Prayer-School: Luke 18:1-8

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Luke 18:1-8 (Richard Lang)

Originally from: (Richard & Holly Lang)
Originally dated: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 22:51:54 EST

Greetings Dear Friends

Holly and I have been lifting up the prayer school core daily and we praise the Lord for each of you.

We have been asking the Lord for a word - as it were - concerning the prayer school, and we got the feeling that we should submit the following lesson to the leadership core. Several of the leadership core indicated to us that we ought to send this on to the prayer school list. Consequently we are sending this to you and we praise the Lord that you will be blessed by it. After you have finished reading it through and pondering it, we would be very blessed for any response you might offer.

Here is the study.

"Continual Persistence & Being Given Your Rights or Your Vindication" Luke 18:1-8 Translated by Richard Lang

Over the years, we began to notice that some folks were urging us to be persistent in prayer, whereas others were urging us to pray once and only once. They told us that praying more than once was a lack of faith and even an insult to the Lord. This was a very pressing dilemma, because we wanted our prayer life to be very pleasing to the Lord.

During those years, the Lord began to show us a variety of Scripture passages which tended to deal with persistence. We noted with fascination that in Mark 8:22-26, even Jesus had to lay his hands on the blind man two times.

Paul at one point tells us that he prayed three times for a particular thorn in his side in 2nd Cor. 12:8.

In our own personal experience we sometimes found that a healing came when we laid hands on a person the second or even third time. We began to see that persistence paid off. Then, we met Charles and Frances Hunter at one of their "Healing Explosions," and they were telling people that if they did not get their healing in one prayer line then go to the other. Benny Hinn told a story of one woman who was very persistent, who followed him from crusade to crusade until she was healed.

In our own family we have seen times when one prayer brought healing. My mother was healed from glaucoma and cataracts as we laid hands on her just one time. However, when our daughter began to have seizures, not only did we take her to the doctor, we also began to lay hands on her daily for about three years when she received her healing in spite of the fact that her problem was not curable. Even the doctor was amazed.

In the midst of all of this, the Lord led us to two passages: Luke 11:1-13 & Luke 18:1-8. Both of these have to do with being persistent in prayer. We would like to share one of those with you at this time, Luke 18:1-8. Please note that I have taken the time to translate this passage, because Holly and I do want our understanding to be very pleasing to the Lord. This passage does tend to indicate that Jesus is instructing us to be persistent. However, if in English you might see an emphasis on persistence, then wait until you see what really comes out of the Greek.

As you read my translation, you might have one or two other versions in front of you for comparison. Here is my translation followed by some helpful notes.

"Continual Persistence & Being Given Your Rights or Your Vindication" Luke 18:1-8 Translated by Richard Lang

1. And Jesus told them a parable that it is necessary to pray continually and not to lose heart or to despair, not even to mope.

2. He said, there was a judge in a certain town, who never feared God and never regarded men.

3. And a widow was in the same town, and she was continually coming to him and continually saying, "I demand that you give me my rights, to vindicate me from my adversary."

4. For a time he was not willing; but afterward he said to himself, "I do not fear God nor regard men,

5. yet if by her holding out, the widow wears me out, I will give her her rights and vindicate her and put an end to her continual coming and speaking."

6. And the Lord said, "I command you to hear what the unrighteous judge says."

7. And, will not God give rights, and vindicate the elect, those who are especially beloved and chosen, who cry out to Him continually both day and night? He will have patience and will not long delay over them.

8. I tell you that He will give them their rights and vindicate them quickly and speedily.

Some helpful notes verse by verse:

1. The word, necessary, comes from a Greek word having to do with an "essential duty" or "obligation." Prayer is something that we ought to do. It is a necessity, a duty or an obligation.

2. The word, never, has the added emphasis of being a "continual" negative action. In this case the judge "continually" or "never" God and never regarded man. If he had no regard for men, how much less regard would he have for a widow?

3. In a number of different situations, widows are mentioned in Scripture. It is my understanding that a widow in Israel was very often looked down upon and had no place in society, and very often they had little or no rights. In a male dominated society, a woman's rights were in her husband. Consequently, for a widow woman to bring a demand to an overbearing judge would be unheard of. You might say that she had three strikes against her even before she came to court.

However, this woman knew her rights, and she had the gall to pursue those rights with a vengeance. The Greek tends to stress her "continual" coming, and her "continual" speaking. Then, she does something that must have been absolutely outrageous. She tells the judge, "I demand my rights!" or "I command you to give me my rights." This is very strong language, but the Greek is in the imperative, command, form of the verb.

The woman had several things going for her before she came to court.

  1. She knew her rights. I urge you to discover your rights in God's Word.
  2. She was not hesitant in coming "continually" and speaking "continually." I urge you not to hesitate in coming and speaking "continually" to God.
  3. She was not unwilling to bring her "demands" to the judge. I urge you not to be unwilling to bring your "demands" before God.

Note also that the word normally translated as vindication may also be translated as rights. To vindicate someone also means to give someone their rights. In my translation, I felt that I would use a combination of vindication and rights to amplify the text.

4. In this verse, we need to note the passing of time, which is something that many of us are unable to do when it comes to prayer. Jesus is admitting that the answer may take time, and this is why He tells us, "not to lose heart or to despair or to mope," but to pray "continually."

5. Two things occur in this verse. The judge becomes weary and tired of her coming. Most important of all, he becomes weary because of the woman's "continual" coming and talking. Again the stress of the parable is on our "continual" coming.

6. Jesus now "commands" to hear. Again the same Greek verb tense is used by Jesus in this verse as we saw the widow use in verse three. i.e. The imperative, command, form of the verb.

7. Verse seven now turns away from the judge and applies what we have learned to God, Himself. We are told that the elect - that is the chosen or the exalted or the specially beloved - are to cry out to God "continually." Again the stress is on our "continually" crying out to the Lord. Further stress upon our "continually" crying out comes from Jesus urging us to cry out all the more both day and night.

8. Beginning in verse seven and flowing over to verse eight we see that those who continually cry out both day and night will be rewarded. God will not long delay over them, and He will in fact give them their rights and vindicate them speedily and quickly. This is a tremendous promise!

This parable leaves no doubt that we are to come continually before God. Such continual coming and speaking is not a lack of faith. Obedience to the parable produces reward. I trust that I have been able to stimulate your insights to the parable as well as to your way of praying. If you have any questions or comments, I would be very blessed to hear them and respond to them to the best of my ability. See our address below.


Sincerely in Jesus!

Your fellow workers,

Richard & Holly Lang

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