With God When we pray, we communicate with a Person in a relational way. With God
Psalm prayers provide a good example of communicating with God. Desperation (Ps. 35:13; 39:12) Happiness (Ps. 86:4, 5, 10, 12) Sadness (Ps. 80:4)
With God Think About It As we pray we need to remember that we are communicating with God. What truths about God should we keep in mind so that we can pray personally?
From Our Hearts The spiritual part of usoften described as the heart communicates with God, who is a Spirit (John 4:24).
From Our Hearts He knows our thoughts and attitudes. From Our Hearts Think About It What will we think about if we pray
from our hearts? How can we keep our thoughts engaged while praying? From Our Hearts Think About It How can we make our language in
prayer sound natural and less formal? What about filler phrases that we use in our prayers? For Our Needs God promises to give us all
good things (Ps. 84:11). God promises to provide for us (Matt 6:2533). For Our Needs Think About It What are some spiritual needs we
have? How does God provide for those needs? For His Praise Express thanks to God for His actions and character.
God deserves praise because He is the greatest. For His Praise Think About It Besides prayer, what are other ways we can praise God?
How do we get to know what God is like so that we can praise Him? Through Christ We have access to God through Christs sacrificial death
(1 Tim. 2:36) and by His intercession for us (1 John 2:1). Through Christ Christs work gives us confidence when we come to
God. According to Gods Will Gods will is His macro-level, omniscient plan for His glory and our good. To pray for Gods will to be
done requires us to have an attitude of humble submission. For Gods Glory To glorify God means to give Him the honor, worship, and
praise He deserves. When we pray purposefully and humbly, we demonstrate that God is special to us. How Can I Change? Do I really know what prayer is?
Do I believe that prayer is a vital part of my relationship to God? What does my prayer life reveal about my relationship with God? How Can I Change? What does my prayer life reveal
about my knowledge of God? What distracts me from prayer? Do I talk naturally to God, or do I use some sort of shallow, formal language? How Can I Change?
Do I pray for my spiritual needs or do I only inform God of my physical wish list? Do I include thankfulness in my prayers? Do I pray purposefully for Gods glory or mine?
LESSON 2 Why Pray? To Know God Prayer teaches me to know
God through His works. The God of the Israelites and of the early church is the same powerful God I know today. To Know God Prayer teaches me to know
God through His wisdom. Providences are instances in which we see God working for our ultimate good, even if it doesnt seem like it. Prayer teaches me to know Gods love.
To Know God Think About It How has God worked in answer to your prayer requests? Can you identify providences in your own life?
To Love God The more we know about God and experience His character demonstrated in our lives, the more we will love God (Eph. 3:14-21).
To Love God We pray not only because we love God, but also to love God more. To Love God
Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers to grow in their understanding of Gods love by being grounded in Gods love (Eph. 3: 1421). To Access Gods Grace
Prayer is a means of grace the power or help that God gives to us to obey Him, resist sin, and do His will. Prayer is hard work, and prayer is essential.
To Grow Spiritually Prayer is a spiritual discipline a practice to help believers to grow spiritually. To Grow Spiritually How does prayer help us
grow? Our dependence on God grows through prayer. Our love for others grows through prayer. Our personal holiness grows through prayer.
To Demonstrate and Strengthen Faith Our beliefs determine our actions. God grows and strengthens our faith.
To Obey Gods Command God wills that believers pray (Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17). Failing to pray will invite the temptation to sin (Matt.
26:41). Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.
John Bunyan To Obey Gods Command Think About It How can prayer be motivated by love and obedience? What does it mean to love God in
prayer? How Can I Change? Evaluate your motives from a biblical perspective. Are your motivations for prayer biblical?
Do they reflect a heart of love? Do they demonstrate knowledge of the character of How Can I Change? What areas of your thinking need to be changed?
What practical changes do you need to make in order to change your thinking? How Can I Change? Read Ephesians 3:14-21 several times.
Rewrite the passage in your own words so that you could pray it for yourself. Spend time praying this prayer for yourself and for those studying the topic of prayer with you.
How Can I Change? Read Ephesians 3:14-21 several times. At the end of the week, spend some time thinking of the ways God has displayed His love in your life. Write them down so you can
remember them and share them with others. How Can I Change? Read Psalm 5. Find several characteristics of God for which you can thank
Him. How Can I Change? Read Psalm 5. How do those characteristics meet specific needs in your life? Write them down so you can
remember what you learned about God. Spend time in prayer thanking God for His character. LESSON 3
Your Part in Prayer Necessary Attitudes for Effective Prayer Humility
Humility demonstrates an inner quietness and submission to God. Humility recognizes that we have no strength or goodness of our own.
