Bible Study Guides – Prayer — Limitations of Prayer

November 24, 2019 – November 30, 2019

Key Text

“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us” (1 John 5:14).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 524–536.


“They that are abiding in Jesus have the assurance that God will hear them, because they love to do His will. They offer no formal, wordy prayer, but come to God in earnest, humble confidence as a child to a tender father, and pour out the story of their grief and fears and sins, and in the name of Jesus present their wants; they depart from His presence rejoicing in the assurance of pardoning love and sustaining grace.” Our High Calling, 147.



  • What request did Mary and Martha bring to Jesus? John 11:1, 3. What faith was this expression meant to convey?

Note: “When Lazarus became sick, they [Mary and Martha] sent Jesus the word, ‘Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick’ (John 11:3). There was no further word, no urgent message for Him to come. They fully expected that their beloved Friend would at once come and heal their brother.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 109.

  • Did Jesus answer the sisters’ prayer? John 11:6. What was the result of Jesus’ delay? Verses 11–14.

Note: “As soon as the messenger had gone, they [Mary and Martha] saw a decided change for the worse in the sick man. His fever rapidly increased, and soon they realized that in the fight between life and death, death had triumphed. With hearts full of anguish, they saw their brother die.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 109.



  • Why did Jesus allow Lazarus to die? John 11:4, 15. What honor came to Lazarus as a result of Jesus’ delay in coming to see him? Verses 38–44.

Note: “For their [the disciples’] sake He permitted Lazarus to die. Had He restored him from illness to health, the miracle that is the most positive evidence of His divine character, would not have been performed.” The Desire of Ages, 528.

  • What can we learn from the experience of Jesus with Lazarus? Psalm 37:5, 7, first part.

 Note: “Nothing wounds the soul like the sharp darts of unbelief. When trial comes, as it will, do not worry or complain. Silence in the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. ‘Then are they glad because they be quiet’ (Psalm 107:30). Remember that underneath you are the everlasting arms. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him’ (Psalm 37:7). He is guiding you into a harbor of gracious experience.” In Heavenly Places, 269.

  • Why does God sometimes delay answering our prayers? Hebrews 10:35, 36; Job 23:10.

Note: “We are sometimes tempted to think that the promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ (Mathew 7:7) is not fulfilled unless the answer comes immediately when the request is made. It is our privilege to ask for special blessings, and to believe that they will be given us. But if the blessings asked for are not immediately granted, we are not to think that our prayers are not heard. We shall receive, even if the answer is delayed for a time. In carrying out the plan of redemption, Christ sees enough in humanity to discourage Him. But He does not become discouraged. In mercy and love He continues to offer us opportunities and privileges. So we are to rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. The answer to our prayers may not come as quickly as we desire, and it may not be just what we have asked; but He who knows what is for the highest good of His children will bestow a much greater good than we have asked, if we do not become faithless and discouraged.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 6, 1899.



  • As Jesus was to become a sacrifice for our sins, how did His human nature respond to the conflict before Him? Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42.

Note: “A mysterious cloud seemed to enshroud the Son of God. Its gloom was felt by those near Him. He sat rapt in thought. At last the silence was broken by His mournful voice, ‘Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour’ (John 12:27)? In anticipation Christ was already drinking the cup of bitterness. His humanity shrank from the hour of abandonment, when to all appearance He would be deserted even by God, when all would see Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. He shrank from public exposure, from being treated as the worst of criminals, from a shameful and dishonored death. A foreboding of His conflict with the powers of darkness, a sense of the awful burden of human transgression, and the Father’s wrath because of sin caused the spirit of Jesus to faint, and the pallor of death to overspread His countenance.” The Desire of Ages, 624.

  • Even though His human nature shrank from the conflict before Him, how did Jesus express submission to His Father? Matthew 26:42; John 12:27.

Note: “In the supreme crisis, when heart and soul are breaking under the load of sin, Gabriel is sent to strengthen the divine sufferer, and brace Him to tread His bloodstained path. And while the angel supports His fainting form, Christ takes the bitter cup, and consents to drink its contents.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1123.

  • What did Jesus refuse to pray for, thus revealing His full submission to His Father’s will? Matthew 26:52–54.

Note: “Jesus bid him [Peter] put up the sword, and said unto him, Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? … Jesus added, But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? The hearts of the disciples sunk again in despair and bitter disappointment, as Jesus suffered them to lead Him away.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 48.



  • How did Jeremiah rebuke the people of his day, and how did Jesus apply these words to those around Him? Jeremiah 7:3, 4; Matthew 21:13.

Note: “The priests and rulers had hardened their hearts through selfishness and avarice. The very symbols pointing to the Lamb of God they had made a means of getting gain. Thus in the eyes of the people the sacredness of the sacrificial service had been in a great measure destroyed. The indignation of Jesus was stirred; He knew that His blood, so soon to be shed for the sins of the world, would be as little appreciated by the priests and elders as was the blood of beasts which they kept incessantly flowing.” The Desire of Ages, 590.

  • How does this same condition exist today? Revelation 3:14–20.

Note: “God is true to His covenant with His people. His word is infallible. His people bring suffering on themselves by forsaking His counsel for their own human wisdom. It is impossible for their prayers to reach His throne, because the rebellion of disobedience is the substance of their petitions. Christ came from heaven to teach the word which His Father committed to Him for the fallen members of His family. Those who hear and obey walk in safe paths. … Through the power of Christ they are victorious over every foe.” The Review and Herald, April 8, 1902.

  • What harsh instruction was given to Jeremiah about praying for people who cover sin by pretended holiness? Jeremiah 7:16. What only can we pray for those in this condition? Acts 26:18.

Note: “God will use the members of His church as His helping hand, if they will place themselves where they can be used. But He does not communicate through impure channels; for this would dishonor His holy name.” The Review and Herald, April 8, 1902.

“The line of demarkation [sic] between the church and the world has been well nigh obliterated; and unless there is reformation, unless the eyes of those who have been blinded by the enemy are opened, they will be lost.” The Signs of the Times, July 25, 1892.



  • What limitations are placed on all prayer? 1 John 5:14.

