Our Privilege of Prayer
Lesson 7

During the days of the civil war in the United States, the waiting room outside President Lincoln’s office was always full. To get in to see the President required a pass, but passes were extremely difficult to obtain, unless the person desiring to see the President was an official in the government. There was, however, one notable exception to this rule. The president had a small son, Tadd, and it really didn’t matter how full the waiting room was with people waiting to see the president, or how busy he might be. When Tadd wanted to see his father, he was able to get past the guards, and all the waiting people, and without that necessary pass. The difference lay in the fact that the President was his father.

Though our heavenly Father controls the whole universe, He is never to busy to listen and answer.

1. What is the basic condition to having our prayers answered?

Hebrews 11:6

Note: Prayer is the key that, in the hand of faith, opens to us the unlimited resources of heaven. God is willing to reveal Himself to us in a remarkable manner. The reason, however, that we do not see greater evidence of His power is that we lack faith. Were God to answer some of our faithless prayers, it would astonish us. When we go to God in earnest, blending faith with our perseverance in presenting our petitions, answers will come.

2. What is the Lord’s promise to those who come to Him in prayer?

Psalm 102:17

3. What evidence has God given that He will answer our prayers?

Romans 8:32

Note: We usually value something according to how much it costs us. God’s estimate of the value of the human soul can be seen in the value of the sacrifice made at Calvary. Having given such a demonstration of His interest in our salvation, we may be confident in His willingness to attend to our lesser needs. See Matthew 6:26–33; Psalm 34:10; 37:4.

4. Do we always know what to pray for?

Romans 8:26

Note: Every petition that is presented to God in faith and with a true heart will be answered. But to claim that it will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire is presumption. God is too wise to make a mistake, and loves us too much to give us anything that is not for our best good. If we have, in the honesty of our hearts, asked anything that God sees will not be good for us, He may withhold the thing desired, but in its place give us the blessing we most need. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

5. What is said of the prayer of a righteous man?

James 5:16

6. What should be our attitude when we pray?

Psalm 95:6

Note: True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. Jesus, our Example, “kneeled down, and prayed.’’ Luke 22:41. Of the disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.’’ See Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel, a man beloved and greatly honoured by God, “kneeled down on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.’’ Daniel 6:10. Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our prayers to Him.

7. What was the apostle’s counsel to the believers at Thessalonica?

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Note: Wherever we are, whatever duties we may be attending to, our hearts are to be uplifted to God in prayer. We need not always wait until we can bow upon our knees, before we pray. Though the Christian cannot always be in the position of prayer, his thoughts and desires can always be upward. There is no time or place where it is inappropriate for the Christian to turn his thoughts to God in prayer.

8. What principle did Jesus give for obtaining answers to prayer?

Luke 11:5–9

Note: Often God delays to answer our prayers in order to try our faith or test the genuineness of our desire. Having asked according to His Word, we should believe His promise and press our petitions with a determination that will not be denied. The persistent asking brings us into a more earnest attitude, increasing our desire for the thing requested. Prayer does not change God, but it changes us, bringing us into harmony with Him.

9. What is another condition for receiving answers to prayers?

Psalm 37:5

10. What must be our attitude if our prayers are not immediately answered?

James 1:5–8

Note: We are not to become weary because the answer to our prayer is not immediately received. This is where many make a mistake. When the answer does not come immediately, they waver from their purpose, and their faith fails. This is the reason why they receive nothing from the Lord.

11. What is the forth condition to receiving answers to prayer?

1 John 5:14

Note: We must want God’s will to be done. This is a matter of faith. Even Jesus, in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, asked that His prayer be answered according to His Father’s will. See Luke 22:42. If we expect God to hear us, we must have confidence that He loves us, and that He will answer us in the way that is best.

12. What can prevent God from answering our prayers?

Proverbs 28:9

Note: While we earnestly endeavour to be obedient, God will hear our petitions; but He will not bless us in disobedience. How strange it would be for us to ask Him to regard our wishes and desires when we disregard His.

13. What is the fifth condition to answered prayer?

Philippians 4:6

Note: If the loving kindness of God called forth more thankfulness from us, we would have far more power in prayer. When we consider His goodness to us, we will find that he will consider our wants. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 NKJV

14. Upon what conditions does God hear our prayers for forgiveness?

Mark 11:25-26

15. To whom did Jesus teach us to present our requests?

Matthew 6:9

16. In whose name and by whose authority are we to pray?

John 15:16

17. Why is this so?

1 Timothy 2:5

18. What does Christ become to those who come to Him for help?

1 John 2:1

Note: In His intercession as our Advocate, Christ stands as our Representative. Prayer and confession are effective only when offered through Him.

19. What reason is given as assurance to us that God will hear and respond to our prayers?

James 5:11

Note: We cannot burden our heavenly Father, nor can we weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of our heads is not indifferent to the wants of His children. See also Psalm 103:8; 116:5.

When we approach our heavenly Father, feeling our need, and in confidence open our hearts to Him, we are assured He will hear us. 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 would be heard, is assurance also to us.

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