Step 4: The Christian and Prayer
To Whom Should We Pray?
Because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work in perfect unity and harmony, each has a specific role in our prayers. The writer of the book of Hebrews said, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence (boldness), so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
But how do we approach the most powerful presence in the Universe? Do we pray directly to Him? Do we pray to Jesus Christ and ask Him to present our needs to the Father? How can we even approach such a holy God with boldness?
In this lesson you will learn why all three persons in the Godhead are active in our prayers and why each person performs a separate, but interconnecting role.
To Whom Do We Pray?
- According to Matthew 6:6, to whom should we pray?
- From the following passages, give general reasons for your answer: I Chronicles 29:11-2, Matthew 6:9, John 16:23.
- Meditate on the principles contained in the following excerpt from How to Pray by R.A. Torrey:
But some will say, "Is not all prayer unto God?" No. Very much so-called prayer, both public and private, is not unto God. In order that a prayer should be really unto God, there must be a definite and conscious approach to God when we pray; we must have a definite and vivid realization that God is bending over us and listening as we pray.
In much of our prayer there is little thought of God. Our mind is not taken up with the thought of the mighty and loving Father. We are occupied neither with the need nor with the one to whom we are praying , but our mind is wandering here and there throughout the world. When we really come into God's presence, really meet Him face to face in the place of prayer, really seek the things that we desire from Him, then there is power.
How do you approach God when you pray? How can you better focus your attention on Him?
Think about a time when you particularly sensed God's presence when you prayed. What made this time of prayer different than others? Why?
Through Whom Should We Pray?
- Read John 14:6 and I Timothy 2:5. How many mediators are there between God and man? Who is the mediator?
- On the basis of Hebrews 4:14-16, describe the qualifications of our great High Priest.
- What are the requirements for a prayer relationship according to I John 3:21-23.
- What does unconfessed sin in our lives do to our prayer fellowship with God? (Psalm 66:18)
- God's Word promises in I John 1:9 that if we confess our sins He will forgive us. The word "confess" means to "agree with." This involves naming our sins to God, acknowledging that He has already forgiven us through Christ's death on the cross, and repenting of our sins (turning away from or changing our attitude toward them).
- God honors those who truly pray in His Son's name. What is the promise recorded in John 15:16 and 16:23. What did Jesus promise in John 14:12-14.
- The name of Jesus means everything to God. He lifted Jesus to the highest place in the Heavenly sphere and elevated His name far above all others in Heaven and on Earth. From the following passages, describe the significance and standing given to the name of Jesus: John 20:31, Acts 2:28, 3:6,16; 4:10,19, 30, 19:17, Mark 9:37, Philippians 2:5-11.
- Improperly used, the name of Jesus does not bring results. To many people, the name of Jesus has become a powerless incantation, a run-together phrase, leaving them bewildered over unanswered prayer. According to the following verses, how can we use Jesus' name properly and receive our answer from God? (I John 5:13-15, Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 3:17, John 4:3, 14:13, 15:16-17)
Follow these steps for confessing your sins:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin in your life.
- Write it down on a piece of paper.
- Confess the sin to God and asking Him to forgive you.
- Receive His forgiveness by faith according to I John 1:9.
- Write the verse across the sin.
- Throw away the paper.
- List any new insights into prayer that you have gained from this lesson.
- Describe how you will use these insights to have a more well rounded prayer-life.
- Write down at least one new way in which you want to apply prayer in your life right now.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.