 Note: “To pray in Christ’s name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour’s promise is given on condition. ‘If ye love Me,’ He says, ‘keep My commandments’ (John 14:15). He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.

“All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

“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. Christ says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24). He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.” Education, 257, 258.



1     What happened as Jesus was delayed in coming to see Lazarus when he was sick? How did his sisters react?

2    What should we do if our prayers are not answered in the way and in the time we expect? Why does this happen?

3    Describe Jesus’ suffering before dying on the cross. What attitude did He have?

4    Why is God unable to help the self-righteous?

5     When will God give us the things we pray for?


©2018, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.


Bible Study Guides – Prayer — Praying for Others

November 17, 2019 – November 3, 2019

Key Text

“Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 119–137, 155–158.


“Begin to pray for souls, come near to Christ, close to His bleeding side. Let a meek and quiet spirit adorn your lives, and let your earnest, broken, humble petitions ascend to Him for wisdom that you may have success in saving not only your own soul, but the souls of others.” Messages to Young People, 207.



  • How much did Job suffer? Job 1:13–22; 2:7–10.
  • When did Job’s suffering end? Job 42:7–10.

Note: “The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed, not only for himself, but for those who were opposing him. When he felt earnestly desirous that the souls that had trespassed against him might be helped, he himself received help. Let us pray, not only for ourselves, but for those who have hurt us, and are continuing to hurt us. Pray, pray, especially in your mind. Give not the Lord rest; for His ears are open to hear sincere, importunate prayers, when the soul is humbled before Him.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1141.

  • How was Job rewarded for thinking of others in spite of his own intense suffering? Job 42:11–13.



  • After delivering the town of Sodom, along with his nephew Lot, what was Abraham’s reaction to the Lord’s plans to destroy Sodom? Genesis 18:20–25.

Note: “God conferred great honor upon Abraham. Angels of heaven walked and talked with him as friend with friend. When judgments were about to be visited upon Sodom, the fact was not hidden from him, and he became an intercessor with God for sinners. …

“ ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him’ (Psalm 25:14). Abraham had honored God, and the Lord honored him, taking him into His counsels, and revealing to him His purposes.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 138, 139.

  • How did Abraham plead with God for Sodom, acknowledging his ignorance of the true condition of the city? Genesis 18:26–33.

Note: “Though Lot had become a dweller in Sodom, he did not partake in the iniquity of its inhabitants. Abraham thought that in that populous city there must be other worshipers of the true God. … Abraham asked not once merely, but many times. Waxing bolder as his requests were granted, he continued until he gained the assurance that if even ten righteous persons could be found in it, the city would be spared.

“Love for perishing souls inspired Abraham’s prayer. While he loathed the sins of that corrupt city, he desired that the sinners might be saved. His deep interest for Sodom shows the anxiety that we should feel for the impenitent. We should cherish hatred of sin, but pity and love for the sinner. All around us are souls going down to ruin as hopeless, as terrible, as that which befell Sodom. … Where are those who with humility and persevering faith are pleading with God for him?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 139, 140.

  • Ultimately, how many was God able to save out of Sodom? Genesis 19:30.



  • What was promised to Israel, as a discipline, if they disobeyed God continually? Deuteronomy 28:15, 16, 23, 24.
  • Based upon this promise, what was Elijah’s prayer for Israel during a period of blatant disobedience toward God? James 5:17.

Note: “In anguish of soul he [Elijah] besought God to arrest the once-favored people in their wicked course, to visit them with judgments, if need be, that they might be led to see in its true light their departure from Heaven. He longed to see them brought to repentance before they should go to such lengths in evil-doing as to provoke the Lord to destroy them utterly.

“Elijah’s prayer was answered. Oft-repeated appeals, remonstrances, and warnings had failed to bring Israel to repentance. The time had come when God must speak to them by means of judgments. Inasmuch as the worshipers of Baal claimed that the treasures of heaven, the dew and the rain, came not from Jehovah, but from the ruling forces of nature, and that it was through the creative energy of the sun that the earth was enriched and made to bring forth abundantly, the curse of God was to rest heavily upon the polluted land. … Until they [Israel] should turn to God with repentance, and acknowledge Him as the source of all blessing, there should fall upon the land neither dew nor rain.” Prophets and Kings, 120.

  • Once Israel acknowledged God as supreme, what was Elijah’s prayer, and what was the result? James 5:18; 1Kings 18:42–45.

 Note: “When upon Mount Carmel he [Elijah] offered the prayer for rain (1 Kings 18:41–45), his faith was tested, but he persevered in making known his request unto 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 should become careless, and fail to recognize our dependence upon Him, and our need of His help.” God’s Amazing Grace, 88.



  • What happened to Peter, and how did the church respond? Acts 12:1–5.

Note: “There was great grief and consternation at the death of James. When Peter was also imprisoned, the entire church engaged in fasting and prayer. …

“While the execution of Peter was being delayed, upon various pretexts, until after the passover, the church of Christ had time for deep searching of heart, and earnest prayer. Strong petitions, tears, and fasting were mingled together. They prayed without ceasing for Peter; they felt that he could not be spared from the Christian work; and they felt that they had arrived at a point, where, without the special help of God, the church of Christ would become extinct.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 335, 336.

  • How did God answer the prayers of His faithful people? Acts 12:6–12.
  • What are some promises that assure us that God will be with us in difficult times? Psalms 28:7; 91:14, 15.

Note: “Often prayer is solicited for the afflicted, the sorrowful, the discouraged; and this is right. We should pray that God will shed light into the darkened mind and comfort the sorrowful heart. But God answers prayer for those who place themselves in the channel of His blessings. While we offer prayer for these sorrowful ones, we should encourage them to try to help those more needy than themselves. The darkness will be dispelled from their own hearts as they try to help others. As we seek to comfort others with the comfort wherewith we are comforted, the blessing comes back to us.” The Ministry of Healing, 256.

“Let us look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us—the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed—thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage.” Steps to Christ, 125.



  • What happened to Paul while he was being protected by the Romans as they investigated his case? Acts 23:12–15.
  • How did God intervene to save Paul? Acts 23:16–22.

