Children’s Story – How Much Does a Prayer Weigh

So he said, “Write it on a paper,” and turned about his business.

To his surprise, the women plucked a piece of paper out of her bosom and handed it to him over the counter and said, “I did that during the night watching over my sick baby.”

The grocer took the paper before he could recover his surprise, and then regretted having done so! For what would he do with it; what could he say?

Then an idea suddenly came to him. He placed the paper, without even reading the prayer upon it, on the weight side of his old-fashioned scales. Picking up a loaf of bread nearby, he said, “We shall see how much this food is worth.”

To his astonishment the scale would not go down when he laid the loaf on the other side. To his confusion and embarrassment, it would not go down though he kept on adding more food, anything he could lay his hands on quickly, for people were watching him.

He tried to be gruff and he was making a bad job of it. His face got red and he felt flustered. So finally he said, “Well, that’s all the scales will hold anyway. Here’s a bag. You’ll have to put it in yourself. I’m busy.”

With what sounded like a gasp or a little sob, she took the bag and started packing the food, wiping her eyes on her sleeves every time her arm was free to do so. He tried not to look, but he could not help seeing that he had given her a pretty big bag and that it was not full when she had finished. So without saying anything, he tossed down the counter to her several expensive items. Trying not to notice, he saw a timid smile of grateful understanding glistening in her eyes.

When the woman was gone, he went to look at the scales, scratching his head and shaking the scales in puzzlement. Then he found the solution. When the paper had been placed on it, the scales had been broken.

That grocer is an old man now. His hair is white. But he has never forgotten the incident. He never saw the woman again. And, come to think of it, he had never seen her before either. Yet, for the rest of his life, he remembered her better than any other customer he ever had.

And he knew it had not been just his imagination, for he still had the slip of paper upon which the woman’s prayer had been written, “Please, Lord, give us this day our daily bread.”

Used by permission. Taken from the book Shelter in the Storm. Available from Harvestime Books, Altamont, TN 37301.

If My People Will Pray

If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

In the early years of the Advent Movement, weeks of prayer were held frequently in our churches around the world. Special readings were prepared and published in the Review and Herald, so that all of the churches could share in the experience. These convocations were special times of communion with the Lord and of heart-searching, that wrongs between brothers and sisters might be righted. Sister White frequently attended these meetings, and she often wrote of the wonderful blessings that could be gained by participating in these special gatherings.

Today, as all around us we see signs that Christ’s coming is very near, is it not even more important that we join together in a special time of study and prayer, beseeching the Lord that we might be prepared for the days ahead? At Steps to Life, it is our earnest desire to strengthen and encourage those who are striving to remain faithful to the faith “once delivered to the saints.” With this purpose in mind, we have thoughtfully prepared this special week of prayer edition, so that your home church or study group, wherever you may be around the United States or the world, can organize your own special time to fellowship and pray together.

As you gather, consider this counsel from God’s prophet, especially written for early Adventists who gathered during weeks of prayer, “Get ready for the week of prayer by humbling your hearts before God.” “Let every worker, whether a child, a youth, or a person of mature age, put on Christ; that is, seek Him in prayer, and believe that his prayers are accepted of God, because He has charged all to watch and to pray without ceasing. Some pray during the week of prayer, and then suppose their praying may cease; and as they do not continue to pray, they do not continue to receive. They must continue to ask, that they may receive. Ask, and you shall receive. Seek Me, and you shall find Me close beside you, ready to shield, to help, to bless you.” Review and Herald, December 18, 1888; May 9, 1899.

These inspired words represent our earnest desire for the 1999 Fall Week of Prayer, “May the Lord graciously bless His people during this week of prayer. May all wrongs be righted, all sins confessed, and pardon be written over against your names in the books of heaven. Let the members of every church, of every household, seek the Lord, and humble their souls before Him.” Review and Herald, December 9, 1890.

Children’s Story – Manna from Heaven

It was time for dinner, and Mother knew she had to find something for five hungry children to eat. I was the youngest, just turned seven. We never had a lot, but Mother and Daddy always found some way to provide for their family with a bountiful garden, and each one of us had a job to do in that garden. When harvest time came, we all worked, snapping green beans for canning, digging potatoes to be placed in the root cellar, helping Mother can tomatoes, corn, squash, turnips, and many other wonderful vegetables. However, during the winter months our food supply had been used up, and Daddy had not been able to find work for some time. There was little food, and even less money, to go around.

I was hungry, so like a little shadow, I followed Mother into the pantry to see what she would choose for dinner. Only now that I am older, can I realize the heaviness of my Mother’s heart as she stared at shelf after shelf of nothing. There was no food to feed her children.

We turned, Mother and I, and I watched, wide-eyed, as she pulled a chair from the scarred, old, round, oak table in our dining room. She sat down, bowed her head and folded her hands in prayer. Her request was very simple, “Lord, my children are hungry and I have no food. Please help me!”

Then she stood up and turned to go back into the pantry. Again, like a small shadow, I followed her. To my surprise, the pantry was not empty any longer! There, gleaming more brightly than any precious gem, lay a large bag of Navy beans. Imagine, if you can, this child’s “wonderment” as I watched Mother lift that bag of beans from a shelf that I, myself, knew had been empty two minutes before. Imagine, if you can, the joy in a Mother’s heart over a God who ‘inclines Himself’ to hear the cry of our hearts.

Does Jesus answer prayer? Oh, yes, He does! He sent “manna” from heaven in answer to my Mother’s prayer!

The Divine Science

We are obviously standing at the threshold of the time of trouble, and we have been warned that the final movements will be rapid ones. Modern communication skills make it easy for us to understand how issues can quickly become known throughout the whole world. We can expect the closing events to happen in rapid succession. How then shall we maintain our faith and move through those awful events without fear or failure? A healthy prayer program would be a must. Of what would a healthy prayer program consist? I do not pretend to know all that there is to know about prayer, but let me share with you some things that I have seen.

The story begins when I was pastoring the Seventh-day Adventist church in Hilo, Hawaii. I was responsible, of course, for the Sabbath morning sermons and for the Wednesday night prayer meeting studies. As I was preparing material for these appointments, I came across some Spirit of Prophecy statements that rather surprised me. “There is a divine science in prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.

The Prayer of Faith

This caused me to wonder. There is in science a principle that whoever conducts the same procedures in the same way will get the same results. Could this in any way be true of prayer? It seemed like an unusual combination of the terms, science and prayer. But I found them again in Education, 257 and Gospel Workers, 38: “In the prayer of faith there is a divine science.” “…watch unto prayer. This is the science of your labor.”

