Prayer

January, February, March 2001

Want to learn more about Prayer? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: The Model Pray-er and the Model Prayer: Christ (Luke 11, Matthew 6)
I just finished reading the book "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" by Jim Cymbala (Zondervan, 1997). It is a terrific book about prayer. The thesis of the book is that if you want a church to grow you need to cultivate the prayer life of the members. My timing for reading the Cymbala book was perfect because this quarter we begin a study on prayer. I need to improve my prayer life. If you need to improve your prayer life, let's jump into our new study!

Lesson 2: Prayers of Despair: Job (Job 1, 6, 9, 13, 38, 40)
A first grader in my wife's class was discouraged because his little life was not going well. He confided in my wife, "I don't know why this is happening to me, I pay my tithe!" Does this little guy express your feelings sometimes? Something bad is happening in your life and you cannot understand why God is allowing it to happen? Do you pray and it seems that God is not answering or not giving the answer you deserve? One of the most encouraging stories in the Bible is the story of Job. Let's jump in and see what we can learn about his prayers in times of great discouragement!

Lesson 3: A Prayer of Supplication: Moses (Psalm 90)
Moses did so much for the Israelites. Do you think he taught them to pray? I'll bet he did. Our study this week is a unique opportunity to study a prayer that is attributed by most scholars to Moses. The NIV, along with many translations, begins Psalms 90 with the script: "A prayer of Moses the man of God." Let's dive into our study of this important prayer of Moses!

Lesson 4: Prayers of Triumph: Hannah and Mary (1 Samuel 1 & 2)
So far this quarter we have explored the prayers of Jesus, Moses and Job. Are there any women in the Bible whose experience can teach us about prayer? This week the title of our lesson turns our attention to two of the most blessed mothers in the Bible. Because of the amount of material involved, we are only going to be able to cover Hannah in this study. Let's jump in and see what can we learn from this saint!

Lesson 5: Prayers of Penitence: David (2 Samuel 11 & 12, Psalms 51)
Do you fear that your prayers are not heard by God because of some past sin? Does sin cause you to think you cannot approach a Holy God? This week we look not only at the prayer of King David after he committed some of the worst sins, we gain an insight into avoiding those kinds of sins. Let's jump into our study!

Lesson 6: A Prayer for God's Dwelling: Solomon (2 Chronicles 6)
Is the God who created the universe interested in us? Is He willing to personally interact with us in our worship? This week we study the prayer King Solomon offered at the dedication of the temple. It is a prayer that teaches us more about the relationship we could have with God. Let's jump into our study!

Lesson 7: Prayers for Reformation: Elijah (1 Kings 16-18)
At work do you sometimes feel you are the only one, or just one of a few, who serve God? Do you feel that God has placed a burden on you to reveal His greatness? Our study this week is about how God partnered with Elijah to reveal God's power and greatness. This partnership involved prayer. Let's jump in!

Lesson 8: Prayers of Desperation: Hezekiah (Isaiah 36-38)
A preacher told the story about a man who wanted to be sure he ended it all. Carrying a rope and a gun the man crawled out on a branch over a deep river. He tied one end of the rope around the branch and the other around his neck. At the instant he jumped off the branch, he planned to shoot himself in the head. He figured that if the bullet didn't work, the rope would. If the rope broke, he would drown. Sort of a triple back-up system.

Our study this week is about the prayers of Hezekiah. Hezekiah did not want to kill himself - he desperately wanted to live. But he could sympathize with the man on the branch. We will discover that Hezekiah faced a triple threat. Not only was he faced with losing his life work as king, he was in danger of getting himself and a lot of other people killed by enemy soldiers. Then he found out that if the soldiers didn't get him, he would die of a terrible disease. Let's jump into our study!

Lesson 9: The Prayer of Intercession: Daniel (Daniel 9)
This week we turn our attention to a prayer of Daniel - a hero of the Old Testament. If your life was severely disrupted when you were a child, you can sympathize with Daniel. His young life turned lousy when he was taken into captivity by the Babylonians and dragged away from his homeland. Although he was a captive, through his faithfulness to God, he rose to become the highest-level government official. Daniel had such a great reputation that he remained in power even when his captors were defeated and the government changed.

Lesson 10: Prayer: Listening to Jesus (John 14)
Is prayer just a one-way communication? We talk and then we talk some more? If you say, "No," prayer is both speaking to God and listening for His answer, then you will want to jump into this lesson with us. Last week, we discussed how Daniel prayed to God to be able to go home. This week our study is John 14 where we find Jesus answering the "how to go home" prayers of His disciples before they even feel the need. These words are part of God's message to His disciples in all ages when we face confusing and trying situations.

Lesson 11: The High Priestly Prayer: Jesus (John 17)
Do you wish you had someone to watch over you? Someone who really cared about your problems and your future? Do you show this kind of care and love for others? This week we see God's unselfish compassion for us as we continue our study of Jesus' last hours on earth. Last week we studied Jesus' words of comfort to His disciples before He was taken from them. This week we look at His prayer for His disciples. Let's dive in!

Lesson 12: Prayers for the Church: Paul (Ephesians 1)
How is your local church? Does it need help? Do you feel the problems are too big for you to handle? This week our study is the first chapter of Ephesians. Paul, while under house arrest in Rome, writes a letter of encouragement to the church in Ephesus. Although the letter is not a prayer, it reveals the nature of Paul's prayers for this church and the type of prayer and attitude we can have towards our local congregation. Let's jump into our study!

Lesson 13: Prayers of Praise: Revelation (Revelation 4 & 5)
Do you remember what we discovered about the beginning of all the famous prayers we have studied so far this quarter? They started out with praise to God! In our last study of this quarter, we look more closely at this idea of praise in prayer. Let's dive in!

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