Note: “When Peter had been made a prisoner and condemned to death, the brethren had offered earnest prayer to God day and night for his deliverance. But no such interest was manifested in behalf of him [Paul] who was looked upon as an apostate from Moses, a teacher of dangerous doctrines. It was not to the elders whose counsel had brought him into this dangerous position, but to the watchful sympathy of a relative, that Paul owed his escape from a violent death.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 226.

  • How do we know that God will remember His faithful children today? Hebrews 13:5, last part; Psalm 37:28.



1     What happened to Job when he prayed for those who were opposing him? What can we learn from this?

2    What inspired Abraham to pray for Sodom? How can we cherish this same spirit today?

3    Why did Elijah pray for God to visit His people with judgments?

4    What type of prayer was offered for Peter, and what was the result?

5    How did God remember Paul when he was forsaken by his brethren?

Bible Study Guides – Prayer — Public Prayer

November 10, 2019 – November 16, 2019

Key Text

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7).

Study Help: Gospel Workers, 175–179.


“Let the long, tiresome petitions be left for the closet, if any have such to offer. Let the Spirit of God into your hearts, and it will sweep away all dry formality.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 71.



  • What attitude should characterize our public worship of God, and the way we address Him? Psalm 96:9.

Note: “Humility and reverence should characterize the deportment of all who come into the presence of God. In the name of Jesus we may come before Him with confidence, but we must not approach Him with the boldness of presumption, as though He were on a level with ourselves. There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable, as they would address an equal, or even an inferior.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 252.

  • What position in public prayer properly reflects this attitude? Psalm 95:6; Acts 20:36; 21:5.

Note: “I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, ‘Get down upon your knees.’ This is the proper position always.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 311.



  • What example did Jesus leave us of how we should pray in public? Matthew 6:9–13.

Note: “The Lord’s Prayer was not intended to be repeated merely as a form, but it is an illustration of what our prayers should be—simple, earnest, and comprehensive. In a simple petition tell the Lord your needs and express gratitude for His mercies.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.

“Christ impressed upon His disciples the idea that their prayers should be short, expressing just what they wanted, and no more. He gives the length and substance of their prayers, expressing their desires for temporal and spiritual blessings, and their gratitude for the same. How comprehensive this sample prayer! It covers the actual need of all. One or two minutes is long enough for any ordinary prayer.” Ibid., vol. 2, 581.

  • What principle of how we should speak can also apply to our public prayers? Proverbs 10:19. Why are some public prayers so long?

Note: “Long, prosy talks and prayers are out of place anywhere, and especially in the social meeting. Those who are forward and ever ready to speak are allowed to crowd out the testimony of the timid and retiring. Those who are most superficial generally have the most to say. Their prayers are long and mechanical. They weary the angels and the people who listen to them. Our prayers should be short and right to the point. Let the long, tiresome petitions be left for the closet, if any have such to offer. Let the Spirit of God into your hearts, and it will sweep away all dry formality.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 70, 71.

“It is often because secret prayer is neglected that long, tedious prayers are offered in public. Let not ministers go over in their petitions a week of neglected duties, hoping to atone for their neglect and to pacify conscience. Such prayers frequently result in bringing others down to a low level of spirituality.” Gospel Workers, 176.

“Prosy, sermonizing prayers are uncalled for and out of place in public. A short prayer, offered in fervor and faith, will soften the hearts of the hearers; but during long prayers they wait impatiently, as if wishing that every word might end it.” Ibid., 179.



  • What attitude should we avoid in prayer? Matthew 6:5, 7, 8.

Note: “Many offer prayer in a dry, sermonizing manner. These pray to men, not to God. If they were praying to God, and really understood what they were doing, they would be alarmed at their audacity; for they deliver a discourse to the Lord in the mode of prayer, as though the Creator of the universe needed special information upon general questions in relation to things transpiring in the world. All such prayers are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. They are made no account of in heaven. Angels of God are wearied with them, as well as mortals who are compelled to listen to them.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 581, 582.

“When you pray, be brief, come right to the point. Do not preach the Lord a sermon in your long prayers. Ask for the bread of life as a hungry child asks bread of his earthly father. God will bestow upon us every needed blessing if we ask Him in simplicity and faith.” Ibid., vol. 5, 201.

  • What is of value in God’s sight? 1Peter 3:4; James 4:6. How then should we pray?

 Note: “Prayer is the most holy exercise of the soul. It should be sincere, humble, earnest—the desires of a renewed heart breathed in the presence of a holy God. When the suppliant feels that he is in the divine presence, self will be forgotten. He will have no desire to display human talent; he will not seek to please the ear of men, but to obtain the blessing which the soul craves.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 201.

  • When will God not hear a prayer being offered? Psalm 66:18.

Note: “If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions. Our own merit will never commend us to the favor of God; it is the worthiness of Jesus that will save us, His blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance.” Steps to Christ, 95.



  • What example of public prayer did King Solomon give us at the dedication of the temple? 2 Chronicles 6:12, 13.

 Note: “At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon stood facing the altar. In the court of the Temple was a brazen scaffold or platform, and after ascending this, he stood and lifted up his hands to heaven, and blessed the immense congregation of Israel, and all the congregation of Israel stood. …

“ ‘For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold … and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven’ (2 Chronicles 6:13).” Selected Messages, Book 2, 312, 313.

  • What can we learn from this prayer? 2 Chronicles 6:14–42.

 Note: “The lengthy prayer which he [Solomon] then offered was appropriate for the occasion. It was inspired of God, breathing the sentiments of the loftiest piety blended with the deepest humility.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 313.

  • How did God answer the humble, public prayer of Jehoshaphat for deliverance (2 Chronicles 20:5–12), and what was Jehoshaphat’s response? Verses 14–19.

 Note: “Standing in the temple court before his people, Jehoshaphat poured out his soul in prayer, pleading God’s promises, with confession of Israel’s helplessness.

