work. It is tasking, it is toiling, it is testing.

Years ago, Andrew Murray wrote a book entitled With Christ in the School of Prayer. The title itself is instructive. Prayer is something we learn about over time. Prayer is something the Lord must teach us.

In this parable, there are two truths in particular that the Lord Jesus teaches us about the exercise of prayer. Notice first of all that we see:

A. The exercise of persistent prayer

Notice in the story verse five. Originally, the judge had denied the widows request. But notice how things changed. Eventually the judge says, “Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

Verse five is an interesting verse in the original language. Literally the judge says this, “This widow is bringing me trouble, and I am going to grant her request, or she is going to wear me out until I do.”

When you understand how this judge felt you get an idea of what this woman must have done. Everyday, when court began, there she was standing in line to have her case heard. Every time it came to her, she would cry out, “Give me justice! Help me!” She would not quit!

Again, the lesson is not that we are to nag God, or to brow beat Him into doing our will. No, the lesson is that we must not quit. Persistence must be the aim in our prayer life.

George Mueller lived over one hundred years ago in England. He ran an orphanage, and did so solely upon faith in God. He was a man with an extraordinary prayer life. In his diary, Mueller wrote this, “In November of 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of five individuals. I prayed every day without a single intermission…” He went on to say, “…Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the five was converted…Five years elapsed, and then the second was converted…” Mueller said that day by day he continued, unceasingly, to pray for the other three. He says, “…six years passed before the third was converted…”

As he had for the other three, Mueller continued to pray for the remaining two. Thirty six years later, Mueller wrote in his diary that he was still praying for them, and believed that while, “…they are not converted yet …they will be.” In 1897, fifty-two years after he began to pray, and a couple of years after Mueller had died, the final two men were converted.[iii]

George Mueller understood the meaning of persistence. It is not casually and occasionally bringing a request to God. It is everyday, without exception, bringing our case before Him, and pleading His intervention.

What is it you have given up on? What request have you shelved, believing God will not answer? The parable of our Lord calls us to come “night and day” and be persistent in our prayers.

Notice the second exercise that is revealed in this parable. We see not only the exercise of persistent prayer, but we see also further:

B. The exercise of prevailing prayer

Say what you will about this widow, she accomplished what she set out to do. She got the answer she had been seeking.

Could that be said of your prayer life? Do you get the things you have prayed for? Do you prevail in prayer? When was the last time you saw God answer a prayer?

There is a reminder in this story that prevailing prayer is possible. It is possible, but there is a key.

This widow truly believed that if she came long enough, and cried loud enough, that eventually this judge would give her what she wanted. She had faith.

Though this widows faith may have been misguided, she points us to an important truth. Notice how the Lord Jesus closes this parable. He says in verse eight, “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Could it be that the reason so few of us ever truly experience prevailing prayer, is because so few of us truly have the faith to believe that God will answer our prayers?

Prevailing prayer is persistent prayer, and persistent prayer is believing prayer. If you truly believe that God can and will answer, then you will continue to ask until He does!

The great missionary statesmen, Adoniram Judson once said, “I never prayed sincerely for anything but it came, at some time…somehow, in some shape.”

Prevailing prayer believes that somewhere, somehow, someway, sometime, God is going to answer our request.

Is your prayer life an exercise of persistent and prevailing prayer? It can be. It should be.

Many years ago I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Ivor Powell preach. He is with the Lord now, yet still to this day, his books are constant resource in my ministry.

In his commentary on Luke, he comes to this story, and he says that that the Lord Jesus used this story to teach us that, “…when we need something urgently, we should never give up. Mountains are made to be climbed; doors are made to open, and the suppliant who ceases to pray because his answer does not arrive immediately, proves his desires are shallow.”[iv]

Think about this. If your request was important enough to pray about in the first place, is it not important enough to keep praying about until the Father answers it?

For this reason the Lord Jesus gave us this parable, “…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

[i] Adrianisms Vol. 2; Rogers, Adrian; p. 40

[ii] Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, & Quotes; p. 622

[iii] Perfect Illustrations; p. 208

[iv] Luke’s Thrilling Gospel; Powell, Ivor; p. 376

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