From Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hacienda Heights, California.
A sermon by Rev. William Cwirla. Luke 18:1-8 / 21 Pentecost (Proper 23) / 17 October 2010 /
Persistence. That’s the key idea in today’s Gospel. Persistent prayer. Think of how easily we get discouraged. We quit when things don’t go our way. We leave when things get uncomfortable. When the going gets rough, we check out. We pray, and when God doesn’t deliver on our terms, we hang up and stop talking. We have a case of spiritual ADD, I’m afraid. Our attention wanders, our prayers falter, we are easily discouraged.
Jesus told a parable about persistence in prayer. It comes immediately after Jesus’ teaching His disciples about the suddenness and speediness of His coming, and how there will be no time to get things in order, and how for the remainder of this life they should be like a bunch of buzzards and live off His death, for “where the body is, there the vultures will gather.”
The end times, the times in which we live, and have been living in ever since Jesus sat down to reign over all things at the right hand of the Father almost 2000 years asgo, is a time that calls for persistent prayer. And it is easy to lose heart and become discouraged, especially as we believers see things going from bad to worse to downright evil, as we see the very fabric of culture and society being torn to shreds, as even the Church, the bulwark of truth, seems to be riddled with error, deception, complacency, and downright weirdness. I’m willing to guess that there isn’t one person in this room who hasn’t thought at one time or another, “What’s the point of prayer?” If God does what He wants anyway, if He never seems to answer my prayers, why even bother?