Bible Study Guides – Examples of Victory Through Prayer

May 27, 2007 – June 2, 2007

Key Text

“Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].” John 14:13, 14.

Study Help: Gospel Workers (1892), 112-114.


“There are two kinds of prayer,¾the prayer of form and the prayer of faith. The repetition of set, customary phrases when the heart feels no need of God, is formal prayer. . . . We should be extremely careful in all our prayers to speak the wants of the heart, and to say only what we mean. All the flowery words at our command are not equivalent to one holy desire. The most eloquent prayers are but vain repetitions, if they do not express the true sentiments of the heart. But the prayer that comes from an earnest heart, when the simple wants of the soul are expressed just as we would ask an earthly friend for a favor, expecting that it would be granted¾this is the prayer of faith. . . .

“In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with God. Our minds may be drawn out toward him; we may meditate upon his works, his mercies, his blessings; but this is not communing with him. To commune with God we must have something to say to him concerning our actual life. . . . He who wrought wonderfully for his servants of old will listen to the prayer of faith and pardon our transgressions. He has promised, and he will fulfill his word.” The Signs of the Times, August 14, 1884.

1 What cheering promise did Jesus leave as an incentive to prayer? John 14:13.

note: “ ‘If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.’ 1 John 5:14, 15. Then press your petition to the Father in the name of Jesus. God will honor that name. . . .

“When we come to Him confessing our unworthiness and sin, He has pledged Himself to give heed to our cry. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word unto us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 148.

“To pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works.” Steps to Christ, 100, 101.

2 At what set times did the psalmist call upon God? Psalm 55:17. What was the custom of Daniel in this matter? Daniel 6:10, 13.

note: “Three times a day Daniel offered his petitions to God. He knew that One mighty in counsel was the source of wisdom and power. The truth as it is in Jesus¾the sword of the Spirit, which cuts both ways¾was his weapon of warfare.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 229.

“Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Luke 22:41. Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Acts 9:40. Paul declared, ‘I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel ‘kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.’ Daniel 6:10.” Prophets and Kings, 48.

3 When Israel sinned in making the golden calf, what did the Lord say to Moses? Exodus 32:9, 10. What did Moses do? Verses 11–13. What answer was given? Verse 14.

note: “ ‘Let Me alone, . . . that I may consume them,’ [Exodus 32:10] were the words of God. If God had purposed to destroy Israel, who could plead for them? How few but would have left the sinners to their fate! How few but would have gladly exchanged a lot of toil and burden and sacrifice, repaid with ingratitude and murmuring, for a position of ease and honor, when it was God Himself that offered the release.

“But Moses discerned ground for hope where there appeared only discouragement and wrath. The words of God, ‘Let Me alone,’ he understood not to forbid but to encourage intercession, implying that nothing but the prayers of Moses could save Israel, but that if thus entreated, God would spare His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 318.

4 What insolent message did the king of Assyria once send to Hezekiah through Rabshakeh concerning Jerusalem? Isaiah 37:8–13. What did Hezekiah do? Verses 14–20.

note: “Hezekiah’s pleadings in behalf of Judah and of the honor of their Supreme Ruler were in harmony with the mind of God. Solomon, in his benediction at the dedication of the temple, had prayed the Lord to maintain ‘the cause of His people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.’ 1 Kings 8:59, 60. Especially was the Lord to show favor when, in times of war or of oppression by an army, the chief men of Israel should enter the house of prayer and plead for deliverance.” Prophets and Kings, 359.

5 What encouraging message came to Hezekiah through Isaiah the prophet? Isaiah 37:33–35. What deliverance came from the hand of the Lord in answer to prayer? Verse 36; 11 Chronicles 32:20, 21.

note: “God answered the prayers of his servants. To Isaiah was given the message for Hezekiah.” Prophets and Kings, 354.

“The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian. The honor of Jehovah was vindicated in the eyes of the surrounding nations. In Jerusalem the hearts of the people were filled with holy joy. Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them.” Ibid., 361, 362.

6 When Elijah was urged by the widow to restore her son to life, what did he do? 1 Kings 17:17–21. What answer was given to his earnest prayer? Verse 22.

note: “We have a God whose ear is not closed to our petitions; and if we prove his word, he will honor our faith. He wants us to have all our interests interwoven with his interests, and then he can safely bless us; for we shall not then take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall render all the praise to God. God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon him; for should he do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favors he bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we would become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon him, and our need of his help.