This encouraged me to make a study of the subject. As time permitted, I did more research on the subject of prayer. Then another incident further intrigued me. I had conducted some evangelistic meetings in our school auditorium and had baptized a nice group of people. Then one day I decided to remove some things from the shelf in the back of the church pulpit, and I found there, to my surprise, a heart shaped valentine box. I opened it, and found some names on prayer lists. As I looked at those names, I realized that most of the people whom I had just baptized were on those lists. This further stimulated my interest in the subject of prayer.

Secret Communion Sustains the Soul

Eventually, the brethren transferred me to the Central Church in Honolulu. By this time I thought I had enough material together on the subject of prayer for a series of studies, so I announced a series on The Science of Prayer. In these studies we gave careful attention to what appeared to be principles of the science. Among the important ones was the principle of Privacy. Notice the emphasis in this statement: “Family prayer, public prayer, have their place; but it is secret communion with God that sustains the soul life.Education, 258.

So we did not spend much time on the family and public prayers, because they are so limited in subject matter and in time, except to note that if all of them that were performed in a week were added together, the total would probably be less than an hour. We focused our attention on private prayer, and we found many interesting things. There is, for example, a recommendation about the best time of day for private prayers: “At an early hour of the evening, when we can pray unhurriedly and understandingly, we should present our supplications and raise our voices in happy, grateful praise.” The Review and Herald, November 29, 1887.. “Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and at twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven.” Education, 259.

This was accompanied by a suggestion regarding the time spent in prayer: “Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment in the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work.Education, 260.

Where Two or Three are Gathered

Then we come to the principle of Unity, and something happened that rather unnerved me. It was prayer meeting time on Wednesday evening, and the people in the meeting room had been singing. I was just opening the door to go in and lead the study when a member, whose name was Buddy Kelly, came up to me and said, “Elder Larson, would you please ask the people to pray that my wife will come back to church?”

“What is her problem?” I asked.

“I do not know, she will not tell me,” he said. “But she has not been in church for three years.”

I said that I would do it, and wrote her name on the bottom of my note page so that I would not forget it. I presented the study for the evening, on the principle of unity in prayer, based on the promise of Christ that when two or three are agreed as to what they should ask, it will be granted (Matthew 18:19-20). When I came to the end of the study, I noticed the name of Sister Kelly at the bottom of my notes and remembered my promise. I asked how many of the group knew her, and they all raised their hands. I asked how many of them would be willing to pray that she would come back to church. They all raised their hands again. Then it happened. Something slipped out of my mouth that I had not planned to say. It shocked some of the people, and it shocked me too. I said, “We have read the Lord’s promise and we have agreed to pray that Sister Kelly will come back to church. If she never comes back, we will know that this promise is false, will we not?

Oh, Oh, Oh! Why did I say that? I do not know why I said it. It was not planned or premeditated. I had never said anything like that before. I am sure that if I had taken thought, I would not have said it at all. I had two tense and anxious days, Thursday and Friday, worrying about it. But my concerns were not necessary. On Sabbath morning the Lord had Sister Kelly in church. I apologized to the Lord, and I have never done such a thing again. But I sometimes wonder just how the Lord looked at it. Some day, by His grace, I may be able to ask Him.

Impressed by the Lord

Now that I have introduced you to Brother Kelly, I will step out of the time line of my story and tell you another experience involving him. He had remembered the thought about counseling with the Lord (see above) and a suggestion of mine that the Lord speaks to us at times, but we do not listen. On a certain Sunday, Brother Kelly, his wife, and his wife’s sister went shopping together in the Kelly’s car. When they had finished their shopping, they drove first to the sister’s home. She got out of the car and started up the walk to her house, and Brother Kelly started to pull away from the curb. Suddenly a thought struck him so forcibly that he stopped the car. What was the thought? Give her Bible studies. With his foot on the brake, he turned his head and looked at her going up her steps. “What a crazy idea,” he thought. “She does not want Bible studies.” But all the rest of the day he worried about it. He worried about it at work all day Monday and all day Tuesday. Finally he decided that he had to know the truth of the matter. Tuesday night he said to his wife, “Get cleaned up, honey. We’re going out.”

“Where are we going?”

“We are going to your sister’s house.”

“What for?”

“We are going to give her a Bible study.”

“Are you crazy?”

“I do not know. We will find out if I am crazy when we get there.”

So they went to the sister’s house and knocked on the door. She opened the door, put her head out, and said in surprise, ‘Well, Hello! What are you doing here?” Brother Kelly took a deep breath, then said firmly, “We came to give you a Bible study.” For a long moment she just stared at them, while her face turned deathly pale. Finally she spoke. “Well, come in then.”

They had a pleasant Bible study, and set up appointments for more. Things were progressing nicely, when I had to leave Honolulu for several weeks to fill an appointment on another island. When I returned, Brother Kelly came to see me. “Elder Larson,” he said, “do you remember about my wife’s sister?”

“Yes, I remember. How are the studies going?”

“The studies went fine, but right now she is in the hospital, dying of cancer.”

“Well, now we know why you got that signal from the Lord to give her Bible studies, do we not?”

“We sure do. I am so glad that I obeyed.”

The Five Major Elements of Prayer

Now let us return to the prayer meeting story. As we continued our studies, we found information about the content of prevailing prayer. There seemed to be five major elements: Thanksgiving, Repentance, Consecration, Temporal needs, and Intercessory prayer for others. The first three are quite specific.

1 Thanksgiving

“If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You, who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 317.

“He desires us to serve Him in newness of life, with gladness every day…To praise God in fullness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 299.

2 Repentance

“This daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to reach perfection of Christian character.” Gospel Workers, 275.

3 Consecration

“Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power.” Acts of the Apostles, 56.

These three principles, taken together, present us with some regular morning exercises in prayer. First we think carefully about all of the specific and individual blessings granted to us in the past twenty-four hours, and thank the Lord for each of them. This is very beneficial. We will soon realize that the Lord is doing more for us every day than we were aware. We will be reminded of the old song, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Then we repeat the memory exercise to see whether we may have disappointed the Lord in any way during the last twenty-four hours. This gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to impress our minds and teach us lessons that we need to learn.

Third, we renew our vows of consecration, which involves the exercise of the will in deciding and reaffirming decisions. The use of this marvelous “kingly power” is a rewarding study in itself, which we do not have space enough for here. Suffice it to say that there is real benefit in renewing and restating our vows of consecration.

4 Our Temporal Needs

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children.…Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice.” Steps to Christ, 100.