“With confidence Jehoshaphat could say to the Lord, ‘Our eyes are upon thee’ (2 Chronicles 20:12, last part). For years he had taught the people to trust in the One who in past ages had so often interposed to save His chosen ones from utter destruction; and now, when the kingdom was in peril, Jehoshaphat did not stand alone; ‘all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children’ (verse 13). Unitedly they fasted and prayed; unitedly they besought the Lord to put their enemies to confusion, that the name of Jehovah might be glorified.” Prophets and Kings, 199, 200.



  • What was Jesus’ purpose in one of the few public prayers of His on record? John 11:41–43.

Note: “Lifting up His eyes, the Saviour prayed:—

“ ‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me’ (John 11:41, last part, 42). The hush that followed this prayer was broken by Jesus crying out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth’ (verse 43, last part).” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 365.

  • What was the result of this prayer of faith? John 11:44.

Note: “This crowning miracle of Christ caused many to believe on Him. But some who were in the crowd about the grave, and heard and saw the wonderful works performed by Jesus, were not converted, but steeled their hearts against the evidence of their own eyes and ears. This demonstration of the power of Christ was the crowning manifestation offered by God to man as a proof that he had sent his Son into the world for the salvation of the human race. If the Pharisees rejected this mighty evidence, no power in Heaven nor upon earth could wrest from them their Satanic unbelief.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 366.



1   What should our posture be when praying publicly? How does this affect our voice in prayer?

2   What can we learn from the prayer Jesus taught His disciples?

3   How might our prayers end up as a sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal?

4   Why was Jehoshaphat’s prayer answered in such a wonderful way?

5   What was the purpose in Jesus’ short public prayer in front of Lazarus’ grave?

Bible Study Guides – Prayer — Assembling Together

November 3, 2019 – 9, 2019

Key Text

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 577–582; In Heavenly Places, 91–93.


“There is great need of secret prayer, but there is also need that several Christians meet together and unite with earnestness their petitions to God.” In Heavenly Places, 91.


Why assemble together?

  • What is the purpose of the Christian meeting and why is it so important? 1Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:25.

 Note: “Seek every opportunity to go where prayer is wont to be made. Those who are really seeking for communion with God will be seen in the prayer meeting, faithful to do their duty, and earnest and anxious to reap all the benefits they can gain. They will improve every opportunity of placing themselves where they can receive the rays of light from heaven.

“We meet together to edify one another by an interchange of thoughts and feelings, to gather strength, and light, and courage by becoming acquainted with one another’s hopes and aspirations; and by our earnest, heartfelt prayers, offered up in faith, we receive refreshment and vigor from the Source of our strength. These meetings should be most precious seasons.” In Heavenly Places, 91.

“While we are exhorted not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, these assemblies are not to be merely for our own refreshing. We are to be inspired with greater zeal to impart the consolation we have received.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 365.



  • What principle should be observed regarding gatherings for meetings? 1Corinthians 14:40.

 Note: “Meetings for conference and prayer should not be made tedious. If possible, all should be prompt to the hour appointed; and if there are dilatory ones, who are half an hour or even fifteen minutes behind the time, there should be no waiting. If there are but two present, they can claim the promise. The meeting should open at the appointed hour if possible, be there few or many present. Formality and cold stiffness should be laid aside, and all should be prompt to duty.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 577, 578.

“From the light which I have received, our meetings should be spiritual and social, and not too long.” Ibid., 579.

  • How does God regard long-drawn-out public prayers? Matthew 6:5.

Note: “Upon common occasions there should not be prayer of more than ten minutes’ duration. After there has been a change of position, and the exercise of singing or exhortation has relieved the sameness, then, if any feel the burden of prayer, let them pray.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 578.

“There are some, I fear, who do not take their troubles to God in private prayer, but reserve them for the prayer meeting, and there do up their praying for several days. Such may be named conference and prayer meeting killers. They emit no light; they edify no one. Their cold, frozen prayers and long, backslidden testimonies cast a shadow. All are glad when they get through, and it is almost impossible to throw off the chill and darkness which their prayers and exhortations bring into the meeting.” Ibid., 578, 579.

  • What specific admonition regarding prayer did Jesus give? Matthew 6:7.

Note: “When Christ taught the people, He did not devote the time to prayer. He did not enforce upon them, as did the Pharisees, long, tedious ceremonies and prayers.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 580.



  • What can everyone be prepared to do at the prayer meeting? Mark 5:19, second part; Malachi 3:16.

 Note: “All who are pursuing the onward Christian course should have, and will have, an experience that is living, that is new and interesting. A living experience is made up of daily trials, conflicts, and temptations, strong efforts and victories, and great peace and joy gained through Jesus. A simple relation of such experiences gives light, strength, and knowledge that will aid others in their advancement in the divine life.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 579.

“We may be daily learning more of our heavenly Father, gaining a fresh experience of His grace; then we shall desire to speak of His love; and as we do this, our own hearts will be warmed and encouraged. If we thought and talked more of Jesus, and less of self, we should have far more of His presence. …

“One person is not to do all the witnessing for Jesus, but every one who loves God is to testify of the preciousness of His grace and truth.” In Heavenly Places, 92.

  • Besides sharing our experience, what else can we contribute? Psalms 35:18; 107:31, 32.

Note: “When you are growing in grace you will love to attend religious meetings, and you will gladly bear testimony of the love of Christ before the congregation. … How much strength a word of hope, courage, and determination in a right course will give one who is inclined to slide into habits that are demoralizing! The firm purpose you may possess in carrying out good principles will have an influence to balance souls in the right direction. There is no limit to the good you may do.” That I May Know Him, 161.

“God desires His obedient children to claim His blessing and to come before Him with praise and thanksgiving. God is the Fountain of life and power. … He has done for His chosen people that which should inspire every heart with thanksgiving, and it grieves Him that so little praise is offered. He desires to have a stronger expression from His people, showing that they know they have reason for joy and gladness.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 364.



  • What example do we have of four young men praying together? Daniel 2:13–18.

Note: “Daniel and his companions were to perish with the false prophets; but, taking his life in his hand, Daniel ventures to enter the presence of the king, begging that time may be granted that he may show the dream and the interpretation.

