CONTEXT: There are three main themes in this chapter, Prayer, humility and disciplined discipleship. Matthew Henry breaks it down as follows: In this chapter we have, I. The parable of the importunate widow, designed to teach us fervency in prayer (v. 1-8). II. The parable of the Pharisee and publican, designed to teach us humility, and humiliation for sin, in prayer (v. 9-14). III. Christ’s favour to little children that were brought to him (v. 15-17). IV. The trial of a rich man that had a mind to follow Christ, whether he loved better Christ or his riches; his coming short upon that trial; and Christ’s discourse with his disciples upon that occasion (v. 18-30). V. Christ’s foretelling his own death and sufferings (v. 31-34). VI. His restoring sight to a blind man (v. 35-43). And these four passages we had before in Matthew and Mark.
Our sermon today is taken from the first parable/theme.
A CALL TO PRAYER
by J. C. Ryle
“Men ought always to pray.” Luke 18:1
“I will that men pray everywhere.” 1 Timothy 2:1
I have a question to offer you. It is contained in three words, DO YOU PRAY?
The question is one that none but you can answer. Whether you attend public worship or not, your minister knows. Whether you have family prayers or not your relations know. But whether you pray in private or not, is a matter between yourself and God.
I beseech you in all affections to attend to the subject I bring before you. Do not say that my question is too close. If your heart is right in the sight of God, there is nothing in it to make you afraid. Do not turn off my question by replying that you say your prayers. It is one thing to say your prayers and another to pray. Do not tell me that my question is necessary. Listen to me for a few minutes, and I will show you good reason for asking it…