Friday: Further Thought – Holy Spirit, the Word and Prayer
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Read Ellen G. White, “Asking to Give,” pp. 139-149, in Christ’s Object Lessons. For a helpful collection of encouraging promises read Ellen G. White, “God has Promised” (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1982).

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

Without prayer, we would have no spiritual power in our lives, because prayer connects us to the Source of that power. Without prayer we would have no vital link with God. We will become empty vessels who might have “a form of godliness” but will be devoid of the power and promise of the gifts from on high. And, no question, as we have seen all this week, we have been given wonderful promises about God answering prayer. But what about the times when we don’t get what we pray for, even when we have sought to meet all the conditions to the best of our God-given ability? “But be not discouraged if your prayers do not seem to obtain an immediate answer. The Lord sees that prayer is often mixed with earthliness. Men pray for that which will gratify their selfish desires, and the Lord does not fulfill their requests in the way which they expect. He takes them through tests and trials, He brings them through humiliations, until they see more clearly what their necessities are. He does not give to men those things which will gratify a debased appetite and which will prove an injury to the human agent and make him a dishonor to God. He does not give men that which will gratify their ambition and work simply for self-exaltation. When we come to God we must be submissive and contrite of heart, subordinating everything to His sacred will.” – Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 89.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what ways does prayer impact our whole spiritual existence? That is, what effect does prayer have on you when you pray? In what ways are you different after you have prayed than before you did?
  2. What do you say to someone who has prayed and prayed for something and it hasn’t happened as the person had hoped and prayed for, such as the healing of a sick child or the like? How do we learn to trust God even in situations like this?
  3. In class, talk about your own experiences with prayer, and about what it means to you. What have you learned about prayer that could help others who might be struggling with understanding the purpose of prayer?
  4. Why is it important to pray even if we don’t fully understand how it all works?
Amen!(21)

Comments

Friday: Further Thought – Holy Spirit, the Word and Prayer — 8 Comments

  1. God Has Promised For those who may be interested in the book of promises mentioned at the beginning of this day's lesson - I just found the bookGod Has Promised, on Amazon.com.
    (By purchasing through this link, Sabbath School Net will earn a small commission.)

    Amen!(4)
  2. In my experience with prayer, I have learn that the more you pray and see how God answer you, the more you grow to trust him. He cares even about the little insignificant things that we are not willing to talk to him about. we should not wait until we experience crisis to call on him, but in everything talk to him about it and our faith will grow bigger and bigger as we see him answer us.

    Amen!(20)
  3. Praying when you feel so disconnected to God, and you know you are filthy in sin is very hard. The worthlessness,temptations riding upon you effortlessly just cripples your desire to pray and you feel like to wait until you feel better about yourself is surely a seed from the devil. Prayer should be response even in guilt, through prayer God takes away the guilt not time, prayer even after sinning makes solid trusting the grace of God. Waiting until you do something nice to someone and feel like your dept is paid then you pray is proclamation of salvation by works, God want us to believe that it is only grace that our petition are heard, souls saved and lives cleansed. Keeping ourselves away from prayer after sin will only lead us miles away from God, Lord help us to pray ceaselessly

    Amen!(34)
    • When in the pit what more can be a proof of faith, however feeble, than an outstretched hand hoping in the Lord who is long-suffering?

      Amen!(6)
  4. God is such a wonderful father that He can answer us even before we ask! When we decide to pray, we must pay attention around and check if we shouldn't be thanking Him already. It's a total mistery how He can work in our hearts! We just need to be opened! We need to learn how to take anything (and everything) to God in prayer! God is the reason for us to be alive - we must keep this in mind!

    Amen!(9)
  5. How often is often to pray / for prayer s ? I try to pray at mornings ,afternoon and when i go to sleep , i pray for meals too and incase of dangerous situation s etc
    but is this not enough or somehow ? Advice please !

    Amen!(2)
    • God says in 1 Thess 5:17 ''Pray without ceasing'', yes without ceasing countless. How can that be l used to ask. Below he then says ''quench not the Spirit'', if we abide in God, our minds became subject to his will, our wants, joys, worries became his because he dwells in us through his Spirit. Now when we excel, it is him we praise, when we sorrow it is him who comforts we praise, whatever we we do the Spirit translate our words, thoughts and actions into prayers which cannot be uttered. The secret to that is aligning our will to the will of God, our Spirit to his Spirit then all our circumstances will ascend as prayer to our heavenly Father.

      Amen!(4)
    • Here's how you can put Mandlenkosi's suggestion into practice:

      Pray in your closet, and as you go about your daily labor let your heart be often uplifted to God. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. ... Satan cannot overcome him whose heart is thus stayed upon God.

      There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God. There is nothing that can prevent us from lifting up our hearts in the spirit of earnest prayer. In the crowds of the street, in the midst of a business engagement, we may send up a petition to God and plead for divine guidance, as did Nehemiah when he made his request before King Artaxerxes. A closet of communion may be found wherever we are. We should have the door of the heart open continually and our invitation going up that Jesus may come and abide as a heavenly guest in the soul.
      ...
      ... We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts will turn to Him as naturally as the flower turns to the sun.

      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, pp. 98-100)

      Amen!(3)

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