“To this request the monarch accedes; and now Daniel gathers his three companions, and together they take the matter before God, seeking for wisdom from the Source of light and knowledge. Although they were in the king’s court, surrounded with temptation, they did not forget their responsibility to God. They were strong in the consciousness that His providence had placed them where they were; that they were doing His work, meeting the demands of truth and duty. They had confidence toward God. They had turned to Him for strength when in perplexity and danger, and He had been to them an ever-present help.” The Sanctified Life, 35.

“On their bended knees they pleaded that God would give them the power and wisdom that would alone avail them in their great necessity.” Sons and Daughters of God, 216.

  • How was their prayer answered? Daniel 2:19, 46–49.

Note: “The servants of God did not plead with Him in vain. They had honored Him, and in the hour of trial He honored them. The secret was revealed to Daniel, and he hastened to request an interview with the king.” The Sanctified Life, 35.

  • What can we learn from the prayer of Daniel and his friends? Matthew 18:20.

Note: “There is great need of secret prayer, but there is also need that several Christians meet together, and unite with earnestness their petitions to God. In these small companies Jesus is present, the love of souls is deepened in the heart, and the Spirit puts forth its mighty energies, that human agents may be exercised in regard to saving those who are lost.” Lift Him Up, 358.



  • What condition for which Christ prayed in John 17:20, 21 should likewise be the subject of our prayers? Ephesians 4:3.
  • How can unity be achieved especially at gatherings? Matthew 18:19; Ephesians 4:11–16. How does this affect those who attend?

Note: “Those who labor at camp meetings should frequently engage together in prayer and counsel, that they may labor intelligently. At these meetings there are many things that demand attention. But the ministers should take time to meet together for prayer and counsel every day. You should know that all things are drawing in even lines, ‘that you are standing,’ as the words were spoken to me, ‘shoulder to shoulder, marching right ahead, and not drawing off.’ When the work is carried on in this way, there is unity of heart, and there will be harmony of action. This will be a wonderful means of bringing the blessing of God upon the people.

“Before giving a discourse, ministers should take time to seek God for wisdom and power. In earlier times the ministers would often go away and pray together, and they would not cease until the Spirit of God responded to their prayers. Then they would return from the place of prayer with their faces lighted up; and when they spoke to the congregation, their words were with power. They reached the hearts of the people because the Spirit that gave them the blessing prepared hearts to receive their message. There is far more being done by the heavenly universe than we realize in preparing the way that souls may be converted.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 50.



1     What are some of the blessings gained from attending prayer meeting?

2    How much of the time should be devoted to prayer? Why?

3    Why should we share our experiences?

4    What can we learn from the prayer meeting held by Daniel and his three companions?

5    Why should the leaders at our camp meetings often make the time to pray and counsel together?

Bible Study Guides – Prayer — Personal Prayer

October 27, 2019 – November 2, 2019

Key Text

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 139–149.


“Secret prayer sustains [the] inner life. The heart that loves God will desire to commune with Him, and will lean on Him in holy confidence.” Our High Calling, 130.



  • What posture should we observe in prayer? Psalm 95:6; Ephesians 3:14.
  • Where and how should we pray our personal prayers? Matthew 6:6.

Note: “It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is not a special exercise of the mind. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. Secret prayer is very important; in solitude the soul is laid bare to the inspecting eye of God, and every motive is scrutinized. Secret prayer! How precious! The soul communing with God! Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of such petitions. In secret prayer the soul is free from surrounding influences, free from excitement. Calmly, yet fervently, will it reach out after God. Secret prayer is frequently perverted, and its sweet designs lost, by loud vocal prayer. Instead of the calm, quiet trust and faith in God, the soul drawn out in low, humble tones, the voice is raised to a loud pitch, and excitement is encouraged, and secret prayer loses its softening, sacred influence. There is a storm of feeling, a storm of words, making it impossible to discern the still, small voice that speaks to the soul while engaged in its secret, true, heartfelt devotion.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 189, 190.



  • As Daniel considered that the prophecy of the 70 years of the desolation of Jerusalem was drawing to a close, what was he inspired to pray about? Daniel 9:3–19. Whom did Daniel see as guilty of sin? Whom did he blame?

Note: “With faith founded on the sure word of prophecy, Daniel pleaded with the Lord for the speedy fulfillment of these promises. He pleaded for the honor of God to be preserved. In his petition he identified himself fully with those who had fallen short of the divine purpose, confessing their sins as his own. …

“Though Daniel had long been in the service of God, and had been spoken of by heaven as ‘greatly beloved’ (Daniel 9:23) yet he now appeared before God as a sinner, urging the great need of the people he loved. His prayer was eloquent in its simplicity, and intensely earnest.” Prophets and Kings, 554, 555.

“The Lord who heard Daniel’s prayer will hear yours if you will approach Him as Daniel did.” In Heavenly Places, 75.

  • What was the answer to Daniel’s prayer? Daniel 9:20–23.
  •  How does God, by His Spirit, intercede for us? Romans 8:26. What does God want us to do for others? James 5:16.

Note: “Christ, our Mediator, and the Holy Spirit are constantly interceding in man’s behalf, but the Spirit pleads not for us as does Christ who presents His blood, shed from the foundation of the world; the Spirit works upon our hearts, drawing out prayers and penitence, praise and thanksgiving. The gratitude which flows from our lips is the result of the Spirit striking the cords of the soul in holy memories, awakening the music of the heart.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1077, 1078.

“Appeals, petitions, entreaties, between man and man, move men and act a part in controlling the affairs of nations. But prayer moves heaven. That power alone that comes in answer to prayer will make men wise in the wisdom of heaven and enable them to work in the unity of the Spirit, joined together by the bonds of peace. Prayer, faith, confidence in God, bring a divine power that sets human calculations at their real worth—nothingness.” In Heavenly Places, 75.



  • How did Jesus teach us to pray when we recognize that we are sinners? Luke 18:13.

Note: “God does not give us up because of our sins. We may make mistakes and grieve His Spirit, but when we repent and come to Him with contrite hearts, He will not turn us away.” Faith and Works, 35.

“When we beseech the Lord to pity us in our distress, and to guide us by His Holy Spirit, He will never turn away our prayer.” God’s Amazing Grace, 207.

  • What attitude must we reject as sinners? Luke 18:11, 12.