It often happens that this is the major portion of our prayers, but it need not be. The real emphasis in our prayers would ideally be the next section.

5 Intercessory Prayers for Others

In this area, our attention was attracted to the following question: “Why do not two or three meet together and plead with God for the salvation of some special one, and then for still another?” Testimonies, vol. 7, 21.

Prayer for a Witch Doctor

This challenge appealed to us, so we decided to try it. We moved from the prayer meeting room to the main church auditorium so that we could spend part of the service in small groups with room enough to be separated from one another. The members of each group consulted together and agreed on a particular person for whom they would be praying. On the first Wednesday evening, three of the men came to me and asked me to join their group. I asked them for whom we would be praying. They answered, “We are going to pray for Joseph Poomaihealani. His brother, Ernest, is one of our members.” That seemed to make sense, so I joined their group. But it was more than a month before I learned who Joseph really was. Those men had me praying for a kahuna, a Hawaiian witch doctor!

He was a man who had a special chair in his front room. If you sat in that chair without his permission, the chair would turn over and deposit you on the floor. He had a shelf on which he would place a glass of whiskey and watch it disappear as the spirits drank it. He believes, to this day, that he has seen the devil face to face. One night he attended a meeting that I was conducting in Honolulu. I happened to make the statement that some people do not believe there is a devil. As he left the auditorium, he said to me, “Mr. Larson, I will tell you what you can do. If they do not believe there is any devil, just send them to my house. I will show them.”

I was dismayed. There were times when I felt like suggesting that we pray for someone else, but it seemed as if that would show a lack of faith, so I did not do it.

When Women Pray

Meanwhile, other things were happening. There were several ladies in the church whose husbands were not members, so it was difficult for them to attend prayer meetings. But they heard about what we were doing and wanted to get in on it. They talked it over and decided that they would have a set time each day when they would pray for their husbands, thus meeting at the throne of grace. And one by one their husbands started coming to church.

Mr. Kiehm came first, and was soon baptized. Then George Hirashima started coming and attending the Pastor’s Sabbath School Class, where we studied doctrines. One Sabbath morning, as I was walking up the stairs to the church door, I met him coming down. “Good morning, George,” I said. He did not return my greeting, but said, “Say, are you ready to baptize me today?” I said, “George, are you serious?” He answered, “I’m serious. I want to be baptized. But do not tell my wife. I want to surprise her.” So, at the end of the sermon I simply walked into the baptistry and performed the ceremony for him. Sister Hirashima almost fell off her seat. After him came three more husbands, Brother Kim, Brother Ho, and Brother Kahula for baptism.

The First Sabbath-keeping, Spiritualist, Pentecostal Church

Now, let us return to our kahuna, Joseph Poomaihealani. He began to make some changes. He visited some meetings that I was conducting and decided that the Sabbath was right. He visited some Pentecostal meetings and felt that he understood very well what he saw happening there. He decided to start a church of his own. Across the island from Honolulu there was a village named Waimanalo where there was no church of any kind. He bought some land there and built a church. Its design, in all details, was in line with directions that he received from the “spirits.” There he established himself in what I suppose was the first Sabbath-keeping, spiritualist, Pentecostal church on earth.

Meanwhile, the brethren had transferred me from Honolulu Central Church to become a full-time conference evangelist. As such, I traveled from island to island conducting evangelistic meetings. After about a year they asked me to conduct a series of meetings in Waimanalo. Joseph and his wife had become acquainted with Dr. Robert Chung and his wife, Mae, who invited them to my meetings. To make a long story short, they attended the meetings, joined our church and donated their church to the conference. It is still active today. You can see it in Waimanalo.

So there is indeed a divine science in prayer that we need to study.

“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.

Freedom of Choice

We must keep in mind, however, that there is another principle involved in intercessory prayer, and that is the principle of freedom. God will never force anyone to submit to His will. If we keep this in mind, we will be protected against extreme views and fanaticism. Lucifer, after the fall, rebelled against a perfect God in a perfect heaven.

But our immediate concern is how we may come through the time of trouble victoriously. The situation calls for a trust in God that nothing can disturb, and a healthy, vigorous prayer program. We are hearing much these days about assurance. I find that my assurance relates more directly to my prayer program than to any doctrine that I hold. Let us take heed to these words of caution:

“Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God.” Gospel Workers, 255.

Let us remember the encouraging words of the apostle James: “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.

Bible Study Guides – “Men Ought Always to Pray, and Not To Faint”

January 20, 2001 – January 26, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18.

STUDY HELP: Christ’s Object Lessons, 164–180.


“Christ’s lessons in regard to prayer should be carefully considered. There is a divine science in prayer, and His illustration [Luke 11:5-13] brings to view principles that all need to understand. He shows what is the true spirit of prayer, He teaches the necessity of perseverance in presenting our requests to God, and assures us of His willingness to hear and answer prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.

“Ask and It Shall be Given You”

  1. What instruction is given concerning perseverance in prayer? Luke 11:9.

NOTE: See Steps to Christ, 95.

  1. What promise accompanies this instruction? Luke 11:10.

NOTE: “He who truly seeks for the precious grace of Christ will be sure not to be disappointed. This promise has been given to us by Him who will not deceive us. It is not stated as a maxim or a theory, but as a fact, as a law of the divine government. We can be assured that we shall receive the Holy Spirit if we individually try the experiment of testing God’s word.” In Heavenly Places, 336.

“He Will Rise and Give”

  1. What illustration did Jesus use to explain the need for perseverance in prayer? Luke 11:5–8.

NOTE: See Counsels on Health, 380.

  1. What further parable did Jesus tell to illustrate this truth? Luke 18:1–8.

NOTE: “The judge yielded to the widow’s request merely through selfishness, that he might be relieved of her importunity. He felt for her no pity or compassion; her misery was nothing to him. How different is the attitude of God toward those who seek Him. The appeals of the needy and distressed are considered by Him with infinite compassion.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 165. (See also page 172.)

“A Man Subject to Like Passions as We Are”

  1. What example of persevering prayer did James give? James 5:17, 18.

NOTE: “Heaven is not closed against the fervent prayers of the righteous.… The only reason for our lack of power with God is to be found in ourselves.… A hurried prayer is offered now and then, but there is no real communion with God. We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life.” My Life Today, 17.

  1. How did Elijah demonstrate faith and perseverance in prayer? 1 Kings 18:41–44.

NOTE: “Elijah did not wait for the heavens to gather blackness. In that small cloud he beheld by faith an abundance of rain; and he acted in harmony with his faith.… As he prayed, his faith reached out and grasped the promises of Heaven, and he persevered in prayer until his petitions were answered. He did not wait for the full evidence that God had heard him, but was willing to venture all on the slightest token of divine favor. And yet what he was enabled to do under God, all may do in their sphere of activity in God’s service.…” Conflict and Courage, 211. (See also Early Writings, 73.)