“Elijah humbled himself until he was in a condition where he would not take the glory to himself. This is the condition upon which the Lord hears prayer, for then we shall give the praise to him. The custom of offering praise to men is one that results in great evil.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1891.

7 For what did Elijah pray on another occasion during a time of great apostasy? James 5:17, 18. (Compare 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41–45.)

note: “[James 5:17 quoted.] Faith such as this is needed in the world today¾faith that will lay hold on the promises of God’s word and refuse to let go until Heaven hears. Faith such as this connects us closely with Heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness.” Prophets and Kings, 157.

8 When Dorcas died, for whom did the believers send? What scene did Peter behold on his arrival? Acts 9:36–39. What wonderful victory over death came through the prayer of faith? Verses 40, 41.

note: “In Joppa there was a Dorcas, whose skillful fingers were more active than her tongue. She knew who needed comfortable clothing and who needed sympathy, and she freely ministered to the wants of both classes. And when Dorcas died, the church in Joppa realized their loss. It is no wonder that they mourned and lamented, nor that warm teardrops fell upon the inanimate clay. She was of so great value that by the power of God she was brought back from the land of the enemy, that her skill and energy might still be a blessing to others.

“Such patient, prayerful, and persevering fidelity as was possessed by these saints of God is rare; yet the church cannot prosper without it. It is needed in the church, in the Sabbath school, and in society. Many come together in church relationship with their natural traits of character unsubdued; and in a crisis, when strong, hopeful spirits are needed, they give up to discouragement and bring burdens on the church; and they do not see that this is wrong. The cause does not need such persons, for they are unreliable; but there is always a call for steadfast, God-fearing workers, who will not faint in the day of adversity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 304.

9 When Peter was in prison, what was the church doing? Acts 12:5.

note: “Persevering prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always if we would grow in faith and experience. . . . Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life, and from our life purity and holiness flow back to God.

“There is necessity of diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. You will obtain the blessing you desire if you faint not. Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden him; you cannot weary him.” The Signs of the Times, August 21, 1884.

10 What wonderful deliverances came to the Lord’s servant, Peter, in answer to the prayers of the church? Acts 12:6–10.

note: “The same angel who had come from the royal courts to rescue Peter, had been the messenger of wrath and judgment to Herod. The angel smote Peter to arouse him from slumber; it was with a different stroke that he smote the wicked king, laying low his pride and bringing upon him the punishment of the Almighty. Herod died in great agony of mind and body, under the retributive judgment of God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 152.

“We need to understand better than we do the mission of the angels. It would be well to remember that every true child of God has the co-operation of heavenly beings. Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength, stand at God’s right hand, ‘all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.’ Hebrews 1:14.” Ibid., 154.

11 When Paul and Silas were in prison, what did they do? Acts 16:25. What victory over earthly power and bondage came in response to their earnest prayers? Verses 26–31.

note: “Through his long term of service, Paul had never faltered in his allegiance to his Saviour. Wherever he was¾whether before scowling Pharisees, or Roman authorities; before the furious mob at Lystra, or the convicted sinners in the Macedonian dungeon; whether reasoning with the panic-stricken sailors on the shipwrecked vessel, or standing alone before Nero to plead for his life¾he had never been ashamed of the cause he was advocating. The one great purpose of his Christian life had been to serve Him whose name had once filled him with contempt; and from this purpose no opposition or persecution had been able to turn him aside. His faith, made strong by effort and pure by sacrifice, upheld and strengthened him. . . .

“The true minister of God will not shun hardship or responsibility. From the Source that never fails those who sincerely seek for divine power, he draws strength that enables him to meet and overcome temptation, and to perform the duties that God places upon him. The nature of the grace that he receives, enlarges his capacity to know God and His Son. His soul goes out in longing desire to do acceptable service for the Master.” The Acts of the Apostles, 500, 501.

12 What will hinder the answering of prayer? Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:7; James 4:3.

note: “God hears prayer. . . . If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. We are undeserving of His mercy, but as we give ourselves to Him, He receives us. He will work for and through those who follow Him.

“But only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” The Ministry of Healing, 226, 227.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.