Humility is born by looking at God, and his holiness, and then looking at self and mans unholiness. E. M. Bounds
Humility The phrase, poor in spirit means to humbly acknowledge our great spiritual need, and rely on God to fill it (Matt. 5:3).
Humility Jesus contrasted humility and pride in the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:914). Humility
Think About It If Jesus included you in a parable about prayer, what would He have to say about your humilityor lack thereofas you pray? Dependence
When we recognize that we are empty of goodness and strength, and that God is our one, true Source, we won't look elsewhere for fulfillment. Dependence
In Hosea 7:14, the people laid around and wailed for food. God doesnt just view this behavior as human weakness He actually calls it active rebellion against Him.
Devotion Think About It What is devotion to God? Devotion is a commitment to the relentless pursuit of God.
Devotion Isaiah 40 explores the motivation behind this kind of devotion. Devotion Isaiah relates Gods forgiveness
to the people (vv. 12). He reminds them of Gods glory (vs. 5). As we see Gods glory, we become aware of our sinfulness (vs. 5). Instead of despairing, we have confident joy in Gods glorious power (vs. 931).
Devotion Resting in God gives us endurance to obey Him (vs. 31) and pray consistently. Consistency God doesnt dictate a specific
time of day that you should pray. We should always be in a heart attitude of prayer (1 Thess. 5:17). But its good to pick a time to devote entirely to distraction-free prayer.
Sincerity Sincerity means we will do whatever is necessary to fellowship with God. Sincere prayer means earnestly persisting with God.
Sincerity God promises that He will hear us and reveal Himself to us if we pray sincerely (Jer. 29:1214). Conditions for Effective
Prayer God is limited only from the human side; and that he is always willing to give beyond our asking, if the human conditions he has so plainly laid down in his Word are
fulfilled. Rosalind Goforth Praying in Faith Think About It What is biblical faith?
Praying in Faith Faith is a confident expectation, or belief, in something that we cant see yet. Faith in Christs sacrifice (Rom. 5:1) Faith in Gods character
(Heb. 10:21-23) Faith in Gods promises (James 1:56) Praying Gods Will We must make sure our requests align to Gods will (1 John 5:1415).
We should not base our requests on selfish desires (James 4:3). Abiding in God When we stay close to God, we will start acting like Him.
Unless we stay connected to God, we will spiritually wither away (John 15:111). Abiding in God requires obedience to Gods commands and doing what pleases Him (1 John 3:22).
Let us see that we keep God before our eyes; that we walk in His ways and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Depend upon it, God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supplies.
James Hudson Taylor Confessing Sin Sin breaks our fellowship with God (1 John 1:6). Confessing Sin
Think About It Does God hear and answer the prayers of an unsaved person? Unconfessed sin hinders prayer (Ps. 66:1719). God promises forgiveness and cleansing (2 Chron. 7:14; James 4:810; 1 John
1:9). How Can I Change? Take time to evaluate your attitude toward prayer. Are you humble, dependent, devoted and sincere?
Review your lesson to remind yourself what those attitudes look like. Ask God to help you identify areas that need to be changed. How Can I Change? What could be holding you
back from communicating genuinely with God? Do you lack faith? Do you believe that God can do what you think is impossible? Read Isaiah 40:9-31 and remind yourself of Gods greatness.
How Can I Change? Do you lack a desire to submit to Gods will? Are you OK if God chooses to answer your prayer differently than you expected?
Read Romans 11:33-36 and ask yourself the questions How Can I Change? Do you fail to stay connected to God? Do you continually have a close, loving, personal
relationship with God? Read John 15:12-17 and remind yourself about the kind of relationship that Jesus wants to have with you. How Can I Change?
Do you have unconfessed sin in your life? Do you have some sin that you are holding onto even though you know its wrong? Read James 4:8-10 and humbly evaluate your life. Confess any sin so that you can experience the joy
of restored fellowship with God. LESSON 4 Gods Part in Prayer
The Trinity God the Father Jesus prayed to the Father throughout His ministry (Matt. 6:9; 11:25; 26:39, 42). The Father listens to prayer,
responds (John 16:23) and provides for our needs (Matt. 7:711; Phil. 4:19). God the Father He shows mercy and grants forgiveness for sin (1 John
1:9). God the Son Think About It Should we address prayers to Christ? Some prayers are addressed
to Christ (Acts 7:59; Rev. 22:20). Praying in Jesus Name Think About It What does it mean to pray in Jesus name?