“She Continued Praying Before the Lord”

  1. What further example of perseverance in prayer is found in the life of Hannah? 1 Samuel 1:10–13.

NOTE: “There is a mighty power in prayer. Our great adversary is constantly seeking to keep the troubled soul away from God. An appeal to Heaven by the humblest saint is more to be dreaded by Satan than the decrees of cabinets or the mandates of kings. Hannah’s prayer was unheard by mortal ear, but entered the ear of the Lord of hosts.… She believed that her prayer had been heard, and the peace of Christ filled her heart.” Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

  1. How did Hannah express her gratitude at the answer to her prayer? 1 Samuel 2:1–10.

NOTE: “When separated from her child, the faithful mother’s solicitude did not cease. Every day he was the subject of her prayers.… She did not ask for her son worldly greatness, but she earnestly pleaded that he might attain that greatness which Heaven values—that he might honor God and bless his fellow men.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 572.

“O Woman, Great is Thy Faith”

  1. What example of persistence in prayer is recorded in the life of Christ? Matthew 15:21–28.

NOTE: “There is no danger that the Lord will neglect the prayers of His people. The danger is that in temptation and trial they will become discouraged, and fail to persevere in prayer. The Saviour manifested divine compassion toward the Syrophenician woman. His heart was touched as He saw her grief. He longed to give her an immediate assurance that her prayer was heard; but He desired to teach His disciples a lesson, and for a time He seemed to neglect the cry of her tortured heart. When her faith had been made manifest, He spoke to her words of commendation and sent her away with the precious boon she had asked. The disciples never forgot this lesson, and it is placed on record to show the result of persevering prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 175.

  1. What was the lesson that Christ desired to teach from this experience? Matthew 15:24. (Compare Acts 10:28.)

NOTE: See The The Desire of Ages, 402.

“He Had Power Over the Angel and Prevailed”

  1. What was the reason for Jacob’s success in his all-night struggle? Genesis 32:24–26. (Compare Hosea 12:4, first part.)

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 621.

  1. What precious promise is for those who will go through the time of Jacob’s trouble? Jeremiah 30:7.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 201, 202.

Bible Study Guides – “LORD, Thou Hast Been Our Dwelling Place”

January 13, 2001 – January 19, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” Deuteronomy 4:9.

STUDY HELP: Evangelism, 357–367.


“We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us. We are now a strong people, if we will put our trust in the Lord; for we are handling the mighty truths of the word of God. We have everything to be thankful for. If we walk in the light as it shines upon us from the living oracles of God, we shall have large responsibilities, corresponding to the great light given us of God. We have many duties to perform because we have been made the depositories of sacred truth to be given to the world in all its beauty and glory. We are debtors to God to use every advantage He has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin.” Testimonies to Ministers, 31.

“The Eternal God is thy Refuge”

  1. How did Moses describe the unfailing watchcare of God over His people? Psalm 90:1, 2; Deuteronomy 33:27.

NOTE: “Christ is our tower of strength, and Satan can have no power over the soul that walks with God in humility of mind. …In Christ there is perfect and complete help for every tempted soul. Dangers beset every path, but the whole universe of heaven is standing on guard, that none may be tempted above that which he is able to bear.… If we will look to Jesus as the One in whom we may trust, He will never fail us in any emergency.” My Life Today, 316.

  1. Against what danger did Moses warn the people of Israel? Deuteronomy 8:10–14.

NOTE: “How frequently were the waymarks set up by the Lord in His dealings with ancient Israel! Lest they should forget the history of the past, He commanded Moses to frame these events into song, that parents might teach them to their children.…We need often to recount God’s goodness and to praise Him for His wonderful works.” Conflict and Courage, 364.

“My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts”

  1. Of what contrast between God and man should we always be aware? Psalm 90:4–6; Isaiah 55:8, 9.

NOTE: “Our plans are not always God’s plans.… In His loving care and interest for us, often He who understands us better than we understand ourselves refuses to permit us selfishly to seek the gratification of our own ambition.…” Conflict and Courage, 228.

  1. What effect should this have on our prayers? Ecclesiastes 5:2.

NOTE: “We should have more of a burden for souls, and should pray daily that strength and wisdom may be given us for the Sabbath.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 125.

“Teach Us to Number Our Days”

  1. How did Moses recall the brevity of human life? Psalm 90:10.

NOTE: See The Faith I Live By, 158.

  1. In view of the brevity of life, what prayer should be ours? Psalm 90:12.

NOTE: “Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time. The value of time is beyond computation. Christ regarded every moment as precious, and it is thus that we should regard it. Life is too short to be trifled away. We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin. It is now that we are to form characters for the future, immortal life. It is now that we are to prepare for the searching judgment.” The Faith I Live By, 158.

“Our Secret Sins in the Light of Thy Countenance”

  1. Of what further fact should we be aware as we come to God in prayer? Jeremiah 16:17.

NOTE: “God has made ample provision that we may stand perfect in His grace, wanting in nothing, waiting for the appearing of our Lord. Are you ready? Have you the wedding garment on? That garment will never cover deceit, impurity, corruption, or hypocrisy. The eye of God is upon you. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We may conceal our sins from the eyes of men, but we can hide nothing from our Maker.” God’s Amazing Grace, 24.

  1. What precious promises can we claim in prayer? John 6:37; Psalm 6:9; Micah 7:18-19.

NOTE: “The refining furnace is to remove the dross. When the Refiner sees His image reflected in you perfectly, He will remove you from the furnace.… But it is necessary for you, in order to reflect the divine image, to submit to the process the Refiner chooses for you, that you may be cleansed, purified, and every spot and blemish removed—not even a wrinkle left in your Christian character.… He has promised He will never leave or forsake those who put their trust in Him.” Our High Calling, 312.

“Make Us Glad”

  1. Who is the source of true joy? Psalm 16:11.

NOTE: “The religion of Jesus is joy, peace, and happiness. All Heaven is interested in the happiness of man.” The Faith I Live By, 226.

  1. From what knowledge may we gain joy? Psalm 5:11.

NOTE: “Take God’s word on trust, saying, He loves me: He gave His life for me; and He will save me.… Look away from yourself to Jesus. Embrace Him as your Saviour. Cease to bemoan your helpless condition.… When you feel tempted to mourn, force your lips to utter the praises of God. ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway’ (Philippians 4:4.) Is He not worthy of praise? Then educate your lips to talk of His glory and to magnify His name.” In Heavenly Places, 116.

