1. The call for Persistence in Prayer on our own behalf. Luke 8:1-8
The object of the parable is stated in verse 1.
God is not compared with the unjust judge: He is contrasted with him, so that truth may be more powerfully presented.
Archbishop Trent writes: ‘If a bad man will yield to the mere force of importunity which he hates, how much more certainly will a righteous God be prevailed on by the powerful prayer which He loves,’
God is not like the unjust judge, but we are like the widow – weak and needy, and with an adversary of terrible power seeking to oppress and vanquish us.
Deliverance comes as soon as we prove our earnestness and endurance in prayer.
2. The Caveat about Pride in Prayer: Luke 8:9-14
The Pharisee “prayed ……with himself.” Evidently his prayers got no further. He asked nothing, and he got it (v,14). His prayer was only an excuse to parade his perfections (v.9). Augustine says: “He was like the sufferer on the table of a physician, who would show his sound limbs and cover hurts.”
The publican, asking for mercy, received justification; but the Pharisee, striving to justify himself, remained unjustified.
3. The Call for Perseverance in Prayer on behalf of others: Luke 11:5-8
Here, the prayer lesson is again endurance, and again the method is that of contrast, this time between the tardy selfishness of man and the ready bounty of God.
Importunity in intercession for others is a harder thing than importunity in supplication for our own needs, but it is just as necessary in the purposes of God, and it is here that we fail Him most.