We pray in Jesus name to authorize our prayers. We are under the salvation and leadership of Jesus Christ. Praying in Jesus Name
Jesus instructs believers to pray in His name (John 16:23; Eph. 5:20). Praying in Jesus name also means that our prayer should be consistent with His character.
Prayer is to be in accordance with all that the name stands for. It is prayer proceeding from faith in Christ, prayer that gives expression to a unity with all that Christ stands for, prayer which seeks to set
forward Christ himself, and the purpose of it all is the glory of God. Leon Morris Jesus, Our High Priest Christ is referred to as a High
Priest and intercessor (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus, Our High Priest To mediate means to make an arrangement that brings two opposite parties together.
Christ reconciles sinners to the sinless God through His death (Gal. 2:20; Heb. 9:15). Christ continues to mediate for us when we confess our sin to God and request forgiveness (1 John 1:7). Jesus, Our High Priest
Christ prayed for all future believers in John 17this means you! God the Holy Spirit The coming of the Holy Spirit Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit
would indwell all believers and live with them forever (John 14:16, 26; 15:26). God the Holy Spirit The Work of the Holy Spirit God, the Holy Spirit, assists believers
in many ways and does specific things for them, such as the following: God the Holy Spirit Indwells believers (Acts 4:31; 1 Cor. 6:12)
Opposes the flesh (Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:1617) God the Holy Spirit Is offended at sin (Isa 63:10; Eph. 4:30) Produces fruit in believers
(Gal. 5:2224) Promotes unity among believers (Eph. 4:3) God the Holy Spirit Teaches, brings to remembrance, and comforts (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:13)
Seals believers (identifies them, gives evidence of their salvation) (Eph. 1:13) Channels the love of God into believers hearts (Rom. 5:5) God the Holy Spirit
Strengthens and gives Gods power to believers (Eph. 3:1421) Assists believers in prayer (Rom. 8:2627) Gives understanding to believers (1 Cor. 2:1011)
The Holy Spirit is the breath of the life of God . . . The Spirits breathing, the Sons intercession, and the Fathers will become one in us. Andrew Murray
God the Holy Spirit The work of the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:1517 The Holy Spirit assures our Fathers love (v. 16) He encourages us in suffering (v. 18) He helps us pray Gods will
(vv. 2627) Trinity Prayers Paul invokes the Trinity in his prayer in Ephesians 3. He petitions God the Father (vs. 14). For the Holy Spirit to strengthen the
believers with power (vs. 16). So that Christ would live in their hearts through faith (vs. 17). Trinity Prayers Peter prays a Trinity prayer in 1 Peter 1.
How Can I Change? Evaluate your prayers with these questions. Do you think about Godthe Trinity when you pray? What do you think about God when
you pray? What changes can you make to help you think about God when you pray? How Can I Change? Read through these passages and create a list of attributes
of God to encourage and inspire your prayers. Matthew 7:7-11 Philippians 4:19 Romans 8:15-27 How Can I Change?
Take time to pray these passages back to God, thanking Him for His character and asking Him to help you trust Him. LESSON 5
What Prayer Does Prayer Changes Gods Actions Think About It
If Gods will is settled, why do we make requests in prayer? Does that mean we can change Gods will? Moses petitioned for the Israelites, and God showed mercy to them (Exo. 32:910).
Prayer Changes Gods Actions The Ninevites repented, so God withheld destruction (Jon. 3:10). God healed King Hezekiah in
answer to his prayer (2 Kings 20). Prayer Changes Gods Actions Prayer is one of several ways that God has created to
accomplish His will, just as prayer is part of His will. [My prayers] have not advised or changed God's mindthat is, His over-all purpose. But that purpose will be realized in different ways
according to the actions, including the prayers, of His creatures. C. S. Lewis Prayer Changes Gods Actions
God commands us to pray (2 Chron. 7:14; 1 John 1:9), that by faith we meet His conditions. Gods Answers Are Conditional
We must ask in faith (Luke 11:9 10; James 4:2). We must be persistent (Luke 18:17). Paul requested three times for a specific torment to be removed (2 Cor. 12:79). Instead of taking away Pauls trial, God
gave him the grace to endure it. Prayer Advances Gods Kingdom The early church (Acts 1:14; 4:2931), Paul (Phil. 1:311; Eph. 3:1421), and Christ
(Matt. 6:10) all prayed for Gods Kingdom to advance. What God Will Do He gives grace (Heb. 4:16). To resist sin To obey Him
He provides encouragement (Ps. 55:22; Isa. 26:3). What God Will Do He heals (James 4:15). He forgives sin (1 John 1:9).