“Let the Beauty of the LORD Our God be Upon Us”

  1. What was the final thought of Moses’ prayer? Psalm 90:17.

NOTE: “God is a lover of the beautiful, but that which He most loves is a beautiful character.… It is beauty of character that shall not perish, but last through the ceaseless ages of eternity.” My Life Today, 270.

  1. When beauty of character is seen in God’s people, what can we expect to happen? Revelation 19:7, 8; Mark 4:29. (Compare Galatians 5:22, 23.)

NOTE: “If you have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell of His goodness. Do every duty that presents itself. Carry the burden of souls upon your heart, and by every means in your power seek to save the lost. As you receive the Spirit of Christ—the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others—you will grow and bring forth fruit.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 67, 68.

Bible Study Guides – “Teach Us to Pray”

December 30, 2000 – January 5, 2001

General Introduction

“Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.

“When Jesus was upon the earth, He taught His disciples how to pray. He directed them to present their daily needs before God, and to cast all their care upon Him. And the assurance He gave them that their petitions should be heard, is assurance also to us.

“Jesus Himself, while He dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified Himself with our needs and weakness, in that He became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, that He might come forth braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, ‘in all points tempted like as we are;’ but as the sinless one His nature recoiled from evil; He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege. He found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer. Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God. What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God’s heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little, and have so little faith? The angels love to bow before God; they love to be near Him. They regard communion with God as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that God only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of His Spirit, the companionship of His presence.” Steps to Christ, 93, 94.

“After This Manner Therefore Pray Ye”

MEMORY VERSE: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6.

STUDY HELP: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 102–122.


“Jesus gives them no new form of prayer. That which He has before taught them He repeats, as if He would say, ‘You need to understand what I have already given. It has a depth of meaning you have not yet fathomed.’ The Saviour does not, however, restrict us to the use of these exact words. As one with humanity, He presents His own ideal of prayer, words so simple that they may be adopted by the little child, yet so comprehensive that their significance can never be fully grasped by the greatest minds. We are taught to come to God with our tribute of thanksgiving, to make known our wants, to confess our sins, and to claim His mercy in accordance with His promise.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 103.

“When Ye Pray, Say ‘Our Father’”

  1. How did Jesus teach us to address God? Was this a new insight into God? Luke 11:2. (Compare Psalm 89:26; Psalm 103:13; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8.)

NOTE: “Jesus teaches us to call His Father our Father. He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Hebrews 2:11. So ready, so eager, is the Saviour’s heart to welcome us as members of the family of God, that in the very first words we are to use in approaching God He places the assurance of our divine relationship, ‘Our Father.’” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 103, 104.

  1. How does Jesus make it possible for us to become sons and daughters of God? John 1:12.

NOTE: “Satan had claimed that it was impossible for man to obey God’s commandments; and in our own strength it is true that we cannot obey them. But Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God’s precepts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 314.

“Hallowed be Thy name”

  1. In our prayers, how should we speak the name of God? Matthew 6:9.

NOTE: “To hallow the name of the Lord requires that the words in which we speak of the Supreme Being be uttered with reverence. ‘Holy and reverend is His name.’ Psalm 111:9.…When you pray, ‘Hallowed be Thy name,’ you ask that it may be hallowed in this world, hallowed in you.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 106, 107.

  1. What prayer and petition should introduce our prayers? Matthew 6:9, 10.

NOTE: “The petition, ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,’ is a prayer that the reign of evil on this earth may be ended, that sin may be forever destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness be established.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 110.

“Give Us Day by Day Our Daily Bread”

  1. How should our prayers demonstrate our dependence on God? Luke 11:3.

NOTE: “When you have thus made God’s service your first interest, you may ask with confidence that your own needs may be supplied. If you have renounced self and given yourself to Christ you are a member of the family of God, and everything in the Father’s house is for you.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 110.

  1. For what other kind of bread do we need daily to pray? Matthew 4:4; John 6:27, 51.

NOTE: “We receive Christ through His word, and the Holy Spirit is given to open the word of God to our understanding, and bring home its truths to our hearts. We are to pray day by day that as we read His word, God will send His Spirit to reveal to us the truth that will strengthen our souls for the day’s need.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 112, 113.

“Forgive Us Our Sins”

  1. What further petition should also be an essential part of our daily prayer? Luke 11:4, first part.

NOTE: “When God gives the promise that He ‘will abundantly pardon,’ He adds, as if the meaning of that promise exceeded all that we could comprehend: ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55:7–9. God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 114.

  1. What condition accompanies God’s promise to forgive us as we confess? Matthew 6:14, 15.

NOTE: “We are not forgiven because we forgive, but as we forgive. The ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God, but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own. Wherefore Christ says, ‘With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’ Matthew 7:2.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 251.

“Deliver Us From the Evil One”

  1. What petition for divine guidance and protection should form part of our prayer? Luke 11:4, last part.

NOTE: “The prayer, ‘Bring us not into temptation,’ is itself a promise. If we commit ourselves to God we have the assurance, He ‘will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ 1 Corinthians 10:13. The only safeguard against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118.

  1. What precious promises of deliverance may we claim in prayer? Psalm 50:15; Psalm 86:7; Psalm 91:15.

NOTE: “But the promise, ‘My grace is sufficient’ (2 Corinthians 12:9), has been fulfilled in my case. There can be no doubt on my part. My hours of pain have been hours of prayer, for I have known to whom to take my sorrows. I have the privilege of reinforcing my feeble strength by laying hold upon infinite power. By day and night I stand on the solid rock of God’s promises. My heart goes out to Jesus in loving trust. He knows what is best for me. My nights would be lonely did I not claim the promise, ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me’ (Psalm 50:15).” Selected Messages, Book 2, 240.

“For Thine is the Kingdom”

  1. When Daniel was shown the succession of mighty persecuting powers, what assurance was he given? Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:27.

NOTE: “Fearful perils are before those who bear responsibilities in the cause of God—perils the thought of which make me tremble.…but let us not forget that the three great powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass.” Evangelism, 65.

  1. What blessed hope and assurance should conclude our prayers? Matthew 6:13, last part.

NOTE: “We are now standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. A crisis is before us, such as the world has never witnessed. And sweetly to us, as to the first disciples, comes the assurance that God’s kingdom ruleth over all. The program of coming events is in the hands of our Maker.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 121.

Bible Study Guides – “I Pray For Them”

March 10, 2001 – March 16, 2001

Memory Verse

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 239–244.


