What themes have you uncovered in this teaching section of Luke (chapters 9-19)? Repeatedly, Jesus addresses the matter of helping– or concern for – others, particularly the poor (10:25ff; 12:32ff; 15:1ff), the importance of paying attention to his teaching (10:38ff), repentance (13:1ff) and obedience (11:28; 12:35ff), materialism and the proper use of money(12:13-31; 16:1ff), and hypocrisy (13:10ff; 14:1ff).
Another important theme of Luke has to do with prayer.
Only Luke tells you Jesus prayed at his baptism and after that, Jesus is regularly at prayer (see 9:18,28-29; 11:1ff) and in chapter eighteen, he says his disciples should pray and not give up.
And why is this even an issue? If God hears our prayers, loves us, assures us of his responsiveness, why would we ever give up on prayer?
The answer, of course, is that we don’t always get what we pray for, and even when we do, it is not always in the time frame we expect. And so, whether because of delay or disappointment, folks give up on God. You could blame God. After all, if He doesn’t respond with the urgency we think we require, it’s His fault.
The parable speaks directly to this issue. It isn’t that we have to keep on nagging God to do our bidding. It is that we must continue to depend on God, and we show that dependence by continual prayer. It is an evidence of faith. Frequency of prayer, confidence in prayer, specificity in prayer – all these are really measures of faith.