He sends gospel workers (Matt. 9:3638). How Prayer Affects Believers Prayer brings joy. Prayer provides fellowship with
God. Prayer increases trust. Prayer realigns our focus. Prayer glorifies God. Praying with Others Prayer at Church
Prayer builds unity among believers, allowing us to share burdens and praise God together. Praying with Others Prayer with Family Parents show their dependence on
God when they pray for both large and small things. Parents can also ask their kids to pray for them, teaching them to be concerned about the needs of others. How Can I Change?
Do you believe that prayer works? What part of your prayer life demonstrates this belief? How Can I Change? What does it look like to ask
in faith? Do your requests demonstrate faith? Read Luke 22:3134. Who prayed for Peters faith? What can you learn about Jesus from this account?
How Can I Change? How do you need to rearrange the way you pray so that it feels more like joyful fellowship? Spend time praying intentionally joyful and relational prayers this
week. How Can I Change? Spend time thinking about the ways that God has answered your prayers. What character qualities of God do
you learn from His answers? How does reviewing these answers to prayer grow your trust? How Can I Change? Spend time thanking God and praising Him for answering your
prayers. Record Gods answers to prayers. How can you do this? LESSON 6 Christs
Instructions on Prayer Wrong Motives in Prayer Impressing Others (Matt. 6:14) The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:914)
Pride (Matt. 6:56) Manipulation through ritual (Matt. 6:78) Addressing God Our Father (Matt. 6:9)
God adopted us into His family (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:45). Think About It What does it mean to be adopted? A change of identity
Addressing God Our Father (Matt. 6:9) Access to God A relationship with God Being heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:1217)
God as Our Father Think About It What should a father do for his children? God as Our Father God cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
God loves us (1 John 4:78). God provides for us (Phil. 4:19). God protects us (John 10:29; Ps. 91:4). Gods Fatherhood Gives
and confidence to all our praying. E. M. Bounds In Heaven (Matt. 6:9) Think About It Why do you think Jesus included the
phrase, in heaven? In Heaven (Matt. 6:9) By frequently using this phrase, Matthew draws attention to Gods high status and superiority.
God is the supreme King. How Can I Change? Evaluate your heart attitudes in prayer. When you pray, do you attempt to show others how spiritual you are?
Take time to repent if you need to, and remove phrases or words that you use simply to impress others. How Can I Change? List the ways that Gods fatherhood impacts you
personally. Take time to praise Him in prayer for these truths. Write them down in a place where you can review them later. How Can I Change?
Research Scripture stories that emphasize God as the Supreme Ruler over all. Hint: Look at 1 Samuel 17, or look up the name, Lord of Hosts, in the Old Testament.
How Can I Change? What truth do you find about God in these accounts? How should that impact the way you pray? Share some of your findings with a friend, parent, or spiritual mentor. Take time to pray and praise God
for being our Father in heaven. LESSON 7 Aligning the Heart in Prayer
Hallowing Gods Name (Matt. 6:9) Think About It What does it mean to hallow something?
Hallowing Gods Name (Matt. 6:9) This is a request of worship for Gods character. For all people to recognize Gods glory and worship Him for it For God to uphold His reputation and
to act in accordance to His attributes Gods Holiness Holiness describes Gods perfection and uprightness that He is separate from sin. God desires us to be more like Him in
holiness (1 Pet. 1:1416). We become holy by exposing ourselves to Him continually. Gods Holiness Gods holiness also describes His distinctiveness.
He is the only one who can answer our prayers. Gods Glory God works to do everything for His own glory and promotes His goodness.
He deserves glory by His nature and by right of ownership. Jesus prayed many times for God to be glorified (John 12:28, 13:32, 17:1). Gods Glory Glory means honor, worship,
praise, and recognizing Gods greatness. The way we live should direct peoples attention to God, not to us. The sooner we learn to forget ourselves so that He may be
glorified, the richer our own blessing in prayer will be. No one ever loses anything by sacrificing for the Father. Andrew Murray The Coming of Gods
Kingdom (Matt. 6:10) Gods kingdom is generally defined as the universal reign of God. God rules the hearts of believers. God rules over the physical and spiritual realms.