“…we are to learn to answer the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John. We are to make this prayer our first study. Every gospel minister, every medical missionary, is to learn the science of this prayer. My brethren and sisters, I ask you to heed these words and to bring to your study a calm, humble, contrite spirit, and the healthy energies of a mind under the control of God. Those who fail to learn the lessons contained in this prayer are in danger of making one-sided developments, which no future training will ever fully correct.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 239.

“I Have Finished the Work Which Thou Gavest Me To Do”

1 What was the purpose of Christ’s life? John 17:1, 2, 4.

note: “In all the gracious deeds that Jesus did, He sought to impress upon men the parental, benevolent attributes of God. In all His lessons He was seeking to teach men the wonderful truth that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Jesus would have us understand the love of the Father, and He seeks to draw us to Him by presenting His parental grace. He would have the whole field of our vision filled with the perfection of God’s character. In His prayer for His disciples He says, ‘I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world.’ Jesus came into the world to illustrate the character of God in His own life, and He swept back the misrepresentations that Satan had originated, and revealed the glory of God. It was only by living among men that He could reveal the mercy, compassion, and love of His heavenly Father; for it was only by actions of benevolence that He could set forth the grace of God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 139.

2 What precious gift does Christ give to His followers and for what purpose? John 17:22.

note: “The glory of God is His character. While Moses was in the mount, earnestly interceding with God, he prayed, ‘I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory.’ In answer God declared, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.’ The glory of God—His character—was then revealed: ‘The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty’ (Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6, 7). This character was revealed in the life of Christ. That He might by His own example condemn sin in the flesh, He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. Constantly He beheld the character of God; constantly He revealed this character to the world. Christ desires His followers to reveal in their lives this same character. In His intercessory prayer for His disciples He declared: ‘The glory [character] which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.’ (John 17:22, 23.) Today it is still His purpose to sanctify and cleanse His church ‘…that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing….’ (Ephesians 5:26, 27.)” God’s Amazing Grace, 322.

“This is Life Eternal”

3 What knowledge is essential for eternal life? John 17:3. Compare John 14:7.

note: One of the major themes of John’s writings, both in his Gospel and Epistles, is the knowledge that a follower of Christ must have.

“Having received the faith of the gospel, the next work of the believer is to add to his character virtue, and thus cleanse the heart and prepare the mind for the reception of the knowledge of God. This knowledge is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation; and it is this alone that can make one like God in character. Through the knowledge of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, are given to the believer ‘all things that pertain unto life and godliness.’ No good gift is withheld from him who sincerely desires to obtain the righteousness of God.” Acts of the Apostles, 530.

4 How did Jesus communicate the knowledge of God to His disciples? John 14:8, 9.

note: “It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last we must all learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross.….Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross.” Maranatha, 77.

“The World Hath Hated Them”

5 What plea did Jesus make for His disciples after He was to be taken from them? John 17:11, 12.

note: “Jesus loves the purchase of His blood, and in passing through the scene of His humiliation to the scene of His exaltation in the heavens, He lost none of His compassionate nature. To–day the same loving, tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the sorrows and woes of humanity. To–day the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. Can Christ forget the struggling church that has been left here in the world, which has come to be like the world before the flood, fit for destruction, which has become like Sodom, meet for the wrathful fires from heaven? The Father sees the wormwood and the gall which His dear Son drank for the fallen race. He hears His prayer in behalf of His children: ‘I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.…’” Sabbath School Worker, September 1, 1893.

See also The Desire of Ages, 680.

6 Why does the world hate those who seek to follow Jesus? John 17:14. Compare Matthew 10:22; Luke 6:22.

note: “Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, ‘I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Romans 8:18.” Acts of the Apostles, 576, 577.

“Sanctified Through the Truth”

7 What is the will of God for His church? 1 Thessalonians 4:3; John 17:19.

note: “John and Judas are representatives of those who profess to be Christ’s followers. Both these disciples had the same opportunities to study and follow the divine Pattern. Both were closely associated with Jesus and were privileged to listen to His teaching. Each possessed serious defects of character; and each had access to the divine grace that transforms character. But while one in humility was learning of Jesus, the other revealed that he was not a doer of the word, but a hearer only. One, daily dying to self and overcoming sin, was sanctified through the truth; the other, resisting the transforming power of grace and indulging selfish desires, was brought into bondage to Satan. Such transformation of character as is seen in the life of John is ever the result of communion with Christ. There may be marked defects in the character of an individual, yet when he becomes a true disciple of Christ, the power of divine grace transforms and sanctifies him. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, he is changed from glory to glory, until he is like Him whom he adores.” Acts of the Apostles, 558, 559.

8 What means is available to us to sanctify our characters? John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26, 27; Psalm 119:11.

note: “‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Romans 10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

“That Thay All May Be One”

9 What was the dearest desire of Christ’s heart for all His followers? John 17:20, 21, 23.

note: “Harmony and union existing among men of varied dispositions is the strongest witness that can be borne that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. It is our privilege to bear this witness. But, in order to do this, we must place ourselves under Christ’s command. Our characters must be molded in harmony with His character, our wills must be surrendered to His will. We are of the same faith, members of one family, all children of the same heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. How close and tender should be the tie that binds us together. The people of the world are watching us to see if our faith is exerting a sanctifying influence upon our hearts. They are quick to discern every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions. Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith.” God’s Amazing Grace, 210.

10 What joyful prospect awaits those who fulfil Christ’s prayer for unity? John 17:24.

note: “Oh, how the divine Head longed to have His church with Him! They had fellowship with Him in His suffering and humiliation, and it is His highest joy to have them with Him to be partakers of His glory. Christ claims the privilege of having His church with Him. ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ To have them with Him is according to covenant promise and agreement with His Father. He reverently presents at the mercy seat His finished redemption for His people. The bow of promise encircles our Substitute and Surety as He pours out His petition of love, ‘Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory.’ We shall behold the King in His beauty, and the church will be glorified.” Testimonies to Ministers, 20, 21.

“I In Them And Thou In Me”

11 What is the secret of unity among the followers of Christ? John 17:23, first part; Colossians 1:27.

note: “The Lord has made abundant provision that His love may be given to us as His free, abundant grace, as our inheritance in this life, to enable us to diffuse the same by being yoked up with Christ. Jesus conveys the circulating vitality of a pure and sanctified Christlike love through every part of our human nature. When this love is expressed in the character, it reveals to all those with whom we associate that it is possible for God to be formed within, the hope of glory. It shows that God loved the obedient ones as He loves Jesus Christ; and nothing less than this satisfies His desires in our behalf. As soon as the human agent becomes united with Christ in heart, soul, and spirit, the Father loves that soul as a part of Christ, as a member of the body of Christ, He himself being the glorious head.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 466.

