March 3-9, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 93–104.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse.” Steps to Christ, 94.
INTRODUCTION: “If we would develop a character which God can accept, we must form correct habits in our religious life. Daily prayer is as essential to growth in grace, and even to spiritual life itself, as is temporal food to physical well-being. We should accustom ourselves to lift the thoughts often to God in prayer.” Sanctified Life, 93.
God’s Willingness to Answer
1 How did Jesus illustrate the willingness of our Heavenly Father to give us what we need when we ask? Luke 11:13.
NOTE: “Jesus looked upon those who were assembled to hear His words, and earnestly desired that the great multitude might appreciate the mercy and loving-kindness of God. As an illustration of their need, and of God’s willingness to give, He presents before them a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread.…No man with a father’s heart would turn from his son who is hungry and is asking for bread. Would they think him capable of trifling with his child, of tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint him? Would he promise to give him good and nourishing food, and then give him a stone? And should anyone dishonor God by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children?” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, 131, 132.
2 In what manner does James say God will answer the prayer of faith? James 1:5, 6.
NOTE: “I saw that every prayer which is sent up in faith from an honest heart will be heard of God and answered, and the one that sent up the petition will have the blessing when he needs it most, and it will often exceed his expectations. Not a prayer of a true saint is lost if sent up in faith from an honest heart.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 121.
Power of Prayer
3 How did Jesus illustrate the limitless power that every believing disciple can receive in answer to prayer? Matthew 21:21, 22.
NOTE: “From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation.” The Great Controversy, 210.
“Nothing is more needed in our work than the practical results of communion with God. We should show by our daily lives that we have peace and rest in the Saviour. His peace in the heart will shine forth in the countenance. It will give to the voice a persuasive power. Communion with God will ennoble the character and the life. Men will take knowledge of us, as of the first disciples, that we have been with Jesus. This will impart to the worker a power that nothing else can give. Of this power he must not allow himself to be deprived.” The Ministry of Healing, 512.
4 With what power did Jacob prevail at the Brook Jabbok? Genesis 32:24–28.
NOTE: “Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded.” The Great Controversy, 621.
“It was through faith and prayer that Jacob, from being a man of feebleness and sin, became a prince with God. It is thus that you may become men and women of high and holy purpose, of noble life, men and women who will not for any consideration be swayed from truth, right, and justice.” The Ministry of Healing, 511.
CONDITIONS FOR ANSWERS
5 If we are to be receivers, what are we told is necessary in prayer? Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 5:4.
NOTE: “Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand.” Education, 257.
“The prayer of faith is the great strength of the Christian and will assuredly prevail against Satan. This is why he insinuates that we have no need of prayer. The name of Jesus, our Advocate, he detests; and when we earnestly come to Him for help, Satan’s host is alarmed. It serves his purpose well if we neglect the exercise of prayer, for then his lying wonders are more readily received.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 296.
6 What does John say is necessary if we are going to experience the power of prevailing prayer? 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15.
NOTE: “Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. Whatever was given to Christ—the ‘all things’ to supply the need of fallen men—was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And ‘whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’ 1 John 3:22.” The Desire of Ages, 668.
Praise in Prayer
7 What does Paul say will always be connected with true prayer? Philippians 4:6.
NOTE: “Our devotional exercises should not consist wholly in asking and receiving. Let us not be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive. We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. We are the constant recipients of God’s mercies, and yet how little gratitude we express, how little we praise Him for what He has done for us.” Steps to Christ, 102, 103.
“The soul may ascend nearer heaven on the wings of praise. God is worshiped with song and music in the courts above, and as we express our gratitude we are approximating to the worship of the heavenly hosts.” Ibid., 104.
8 When Paul and Silas mingled praise with their prayers, what happened? Acts 16:25, 26.
NOTE: “In the prison at Philippi, while suffering from the cruel stripes they had received, their feet fast in the stocks, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praise to God; and angels were sent from heaven to deliver them. The earth shook under the tread of these heavenly messengers, and the prison doors flew open, setting the prisoners free.” My Life Today, 20.
Private and Public
9 What counsel has Jesus given to His disciples in regard to their personal prayer life? Matthew 6:6.
NOTE: “Have a place for secret prayer. Jesus had select places for communion with God, and so should we. We need often to retire to some spot, however humble, where we can be alone with God.…In the secret place of prayer, where no eye but God’s can see, no ear but His can hear, we may pour out our most hidden desires and longings to the Father of infinite pity, and in the hush and silence of the soul that voice which never fails to answer the cry of human need will speak to our hearts.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, 84.
10 What other kind of prayer does Jesus endorse with the promise of His presence? Matthew 18:19, 20.
NOTE: “We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; all the time would be occupied by short, pointed testimonies and prayers. Ask, believe, and receive. There is too much mocking the Lord, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases God, too many vain, unmeaning petitions.” Early Writings, 115.
Posture in Prayer
11 What example has Daniel and Paul left us in regard to the physical attitude of prayer? Daniel 6:10; Acts 20:36.
NOTE: “Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 312.
“Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with your daily labor. Let the heart be continually uplifted in silent petition for help, for light, for strength, for knowledge.” The Ministry of Healing, 510, 511.
12 In what manner has God declared He would have us approach Him in prayer during public worship? Psalm 95:6.
NOTE: “We hope that our brethren will not manifest less reverence and awe as they approach the only true and living God than the heathen manifest for their idol deities, or these people will be our judges in the day of final decision.…Men and women, do not dishonor God by your irreverence and pomposity. Do not stand up in your Phariseeism and offer your prayers to God.…And when you assemble to worship God, be sure and bow your knees before Him. Let this act testify that the whole soul, body, and spirit are in subjection to the Spirit of truth.” Ellen G. White Comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1130, 1131.