Lesson No. 17
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PRAYER ?
 
A Look At God's Word
By Oswald Riess

1. WHAT IS PRAYER ?
 THE BIBLE SAYS -

 *(a) Ps. 19:14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in The sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.
  (b) Ps. 10:17. Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble.

FROM THIS WE LEARN -
 Prayer is speaking to God
 (A) With heart and lips, or only
 (B) With the heart.
 

2. WHAT SHOULD MOVE US TO PRAY ? THE BIBLE SAYS -
  (a b) Matt. 7:7. Ask, and it shall be given you.
 *(a b c d) Ps. 50:15. Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.

FROM THIS WE LEARN -
 We should be moved to prayer by
 (A) God's command;
 (B) His promise;
 (C) Our own and our fellow men's need;
 (D) Gratitude for blessings received.

3. WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF TRUE PRAYER ?
 THE BIBLE SAYS -

 (a) Matt. 4:10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
 (a) Is. 63:16. Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: Thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy name is from everlasting.
*(b) John 16:23. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you.
  (c) Matt. 6:7. When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
  (d) James 1:6, 7. Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man thin that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
  (e) 1 John 5:14. This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.
  (e) Luke 22:42. Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.

FROM THIS WE LEARN -
  (A) True prayer must be addressed to the true God. Prayers spoken to false gods, the Virgin Mary, and other saints, are false prayers and are not heard.
  (B) True prayer must be uttered in the name of Jesus. Only when we believe in Him as our Savior and approach God in such faith are our prayers acceptable.
  (C) True prayer must be spoken thoughtfully and sincerely. A mechanical recitation is not pleasing to God.
  (D) True prayer must be offered with the confidence that God will hear us. Unless we expect an answer, we ask amiss.
  (E) True prayer must be made in accordance with God's will. The thing which God has promised in the Scriptures (spiritual gifts, such as forgiveness of sins) we should ask for without condition. The granting of those things which God did not expressly promise (temporal gifts, such as health and prosperity) we should leave to the Lord's wisdom and add, "Not my will, but Thine be done."
 

4. DOES GOD REALLY ANSWER EVERY TRUE PRAYER ?
 THE BIBLE SAYS -

  (a) 2 Cor. 12:8, 9. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
 (b) John 2:4. Mine hour is not yet come.

FROM THIS WE LEARN -
 God answers every true prayer, but
 (A) In His own way, and
 (B) At His own time.
 

5. WHAT ELSE DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH OF PRAYER ?
 THE BIBLE SAYS -
  (a) 1 Tim. 2:1. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.
  (a) Matt. 5:44. Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
  (a) Heb. 9:27. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
  (b) 1 Tim. 2:8. I will therefore that men pray everywhere.
*(b) Matt. 6:6. Thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
 (b) Ps. 26:12. In the congregations will I bless the Lord.
 (c) 1 Thess. 5:17. Pray without ceasing.
 (c) Ps. 50:15. Call upon Me in the day of trouble.

FROM THIS WE LEARN -
  (A) We should pray for ourselves and for all other people, even for our enemies; but not for the souls of the dead.
  (B) We should pray everywhere, especially in private, that is, when we are alone, and in public worship.
 (C) We should pray at all times, especially in time of trouble.
 

6. HOW DOES OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TEACH US TO PRAY ?
 THE BIBLE SAYS -
  Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4. When ye pray, say: *Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

A BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE LORD'S PRAYER
 The Lord's Prayer may be divided into the Introduction, the Seven Petitions, and the Conclusion.

  "OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN": Our Father, Thou almighty Ruler over all things, we, Thy beloved children by faith in Christ Jesus, pray Thee,
  "HALLOWED BE THY NAME": Let us not dishonor Thee by false teaching and ungodly living, but help us to cling faithfully to Thy pure and precious Word and to lead a life which is well-pleasing to Thee.
  "THY KINGDOM COME": Grant us a steadfast faith in our Savior that we may always remain members of Thy kingdom, the holy Christian Church. Fill our hearts with a passion for souls, and bless the work of all who preach and spread Thy saving Word, that Thy kingdom may grow and prosper.
  "THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN": Bring to nothing the schemes of the devil and other enemies who seek to rob us of our soul's salvation. Help us in all things to obey Thee as gladly as do the angels in heaven. When Thou leadest us in ways which seem dark and mysterious, grant that we may cheerfully submit our wills to Thine.
  "GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD": Give us each day the things we need for this life, and make us truly grateful for them. Let us cast all our care upon Thee, for Thou carest for us.
  "AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US": Forgive us our many sins for Jesus' our dear Savior's sake, and, moved by Thy great love to us, we promise readily and heartily to forgive all who wrong or grieve us.
  "AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION": Do not let the devil and other foes tempt us, and if for our own good thou dost permit them to do so, make us strong and victorious. Also help us to remember that we must never willfully expose ourselves to temptation.
  "BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL": Shield us from harm; and if in Thy wisdom Thou dost place a cross on us, help us to bear it with Christian patience and trust, and finally take us to our home in heaven.
  "FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER": Thou alone art our King from whom we seek help. Thou alone hast the power to grant our desires. Thou alone shalt have all glory now and in eternity for what Thou has done for us.
 "AMEN": It shall be so.

FROM THIS WE LEARN-
 The Lord's Prayer is the most excellent of all prayers
 (A) Because in few and simple words it expresses our every need of soul and body:
 (B) Because it places the emphasis on our spiritual needs.
 

Before the Next Lesson
FILL OUT Work Sheet No. 17.
MEMORIZE the Bible passages marked with an asterisk (*).
READ Romans, chapters 5-11.


  Work Sheet No. 17
 
ONE

Give two reasons
(A) Why only a Christian can really pray;

(1).............................................................(2)...........................................................

(B) Why praying the rosary is not in harmony with the Bible;

(1).............................................................(2)............................................................

(C) Why most lodge prayers must be condemned.

(1).............................................................(2).............................................................
 

TWO

(A) We sing, "Prayer is the Christian's vital breath". What does this mean ?

....................................................................................................................................................
(B) The Bible tells us to "Pray without ceasing". How can we do that ?

....................................................................................................................................................
(C) Why does God find it necessary to urge us to pray ?

....................................................................................................................................................

3.When we are praying for bodily blessings we should add, "If thou wilt". Why ?

....................................................................................................................................................
 

4.Mention some postures or attitudes of prayer (folding of hands, etc.) which you have noticed

.....................................................................................................................................................
 

5.We are to use "free prayers:, in which we talk to God in our own words. At the same time we should make daily use of "fixed prayers", such as the Lord's Prayer.
Which book of prayers did God give us in the Bible ?

......................................................................................................................................................