Prayer

Prayer

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Introduction

“When I was a teenager, I often felt inadequate and unprepared for the challenges that faced me. I was unsure about how to conduct personal relationships, how to manage my academic career, and how to get along with my family. There were ethical and moral questions too. I had a sense of right and wrong that many of my friends did not share. The pressure to compromise my values was a force that had to be dealt with.

It would have been a great relief to have had a close friend or an older brother to counsel and support me during those difficult years. I needed someone who understood what my troubles were, someone who had experienced the same things and had faced the challenges successfully, someone who had the ability to help me out of difficult situations.”

1. Does the author of the above quote remind you of anyone you know? How common are his situation and feelings?

2. Do young people have such a friend, an older brother? Read John 15:14 John 15:14You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
American King James Version×
before answering.

3. Does God understand the problems that face young people today?

Evidence from scripture

Hebrews 4:14-16 Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
American King James Version×
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession…

1. What does this scripture tell us about Christ’s experiences on earth? Does He have a sympathetic attitude toward young people today?

2. Do you think that He has first-hand experience in overcoming the problems of growing-up — even in this age? Did He successfully deal with His troubles? Does He know how to help you? Why do you think so?

3. What does this scripture tell us to do when we need help?

Comment: When we are in a tough spot, when we don’t know what to do next, the Bible tells us that we are able to ask God for help. We can do this confidently. We have the right to come boldly before God to ask for forgiveness, advice and support which is not available anywhere else.

4. How do you think we “come unto the throne of grace”?

Matthew 6:6 Matthew 6:6But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.
American King James Version×
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Esther 4:16 Esther 4:16Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast you for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
American King James Version×
“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

In ancient kingdoms, access to petition the king was a seldom-granted privilege. Even the Queen would risk of her life if she came into the king’s throne room without his permission. Queen Esther came into the presence of the King of Persia not knowing if she would survive the encounter. Fortunately, she was not put to death for her presumptuous intrusion.

5. In what ways is our appearance before Gods’ throne different from Esther’s planned appearance before the king of Persia?

6. When we pray to God, what should we say?

Matthew 6:9-13 Matthew 6:9-13 9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
American King James Version×
In this manner, therefore, pray:

O ur Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Note: Christ outlined the things that should generally be covered in our daily prayers.

7. How should we address God?

8. Make a list including the following:

How can we hallow His name?

How can we ask Him to speed the re-establishment of His kingdom on earth?

What are your real needs (daily bread) and perhaps your “wants”?

9. Is God willing to forgive us if we make mistakes? Why do you think some people have trouble believing God would forgive them?

10. Is God willing to help us stay out of trouble? Will He help us to solve our problems? Why or why not?

11. How should we close our prayers? What does “Amen” mean?

12. Why can we have confidence that God will really hear and answer us?

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (15) And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

13. What condition to receiving an answer is mentioned in this verse? How can we know if we are asking in accordance with His will?

14. Does God have the power to help us?

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (21) to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Summary

“As an adult, I find it necessary to pray to God daily. In my job and my personal life, God helps me continually to avoid problems. He even ‘fixes’ mistakes that I make when I recognize them and ask for help. I know that I can’t get along without contact with Him. I wish that I had known Him when I was a teen. I know that my life would be vastly different and my personal circumstances would have been much better if I had known, prayed to and relied on God in my youth.”

1. What does the Bible tell us about God’s willingness to hear and help us?

2. How should we approach and talk to God?

3. Quote a scripture that tells us God is able to help us in any difficulty or circumstance?

4. Do you think that we ever outgrow our need to pray? Why?