12 What gracious invitation is made to each individual Christian? Revelation 3:20.

note: “It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgement will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.” The Desire of Ages, 490. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 235.

Bible Study Guides – “Abide in Me”

March 3, 2001 – March 9, 2001

Memory Verse

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24.

Study Help: Gospel Workers, 254–259.


“While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon God cannot be overcome. No evil arts can destroy his peace. All the promises of God’s word, all the power of divine grace, all the resources of Jehovah, are pledged to secure his deliverance. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. And God was with him, a present help in every time of need.” Gospel Workers, 254.

“Pray Without Ceasing”

1 What counsel did Paul give for success in our spiritual life? 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18.

note: “I wish I could impress upon every worker in God’s cause the great need of continual, earnest prayer. They cannot be constantly upon their knees, but they can be uplifting their hearts to God. This is the way that Enoch walked with God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 596.

2 Where should our thoughts be as we go about our daily work? Colossians 3:2.

note: “Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had, in the world, a work to do for God. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of God. His faith waxed stronger, his love became more ardent, with the lapse of centuries. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul. He lived in the atmosphere of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 329, 330.

“Pour Out Your Heart Before Him”

3 How much may we share with God as we go about our daily tasks? Psalm 62:8.

note: “Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. ‘The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.’ James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:3. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” Steps to Christ, 100.

4 What assurance do we have that the Lord will hear our prayers? Matthew 21:22.

note: “The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation.” Steps to Christ, 94.

“He Continued All Night In Prayer To God”

5 When faced with a crucial decision, how did Christ prepare Himself? Luke 6:12, 13.

note: “Christ gave His time, His soul, His strength, to labor for the benefit and blessing of humanity. Entire days were devoted to labor, and entire nights were spent in prayer, that He might be braced to meet the foe and fortified to help those who came to Him for relief.” Gospel Workers, 115.

“It was from hours spent with God that He came forth, morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. The disciples had come to connect His hours of prayer with the power of His words and works. Now, as they listened to His supplication, their hearts were awed and humbled. As He ceased praying, it was with a conviction of their own deep need that they exclaimed, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ Luke 11:1.” Thoughts From The Mount Of Blessing, 102.

6 How did Jesus often begin the day? Mark 1:35.

note: “From hours spent with God He came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others. His words were given Him fresh from the heavenly courts, words that He might speak in season to the weary and oppressed. ‘The Lord God hath given Me,’ He said, ‘the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned.’ Isaiah 50:4.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 139.

“Ye Shall Afflict Your Souls”

7 What especially should be the burden of the prayers of those who live in the hour of God’s judgement? Psalm 139:23, 24. Compare Leviticus 23:27.

note: “We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.” Lift Him Up, 330.

8 What is the sacrifice required of the Christian today? Romans 12:1, 2. Compare Psalm 51:16, 17.

note: “Shall we not, right here, make a covenant with God by sacrifice? Shall we not come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness? Who will pledge themselves today to seek the Lord while He may be found? You can not convert others until you find God for yourselves. Only when you have found Him yourselves can you make Him known to others. Will you not open your hearts and minds to the influence of the Spirit of God, so that the testimony borne will be lasting in its results?” Review and Herald, April 8, 1909.

“Men Ought Always to Pray”

9 What parable did Jesus give to illustrate the importance of perseverance in prayer? Luke 18:1–8.

note: “Christ here draws a sharp contrast between the unjust judge and God. The judge yielded to the widow’s request merely through selfishness, that he might be relieved of her importunity. He felt for her no pity or compassion; her misery was nothing to him. How different is the attitude of God toward those who seek Him. The appeals of the needy and distressed are considered by Him with infinite compassion.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 165.

10 Upon whose assistance may we rely in prayer? Romans 8:26.

note: “Pray often to your heavenly Father. The oftener you engage in prayer, the closer your soul will be drawn into a sacred nearness to God. The Holy Spirit will make intercession for the sincere petitioner with groanings which cannot be uttered, and the heart will be softened and subdued by the love of God. The clouds and shadows which Satan casts about the soul will be dispelled by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and the chambers of mind and heart will be illuminated by the light of Heaven.” In Heavenly Places, 89.

“Ye Shall Ask What Ye Will”

11 How will a constant walk with Jesus affect our prayers? John 15:7.

note: “When you pray, present this promise. It is our privilege to come to Him with holy boldness. As in sincerity we ask Him to let His light shine upon us, He will hear and answer us. But we must live in harmony with our prayers. They are of no avail if we walk contrary to them. I have seen a father who, after reading a portion of scripture and offering prayer, would often, almost as soon as he had risen from his knees, begin to scold his children. How could God answer the prayer he had offered? And if, after scolding his children, a father offers prayer, does that prayer benefit the children? No; not unless it is a prayer of confession to God.” Child Guidance, 499.

12 What was the testimony borne about Enoch? Hebrews 11:5.

note: “Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption, the same as ours; yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted. He was a representative of the saints who live amid the perils and corruptions of the last days. For his faithful obedience to God he was translated. So, also, the faithful, who are alive and remain, will be translated. They will be removed from a sinful and corrupt world to the pure joys of heaven.” Conflict and Courage, 29.

Bible Study Guides – “Pray For One Another”

February 24, 2001 – March 2, 2001

Memory Verse

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

Study Help: In Heavenly Places, 93; That I May Know Him, 271.


“A truly Christian life will cost us thoughtfulness, searching of the Scriptures, and most earnest, persevering prayer. It will not be prayer without point and purpose, but it will be the intercession of a heart burdened for poor sinners out of Christ. It will be a heart longing to do service for Jesus in personal effort for the saving of souls of men.” Pastoral Ministry, 151.

“I Pray for Them”

1 At the crisis of His life, what example of intercessory prayer did Jesus reveal? John 17:9–19.

note: “Christ declared He sanctified Himself, that we also might be sanctified. He took upon Himself our nature, and became a faultless pattern for men. He made no mistake, that we also might become victors, and enter into His kingdom as overcomers. He prayed that we might be sanctified through the truth. What is truth? He declared, ‘Thy word is truth.’ His disciples were to be sanctified through obedience to the truth.” Review and Herald, July 2, 1889.