Note: “Self-righteousness is the danger of this age; it separates the soul from Christ. Those who trust to their own righteousness cannot understand how salvation comes through Christ. They call sin righteousness and righteousness sin. They have no appreciation of the evil of transgression, no understanding of the terror of the law; for they do not respect God’s moral standard.” Faith and Works, 96.

  • What is the promise of God for every prayer of honest confession? Luke 18:14; 1 John 1:9.

Note: “The enemy will come to you, and say, ‘It is of no use for you to pray. Did you not do that evil thing? Have you not transgressed against God? Have you not violated your conscience?’ Answer him, ‘Yes; but Christ has bidden me pray. He has said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” ’ (1 John 1:9).” The Bible Echo, February 15, 1893.

“Never is one repulsed who comes to Him with a contrite heart. Not one sincere prayer is lost. Amid the anthems of the celestial choir, God hears the cries of the weakest human being. We pour out our heart’s desire in our closets, we breathe a prayer as we walk by the way, and our words reach the throne of the Monarch of the universe. They may be inaudible to any human ear, but they cannot die away into silence, nor can they be lost through the activities of business that are going on. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the confusion of the multitude, to the heavenly courts. It is God to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 174.



  • What does God offer to each of us if we will but ask? How are we to ask? James 1:5, 6.

Note: “You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 146.

  • How will God’s wisdom set us apart from those around us? Psalm 119:97–100; Deuteronomy 4:5–9.

Note: “As in obedience to His natural laws the earth should produce its treasures, so in obedience to His moral law the hearts of the people were to reflect the attributes of His character. Even the heathen would recognize the superiority of those who served and worshiped the living God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 289.

  • How should we search for wisdom? What two requirements does God place before us in order for us to receive His wisdom? Proverbs 2:1–6.

Note: “It is impossible to study the Bible with a humble, teachable spirit, without developing and strengthening the intellect. Those who become best acquainted with the wisdom and purpose of God as revealed in His word, become men and women of mental strength; and they may become efficient workers with the great Educator, Jesus Christ.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 432.



  • What do we often forget in our personal prayers? 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.

  • What can we be grateful to God for each day? Psalm 68:19; Lamentations 3:22–25.

Note: “If our senses had not been blunted by sin and by contemplation of the dark pictures that Satan is constantly presenting before us, a fervent and continuous flow of gratitude would go out from our hearts toward Him who daily loads us with benefits of which we are wholly undeserving. The everlasting song of the redeemed will be praise to Him who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood; and if we ever sing that song before the throne of God we must learn it here.” That I May Know Him, 168.



1     Why is it so important that our personal prayers be done in secret?

2    What power is given to us in answer to prayer, and how is this power to be used for others?

3    What prayer does God always answer—without delay?

4    When will those around us see the great benefits in serving and worshipping God?

5    What song do we need to learn here on earth, so that we can join in with the redeemed as they sing it in heaven?

Recipe – Raw Macadamia Cheesecake


2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours

1½ cups cashews, soaked 4 hours

½ cup pitted medjool dates

¼ cup dried, shredded coconut

6 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup raw agave nectar, maple syrup or sweetener of choice

dash salt

1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups mixed berries, e. g., blueberries, raspberries, blackberries



  • Place macadamia nuts in large bowl; cover with cold water. Place cashews in separate bowl; cover with cold water. After 4 hours rinse and drain soaked nuts; set aside.
  • Pulse macadamia nuts and dates in food processor to a sticky crumb-like consistency. Sprinkle coconut on bottom of 8-inch pie pan. Press nut/date mixture onto coconut to make crust.
  • Place cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, agave nectar, salt and 6 Tbsp. water in bowl of food processor. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into food processor bowl and puree until fluffy smooth. Pour mixture onto crust; freeze 2 hours, or until firm. Remove from freezer. Slice and transfer to serving platter. Defrost in refrigerator 1 hour, or on countertop 30 minutes.
  • Top with berries and serve.

Food – Hawaiian Treasure

Incorporating macadamia nuts into a heart healthy diet can reduce cardiovascular disease risks according to Penn State researchers.

“We looked at macadamia nuts because they are not currently included in the health claim for tree nuts, while other tree nuts are recommended as part of a healthy diet,” says Dr. Amy E. Griel, recent Ph.D. recipient in nutritional sciences. “Macadamia nuts have higher levels of monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil, compared with other tree nuts.”

The researchers used a controlled feeding study to compare a heart-healthy diet with 1.5 ounces – a small handful of macadamia nuts – to a standard American diet. The participants had slightly elevated cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure and were not taking lipid lowering drugs. Researchers randomly assigned participants to either the macadamia nut diet or the standard American diet, providing all meals for the participants for five weeks. The participants then switched diets and continued eating only food provided by the researchers for another five weeks.

The Healthy Heart diet with macadamia nuts did reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared with the standard American diet. “We observed a reduction in LDL similar to that seen with other tree nuts like walnuts and almonds,” says Griel.

Individual calorie levels were used for each participant so that they did not gain or lose weight during the study. Both diets were matched for total fat, containing 33 percent calories from total fat. …

The macadamia nut diet included macadamia nuts as a snack, mixed into meals, as a salad topping and in cookies and muffins. …


Raw Macadamia Cheesecake


2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours

1½ cups cashews, soaked 4 hours

½ cup pitted medjool dates

¼ cup dried, shredded coconut

6 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup raw agave nectar, maple syrup or sweetener of choice

dash salt

1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups mixed berries, e. g., blueberries, raspberries, blackberries


  • Place macadamia nuts in large bowl; cover with cold water. Place cashews in separate bowl; cover with cold water. After 4 hours rinse and drain soaked nuts; set aside.
  • Pulse macadamia nuts and dates in food processor to a sticky crumb-like consistency. Sprinkle coconut on bottom of 8-inch pie pan. Press nut/date mixture onto coconut to make crust.
  • Place cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, agave nectar, salt and 6 Tbsp. water in bowl of food processor. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into food processor bowl and puree until fluffy smooth. Pour mixture onto crust; freeze 2 hours, or until firm. Remove from freezer. Slice and transfer to serving platter. Defrost in refrigerator 1 hour, or on countertop 30 minutes.
  • Top with berries and serve.

