This is lesson ten in a 12 lesson Bible study for new believers. This follow up material covers the essentials of the Christian faith including Jesus, the Bible, God’s Word, God, assurances, and what God expects of believers after they come to Christ. This study can be used to teach new believers, to brush up on your Bible basics, or to study on your own. The end of each lesson contains a list of questions and Bible references for further study on the topic of that lesson as well as a suggested memory verse. For more lessons in the series, see the links at the bottom of this page. All lessons can be printed, shared, copied, or distributed.
Bible Study for New Believers – Lesson Ten – Prayer
Prayer is the second way that a growing believer develops a strong personal relationship with God. Many of the strongest believers in the Bible prayed continually, talking with God as one would with a friend (Exodus 33:11).
Jesus Himself shows us the importance of prayer. Luke 5:16 tells us, “Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”(Luke 6:12) Jesus’ life was very busy and He was doing eternally important things, but He always made time to spend alone praying. From His example we know that no matter how hectic our life is we must set aside quality time to pray. Without it, we cannot hope to have success in other areas of life (John 15:5).
The Bible is full of teaching on prayer and also records the prayers of many believers to help us learn how to pray. (Nehemiah 1:5-11, 1 Kings 8:22-53) We look at some of the principles on prayer below.
Ephesians 6:18 says, “pray at all times in the Spirit” and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray without ceasing.” While it is good to make a habit to pray before meals or before sleeping, prayer should not be limited to certain times. During our life there will be many times when we face temptations, difficulties or decisions. Our natural reaction should be to turn to God in prayer during these types of situations (Nehemiah 2:1-5).
Pray with a Humble Attitude
When Jesus gave the disciples an example of how to pray He said to begin like this, “Our Father who in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9) We must always remember who we are praying to. We are praying to the one and only God, the Creator of the universe, the Almighty. We must respect God and come humbly into His presence.
Jacob knew this principle. In Genesis 32:9-12 we can look at his prayer. In verse 10 he says, “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown to Your servant. I had only my staff when
I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups.” Jacob knew that he didn’t deserve God’s grace. He didn’t deserve anything from God. He recognized that he was a sinner. He recognized that all the success he had was from God and not himself.
In Luke 18:10-14 Jesus gave a parable of two men who prayed. One was prideful, thinking that he was worthy and deserved a lot of blessings. God did not listen to his prayer. The humble one recognized his weaknesses and sin and was forgiven. Do not approach God thinking that He owes us. We can do nothing to earn His good favor. Take these things to heart and be humble in your prayers.
Persevere in Prayer
Read Luke 18:1-9. In this parable we learn to pray “at all times… and not to lose heart.” Jesus’ point was that if the ungodly and uncaring judge answered because of the widow’s persistence then surely our loving and caring God would. Many times God may answer our prayer with “wait!” At those times it may be easy to get discouraged and give up. But Jesus encourages us to keep on. In today’s culture most people are result oriented and want quick answers. But to God, the process is also important. As long as our prayers are in Jesus’ name we should persist. (Luke 11:8-13)
Hand of Prayer
Now that we have discussed some of the principles of prayer we will look at five different aspects of praying. Contrary to many people’s belief and habit, prayer is much more than simply asking God for material things. Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 shows that prayer has several aspects.
It is good to start with confession because sin is an obstacle to close fellowship with God. See Isaiah 59:1-2, 1 John 1:9, and Psalms 51.
We also must remember to be thankful to God for what He has done for us. It is easy to complain, but if we count our blessings we will realize just how much we have to be thankful for. Also we should have a thankful heart even during trials and troubles because we know from Romans 8:28 that God has a plan for us and uses situations we face to help us grow. See 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Ephesians 5:20.
We should not just pray for ourselves but we should pray for others in our intercession:
*for authorities – 1 Timothy 2:1,2
*for lost souls – James 5:20
*for the sick – James 5:16
*for laborers to preach the gospel – Matthew 9:36-38
*for unsaved relatives – Romans 10:1
*for outsiders – Romans 15:20
*for missionaries – Ephesians 6:19,20
*for church members – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
To be effective in our prayers, there are 3 things to remember when we petition:
1. Ask in Jesus’ name John 16:24
2. Ask in faith Matthew 21:22
3. Ask according to God’s will 1John 5:14-15
Also we should not only pray for material needs, but we should also pray for character growth and wisdom (Philippians 1:9-11, James 1:5-7)
Praise: We thank the Lord for things He gives to us. We praise God for Who He is. We praise and worship Him because He is the true God who is full of mercy, love, truth and holiness; and He is the Source of all life and light and love. See Psalms 148, 150.
Bible Study Lesson 4: HAND OF PRAYER
1. The real center of the prayer life of an individual is carried on in what way? (Matthew 6:6)
2. What is an excellent time to seek fellowship with the Lord? (Psalm 63:1; 5:3)
3. For whom is it our special privilege to pray? (Colossians 4:12; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16)
4. What should be our attitude and response regarding our enemies? (Matthew 5:44; Luke 23:34)
5. John 17 is the great intercessory prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ. At least 8 definite requests (petitions) are made in verses 1, 5, 11, 17, 20, 21 and 24. List as many of the 8 as you can.
6. What is one of Christ’s definite commands for us to request of God? (Matthew 9:37-38)
7. What importance did group prayer have in the early church? (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 12:5)
8. Read through one or more of the following chapters by Paul the Apostle, and list the verses that show that Paul interceded for the saints. (The Bible refers to those who have trusted Christ as Savior as “saints.”)
Romans 1 ________________ Colossians 1 ________________
1Corinthians 1 __________ 1Thessalonians 1 ____________
2Corinthians 1 __________ 2Thessalonians 1 ____________
Ephesians 1 _____________ 2Timothy 1 __________________
Philippians 1 ___________ Philemon ____________________
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