Gods Present Kingdom We enter it at salvation (Matt. 18:3; Col. 1:3). We must have attitudes of repentance, humility, and faith to allow Gods rule in our hearts.
Entering Gods kingdom brings blessing (Matt. 6:33). Present Kingdom Living People must hear the gospel in order to accept salvation and enter Gods kingdom
(Matt. 24:14, 10:7). Living in the kingdom requires sacrifice (Luke 18:29). Gods Future Kingdom The present kingdom of God
will exist into the future. Pictures of the kingdom Plants (Matt. 13:2430, 13:31) Leaven, or yeast (Matt. 13:33) A traveling nobleman (Luke 19:11 27)
Gods Future Kingdom Think About It What do these pictures have in common? Gods Future Kingdom Jesus taught that while the
kingdom exists in believers hearts right now, it will continue to grow until it becomes supreme over all. God will also establish a literal kingdom in the future when Christ returns.
Praying for Gods Kingdom Praying Your kingdom come is a prayer for the future, absolute reign of Christ to come quickly. It expresses a desire for the time
to come when everyone will submit to Christ, and there will be peace and joy (Rom. 14:17). Praying for Gods Kingdom We are praying that Christ
will reign in our hearts personally. Gods Will (Matt. 6:10) When Gods kingdom has come, then His will comes to pass on Earth unhindered,
just like it currently does in heaven. We also pray that God will make us submissive to Him, How Can I Change? Review the following Psalms
and identify how Gods actions are consistent with His name.
Ps. Ps. Ps. Ps. 8:9 25:11
106:47 91:14 How Can I Change? Find additional passages that reveal Gods character through His actions.
Spend time praying that God would hallow His name in these ways. How Can I Change? Praying for Gods kingdom leads us to submission to God
as King. Spend time praying that you would be submissive to Christ as King and be obedient to His will. LESSON 8
Requests Requests for Physical Needs God tells us to ask Him for our physical needs. But such requests shouldnt
make up the majority of our prayers. Our Daily Bread (Matt. 6:11) Asking God for our daily needsnot just for the big
thingsdemonstrates a dependent attitude. Our Daily Bread (Matt. 6:11) God gives good things even to those who reject Him
(Matt. 5:45). God supplies the things we need to live for Him. Our Daily Bread (Matt. 6:11) Think About It
Is this true when it seems like God is not providing for our needs? What about persecuted Christians who endure homelessness, pain, and starvation around the world? Asking for Desires
Think About It Is it wrong to ask God for things you want? Whenever we approach God with a request, we should think about why we want our
request to be answered. Asking for Desires Whats our motive? Selfishness? Seeking happiness or fulfillment? Trying to make life easier to avoid
Gods work in my heart? Or do we truly want to glorify God? Asking for Desires Making requests with wrong motives James and John desired honor to
glorify themselves (Matt. 20:2028). Asking for Desires The religious leaders asked for a divine sign to prove Jesus claims about Himself (Matt. 16:14), but they refused to believe the evidence
they already had. Requests for Spiritual Needs Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart.
Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer. J.C. Ryle Forgive Our Debts (Matt. 6:12)
Gods forgiveness to us is proportional to our forgiveness of others (Luke 11:24). A Christian cannot grow spiritually if he or she resents someone.
Forgive Our Debts (Matt. 6:12) We cant have a right relationship with God when there is sin in our hearts. When we dont forgive
others, God does not even want us to worship Him (Matt. 5:2324). Dont Lead Us into Temptation, but Deliver Us from Evil (Matt. 6:13)
Deliver Us (Matt. 6:13) God is holy, and He doesnt tempt us with sin (James 1:13). However, He does test us. This phrase means that were
asking God to shepherd us away from those things that Deliver Us (Matt. 6:13) God allows us to go through trials in order to test our faith (James 1:2).
But God promises to give us wisdom to help us (James 1: 56). How Can I Change? Use the following questions to evaluate your motives for
prayer requests. Will my desire bring glory to me, or to God? Am I asking out of selfishness? How Can I Change? Am I expecting this thing to bring me
happiness and fulfillmentthings that only God can provide? Am I just trying to make my life easier, instead of allowing God to use my situation to help me grow spiritually?
How Can I Change? If you discover wrong motives in your heart, spend time confessing those to the Lord. If you believe you have right motives, spend time praying again that God would grant
your requests. How Can I Change? Do you pray for spiritual needs as much as physical ones? List several personal spiritual needs
and pray for them. List several spiritual needs for friends, family, or people in your church and pray for them.
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