Life Sketches – Total Commitment

During his second missionary visit to Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote a letter which was destined to change world history, not only in the first century, but in all future ages.

Paul makes a very profound statement about how we should respond to the gift of Jesus. He said, “And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

A prevalent sin of the last days is that people will live primarily for themselves. This is contrary to those preparing for heaven. Paul said, “Know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,” and then it goes on to list a whole series of terrible sins and says they will be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–5).

O, friend, who has your heart? To whom do you give the wealth of your affections? Are you living for yourself?

Self-centered people always end up falling into sins, predominantly sexual immorality. The Corinthians had some trouble with immorality in their church. Paul’s advice was, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’ ” (2 Corinthians 6:14–18).

Notice that you cannot have it both ways. You cannot eat at the Lord’s table and at the same time eat at the devil’s table. This means you cannot be the Lord’s child and also the devil’s child. So, it is necessary that you not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. What fellowship can you have if you are? Either you become like them or something in the relationship is not going to work.

Paul says, “Dearly beloved, you should then cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1, literal translation). The New Testament is not a book describing an easy, arm-chair religion. In fact, it says that being a Christian requires a commitment and you must be willing to leave whatever you have in order to follow Christ. Notice how Jesus stated it in Luke the 14th chapter, and verse 33. He says, “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

The Christian religion of the New Testament requires a total commitment to Jesus Christ, for life or death. It involves following Him, even if you lose everything in this world. It requires you to separate yourself from all that is opposed to Christ, to His government, to His law, and to His word. This concept is not very popular today where people want an easier religion that allows them to love the world, to love themselves, to love their money, and to love pleasure more than God.

This describes people who will claim to be Christian. Paul says that they will have a form of godliness, but they deny the power of it (2 Timothy 3:5). How is it with you? Do you separate from that which is unclean and evil, and that which is unlawful, or are you trying to mix righteousness with unrighteousness? These are questions to ask yourself. Are you trying to be a Christian while still self-serving and self-loving, loving money and pleasure more than God?

This is an impossible situation to be in. You will not find true satisfaction in either a form of godliness or worldly pleasure. It will not be worth anything and it will certainly not help you to receive the gift of eternal life which is offered to all who repent of their sins and make a full commitment to Jesus.

What Is Repentance?

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians is one of the books that deals more about the subject of repentance than most other books. We read that on the Day of Pentecost the people who had crucified Jesus were pricked in their consciences concerning what they had done, because Peter told them that they were the ones who had crucified the Lord of glory. They believed him and responded in asking, “What are we going to do?” Peter said, “Repent” (Acts 2:37, last part, 38, first part).

But what does it mean to repent? The church at Corinth had some very serious problems. One spoken of was the open situation of sexual immorality. Paul says, “It’s worse than is even allowed or done in the Gentile world” (1 Corinthians 5:1). There were some practices that compelled Paul to say, “the people that do these things, will not be in the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:1–10).

Paul severely rebuked the church which was condoning sin in their midst and they repented. He said, “Even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:8–11).

Godly sorrow produces repentance that will result in eternal life. But the sorrow of the world, just being sorry for being caught and not that a wrong was committed, resulting in a penalty of some kind, and not being sorry enough to turn away from the sinful life will cause death.

O, friend, do you know that there are many people today who claim to be Christians who have never repented according to the New Testament? O, a man may have a problem with anger and beats his wife and says he is sorry. His wife forgives him, but the next month he beats her up again. He is sorry again and his wife forgives him once more, but he remains a repeat offender. There comes a time when his wife will be convinced that this man is not sorry at all. If he was really sorry he would ask the Lord for the Holy Spirit to give him the power to overcome his temper and live a new life.

Many people today have never really thought through what repentance is. True repentance is evident in a changed life. They may claim to be Christians and go to church but they have not turned away from their life of sin.

“Repent!” was the message of John the Baptist, when he cried out in the wilderness: “Repent” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus began to preach, He said, “Repent” (Matthew 4:17). When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he said, “Repent” (Acts 2:38). The apostle Paul said, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

O, friend, have you truly repented, or are you pretending to be a Christian? Are you just going through the motions, going to church, making a profession, saying that you believe certain beliefs, going through religious rituals, but still living the old life?  Repentance is a gift that God wants to give to you (see Romans 2). The person who has repented turns away from every known sin. Sin is breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4). He now lives a new life in Christ that is changed day by day by the Holy Spirit.

The Christian religion is the most spiritual of all religions. God hears the cry of all who desire a godly repentance and longs to answer that prayer.

The early church endured a great deal of trouble because of false religious teachers. The pressure on Paul was so great that sometimes it seemed that he could not bear it. He suffered outward dangers as well as inward fears. False teachers prejudiced the brethren against him making false charges against him to destroy his influence among the churches that he had raised up. He said, “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:22–28).

Amid all of his struggles, he had consolation. He had joy in Christ. Notice how he described his mental state. He said, “I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.” (2 Corinthians 7:4, last part). However, he warned the church that they needed to be careful about these false teachers. He said I’m concerned that “if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it” (2 Corinthians 11:4)!

There are many people today who believe a different gospel than that which the apostles preached. Many claim to be Christians who do not have the same spirit that the apostles had. This is demonstrated by their actions. It is impossible to read another’s heart, but Jesus said you can know whether a tree is good or bad by examining the fruit (Matthew 12:33). So, it may be beneficial to examine what gospel we do believe; what spirit we do exhibit; what Jesus we do worship.

Paul elaborates on the false apostles and how deceptive they would be. He said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13–15).

The judgment is not going to be according to what you profess, but whether or not that profession has changed your life. A mere profession will not save you for if it could, then the devil could also be saved.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). It is the work of the Holy Spirit in the repentant sinner that purifies the heart and mind and transforms his or her character which is manifest in every action.

It was while Paul was on his second visit to Corinth that he wrote one of the most powerful letters in the New Testament. This letter was not written to an individual, like some of the letters that he wrote, but it was written to an entire church, the church in Rome. In it he explains more clearly than in most of the other letters he wrote just how a person is saved. He says it is only the gospel that can save you. But, if you receive the gospel, you will receive power from God to live a new life.

