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DISCIPLESHIP AND PRAYER. Lesson 3 for January 18, 2014. “ Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him ”.

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  1. DISCIPLESHIP AND PRAYER Lesson 3 for January 18, 2014

  2. “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him” E.G.W. (Steps to Christ, pg. 93) • Prayer. • Jesus, our prayer example. • Intercessory prayer. • Daniel’s prayer. • Jesus’ prayer. • Discipleship and prayer.

  3. PRAYER Prayer miraculously bonds finite souls with their infinite Creator. The sincere believer trusts in God’s ability to honor His promises. Never has anyone lodged a request that intimidates God. Nevertheless, we must remember that: • God is more willing to give us what we ask than our parents are (Mt. 7:7-11) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, 9, 11) • We must not use vain repetitions or verbiage (Mt. 6:7) • We don’t know “what we should pray for” (Rom. 8:26) • Our prayers must be subject to the divine will: “Your will be done” (Mt. 6:10) • Our forgiveness requests will only be listened if we are willing to forgive others (Mt. 6:12-15) • It’s good to pray together (Mt. 18:19)

  4. JESUS, OUR PRAYER EXAMPLE “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed”(Mark 1:35) Jesus prayed every day, seeking quiet places to spend time with God in prayer (Lk. 5:16). As well as praying every day, Jesus also prayed during the whole night in special moments (Lk. 6:12) Jesus is our example. He needed much time of prayer to be in communion with His Father. How much time do I spend with my Father in prayer?

  5. “To the consecrated worker there is wonderful consolation in the knowledge that even Christ during His life on earth sought His Father daily for fresh supplies of needed grace; and from this communion with God He went forth to strengthen and bless others. Behold the Son of God bowed in prayer to His Father! Though He is the Son of God, He strengthens His faith by prayer, and by communion with heaven gathers to Himself power to resist evil and to minister to the needs of men. As the Elder Brother of our race He knows the necessities of those who, compassed with infirmity and living in a world of sin and temptation, still desire to serve Him. He knows that the messengers whom He sees fit to send are weak, erring men; but to all who give themselves wholly to His service He promises divine aid. His own example is an assurance that earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith—faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work—will avail to bring to men the Holy Spirit’s aid in the battle against sin” E.G.W. (The Acts of the Apostles, cp. 5, p. 56)

  6. DANIEL’S INTERCESSORY PRAYER “we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments… O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate” (Daniel 9:5, 16-17) Daniel was almost 90 years old, so he could not receive any benefit from the people coming back to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, he identified himself with the sins of his people and intensely interceded for his brothers and sisters. Intercessory prayer helps us to forget about ourselves and to identify ourselves with those who we pray for. Then, we feel an increasing desire to see their souls saved.

  7. JESUS’ INTERCESSORY PRAYER “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32) • Jesus prayed for each of His disciples. He interceded for them before the Father. • The longest prayer of Jesus is found in John 17. He does not only intercede for His disciples, “but also for those who will believe in Me through their word” (v. 20) Disciple-making today requires more than tract distribution and airtight biblical argumentation. Praying in a sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress, and with a passionate desire to alleviate that distress, is still the standard of intercessory prayer in effective disciple-making. “It is not enough to preach to men. We must pray with them and for them. We can not help them while we hold ourselves coldly aloof from them. We must come close to them in Christlike sympathy and love” E.G.W. (Review and Herald, March 24, 1903)

  8. DISCIPLESHIP AND PRAYER “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7) The first disciples imitated Jesus and usually prayed for very diverse prayer requests.

  9. “Christ has urged that His people pray without ceasing. This does not mean that we should always be upon our knees, but that prayer is to be as the breath of the soul. Our silent requests, wherever we may be, are to be ascending unto God, and Jesus, our advocate, pleads in our behalf, bearing up with the incense of His righteousness our requests to the Father” E.G.W. (Ye Shall Receive Power, October 23)

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