2 How are we also included in Christ’s intercessory prayer? John 17:20–24.

note: “He says, ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’ That prayer was for us; we have believed in the testimony of the disciples of Christ. He prays that His disciples may be one, even as He and the Father are one; and this unity of believers is to be as testimony to the world that He has sent us, and that we bear the evidence of His grace.” Review and Herald, July 2, 1889.

3 What command did Jesus give to His followers? John 13:34. Compare John 15:12, 17; 1 John 4:7.

note: “‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them’ (John 17:9, 10). Mark the words. It is Jesus Christ that is praying to His Father, ‘and all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.’ Is it truth? Are we Bible believers? Is Christ glorified in us? I want you to consider this. He is speaking of the oneness and that unity that shall exist with Christ and His disciples. In that unity, in that oneness, Christ is glorified in us. Now I would have you consider how very light a matter many of us make of seeking to preserve this unity. Why, this unity with believers in and through Christ is the great strength of the church! The oneness, the love which through their faith and unity exists with God’s people through faith in Christ, is a power. How earnest, how decided, how determined should be our efforts to answer the prayer of Christ that we may have that harmony one with another for which Christ died to perfect; that we may be one with Christ; for, unless we are constantly laboring for this harmony and this unity, we shall certainly fail of answering the prayer of being one with Christ as He was one with the Father.” Sermons and Talks vol. 1, 194.

“If Not, Blot Me Thee, Out of Thy Book”

4 How did Moses express his love for his people? Exodus 32:31, 32.

note: “Moses manifested his great love for the people in his entreaty to the Lord to forgive their sin, or blot his name out of the book which He had written. His intercessions here illustrate Christ’s love and mediation for the sinful race. The Lord refused to let Moses suffer for the sins of his backsliding people. He declared to him that those who had sinned against Him He would blot out of His book which He had written; for the righteous should not suffer for the guilt of the sinner. The book here referred to is the book of records in Heaven, where every name is recorded, and their acts, their sins, and obedience, are faithfully written. When any one commits sins which are too grievous for the Lord to pardon, their names are erased from the book, and they are devoted to destruction. Although Moses realized the dreadful fate of those whose names should be dropped from the book of God, yet he plainly declared before God that if the names of his erring Israel should be blotted out, and be no more remembered by Him for good, he wished his name to be blotted out with theirs; for he could never endure to see the fullness of His wrath come upon the people for whom He had wrought such wonders.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 252, 253.

5 How did the Lord reveal to Moses His character of mercy and steadfast love? Exodus 33:19, 20; Exodus 34:6, 7.

note: “Now, indeed, we would expect the prophet to cease pleading; but no, emboldened by his success, he ventures to come still nearer to God, with a holy familiarity which is almost beyond our comprehension. He now makes a request which no human being ever made before: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory.’ What a petition to come from finite, mortal man! But is he repulsed? Does God reprove him for presumption? No; we hear the gracious words: ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee.’ In the history of Moses we may see what intimate communion with God it is man’s privilege to enjoy.” Conflict and Courage, 99.

“When He Prayed for His Friends”

6 What was the turning point in Job’s experience? Job 42:10. Compare Job 16:2.

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.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1141.

7 How did Jesus express this important aspect of prayer? Luke 6:28.

note: “When the believer, in view of all his transgressions, exercises faith in God, believes that he is pardoned because Christ has died as his sacrifice, he will be so filled with gratitude to God that his tender sympathy will be reaching out to those who, like himself, have sinned and have need of pardon. Pride will find no place in his heart. Such faith as this will be a death blow to a revengeful spirit. How is it possible for one who finds forgiveness, and who is daily dependent upon the grace of Christ, to turn away in coldness from those who have been overtaken in a fault, and to display to the sinner an unforgiving spirit? Everyone who has real faith in God will crush pride under his feet.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 198.

8 How did Christ manifest this spirit of sympathy towards His enemies? Luke 23:34. Compare Acts 7:59, 60.

note: “While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,—‘for they know not what they do.’” The Desire of Ages, 744.

“We Have Sinned”

9 What example of intercession may be seen in the life of Daniel? Daniel 9:3–19.

note: “The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man ‘greatly beloved’ (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: ‘We do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies.’ ‘We have sinned, we have done wickedly.’ He declares: ‘I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.’” The Great Controversy, 470.

10 How did Nehemiah also manifest this humble spirit of intercession? Nehemiah 1:6–11.

note: “…he turned in his affliction to the sure Helper. ‘I prayed,’ says he, ‘before the God of Heaven.’ He knew that all this ruin had come because of the transgressions of Israel; and in deep humiliation he came before God for pardon of sin and a renewal of the divine favor. He addressed his petitions to the God of Heaven, ‘the great and terrible God;’ for such the Lord had shown Himself to be in the fearful judgements brought upon Israel. But with a gleam of hope, Nehemiah continues, ‘that keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and observe His commandments.’ For repentant and believing Israel there was still mercy. Faithfully the man of God makes confession of his sins and the sins of his people.” Signs of the Times, November 29, 1883.

“In their work, Ezra and Nehemiah humbled themselves before God, confessing their sins and the sins of their people, and entreating pardon as if they themselves were the offenders.” Prophets and Kings, 675.

“That Ye May Be Healed”

11 For what especially may we pray? James 5:16.

note: “…the offering of such prayer is a most solemn act, and should not be entered upon without careful consideration. . . .To those who desire prayer for their restoration to health, it should be made plain that the violation of God’s law, either natural or spiritual, is sin, and that in order for them to receive His blessing, sin must be confessed and forsaken. . . .We know that God hears us if we ask according to His will. But to press our petitions without a submissive spirit is not right; our prayers must take the form, not of command, but of intercession.” The Faith I Live By, 315.

12 How is such prayer for healing to be done? James 5:14, 15.

note: “In prayer for the sick it should be remembered that ‘we know not what we should pray for as we ought.’ Romans 8:26. We do not know whether the blessing we desire will be best or not. Therefore our prayers should include this thought: ‘Lord, Thou knowest every secret of the soul. Thou art acquainted with these persons. Jesus, their Advocate, gave His life for them. His love for them is greater than ours can possibly be. If, therefore, it is for Thy glory and the good of the afflicted ones, we ask, in the name of Jesus, that they may be restored to health. If it be not Thy will that they may be restored, we ask that Thy grace may comfort and Thy presence sustain them in their sufferings.’” Ministry of Healing, 229.

“Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so. But God did not regard their prayers, because their faith was not made perfect by works. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health. He will then answer our prayer, if His name can be glorified thereby. But let all understand that they have a work to do. God will not work in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who are taking a sure course to make themselves sick, by their careless inattention to the laws of health.” Medical Ministry, 13.