He said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’ ” (Romans 1:16, 17).

In the gospel there is the power of God to enable you to live a different life from that which you have lived. You will receive forgiveness for sins. You will be changed in character. You will live a sanctified life, not in your own strength, but in the strength of Jesus Christ you will be a conqueror.

“Can we measure the love of God? Paul declares that ‘it passeth knowledge’ (Ephesians 3:19). Then shall we who have been made partakers of the heavenly gift be careless and indifferent, neglecting the great salvation wrought out for us? Shall we allow ourselves to be separated from Christ, and thus lose the eternal reward, the great gift of everlasting life? Shall we not accept the enmity which Christ has placed between man and the serpent? Shall we not eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of God, which means to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God? Or shall we become earthly, eating the serpent’s meat, which is selfishness, hypocrisy, evil-surmising, envy, and covetousness? We have a right to say, In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror. I will not be overcome by Satan’s devices.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 345.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.


Health Nugget – Vegan vs. Vegetarian

The study in the area of health is never ending. One health article brought to my attention that there were more than just two or three categories of vegetarians and vegans. I am sure many of you will be as surprised as I was to know just how many different descriptions there are. You may find the category you are in, or maybe you are in the middle of a couple of them. Read on!

“According to the Vegetarian Society, ‘Vegetarians don’t eat any fish, meat or chicken’ and also ‘don’t eat products or by-products of slaughter.’ Vegetarian diets may contain variable amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Dairy and eggs may be included, depending on the type of diet you follow. The most common types of vegetarians include:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Avoid all animal flesh, but do consume dairy and egg products.
  • Lacto vegetarians: Avoid animal flesh and eggs, but do consume dairy products.
  • Ovo vegetarians: Avoid all animal products except eggs.
  • Vegans: Avoid all animal and animal-derived products.*
  • Pesco: Pescatarians, while not technically meeting the common definition of vegetarian, follow a semi-vegetarian diet that includes fish and other seafood but no poultry or meat.
  • Flexitarians: Part-time vegetarians do eat animal flesh and, although primarily plant-based, they technically do not fall under the definition of vegetarianism.

“In some literature you might come across these as well:

  • Demi Vegetarian: Consumes fish, eggs, and dairy products but not meat.
  • Semi Vegetarian: Another group of vegetarians who sometimes voluntarily control their meat intake and who may be viewed as flexitarians.

“Veganism is currently defined by the Vegan Society as ‘a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.’ Since this is the strictest form of vegetarianism, a vegan or plant based diet not only excludes animal flesh but also any animal-derived ingredients, as well as dairy and eggs.

“These products include gelatin, carmine, pepsin, shellac, albumin, whey, casein, among others. Vegans consciously choose to avoid all animal by-products because they believe not only that this has the largest impact on their health and the environment but also because they seek to avoid all forms of animal exploitation and harm.

“Vegans may be categorized into different types:

  • Ethical Vegans are the most common and put their ethics first. They respect and care for animals and the environment. Ethical vegans do not consume any dairy product, whether it is animal milk or cheese made from animal milk. They also avoid eggs and honey, as well as the use of any product made from animal skin or parts.
  • Plant-Based Vegans follow diets based on plant foods only.
  • Raw-Food Vegans do not eat any animal by-product or anything cooked above the temperature of 115-degree Fahrenheit. It is believed that this causes food to lose its nutrients and enzymes.”

Were you able to figure out into which category you might fit?

The reality is that God wants each of us to be health-conscious and to preserve our bodies in the best condition we can that we may give glory to Him.

Most people are aware of the health-destroying foods that are available. May God give us the courage to choose the right and to live the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). We must preserve our bodies in the best way we can. God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee” (Hosea 4:6).

*Much counsel has been given in regard to the healthiest balanced diet—the vegan diet, consisting of fruit, grains, vegetables and nuts. However, the vegan lifestyle, as with many others, has ditches on either side which are easy to fall into. One is to eliminate all animal products including honey and leather. To eliminate the use of skins and furs from those people living in freezing climates would cause great hardship. The other ditch claims that soft drinks and potato chips are an acceptable vegan diet. God calls upon His people to be balanced and use common sense.

Question & Answer – What is an experimental religion?

Having a personal experience:

“There is an element in the church at ______ that is detrimental to its spiritual interests. There is a great want of vital godliness, of experimental religion. I call no names. Let each search his own heart and understand his own imperfections. There are some who are ever leaning toward the world, ever lowering the standard of religion by their worldly conversation. They have not the love of God in their hearts. They are weak-handed when real help is needed in the church. This spiritual weakness is the result of their own unwillingness to bear burdens when and where they can help the most. When, however, there is any plan or device of their own to carry out, they are willing to assume any responsibility; to have their own way is their purpose. If that were a sanctified way, it would not be so bad; but it is not.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 114.

“Experience is knowledge derived from experiment. Experimental religion is what is needed now. … Some—yes, a large number—have a theoretical knowledge of religious truth, but have never felt the renewing power of divine grace upon their own hearts. … They believe in the wrath of God, but put forth no earnest efforts to escape it. They believe in heaven, but make no sacrifice to obtain it. … They know a remedy for sin, but do not use it. They know the right, but have no relish for it. All their knowledge will but increase their condemnation. They have never tasted and learned by experience that the Lord is good.

“To become a disciple of Christ is to deny self and follow Jesus through evil as well as good report. … Every darling indulgence that hinders our religious life must be cut off. … Will we put forth efforts and make sacrifices proportionate to the worth of the object to be attained?

“Every association we form, however limited, exerts some influence upon us. The extent to which we yield to that influence will be determined by the degree of intimacy, the constancy of the intercourse, and our love and veneration for the one with whom we associate. Thus by acquaintance and association with Christ we may become like Him, the one faultless Example.” Maranatha, 74.

Note: Although Sister White used the word “experimental,” we would more commonly use the word “experiential” today. Since Sister White’s time, “experimental” has acquired a connotation that implies untested or not yet settled or finalized.