Ministry Resources

When You Pray

When God made us, He put something in us that reaches out for Him. We realize that we need a power greater than our own to solve our problems, protect us, and meet our needs. Through prayer we learn to reach out to God for help.

Use God’s Word When You Pray

Almost everything we do must be done with faith. In fact, life is built on faith. We eat food, believing that it will nourish us. We send letters, believing that the postal system will deliver them to people in other towns and cities. We go to see a friend, believing that he will keep his promise to meet us.

The Christian life is also built on faith. We believe God loves us and cares about our problems, and so we pray to Him with confidence, expecting Him to answer.

But why should we believe that God loves us? We  believe He does because He says so in   His Word, the Bible. We trust His Word like we would trust the word of a friend, but much more strongly. God’s Word is completely reliable and dependable, just as He is. If it says He loves us, He does! When He invites us to pray, He means it!

This lesson explains ways in which the Bible helps you when you pray. You will learn how to study it, use it when you pray, and put its promises into action.

In this lesson you will study . . .

Use the Bible as Your Guide Strengthen Your Faith With the Bible Use Bible Verses When You Pray Act in Faith on God’s Promises

This lesson will help you . . .

  • Grow stronger in your faith by praying in agreement with the promises God has
  • See wonderful things happen as you begin to act in faith on God’s


Objective 1. State the importance of using God’s word as your guide.

Jesus said that there is a direct link between His words and our prayers. He made this amazing statement:

John 15:7. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.”

This wonderful promise teaches us that the answer to our prayers may depend on what part the Word of God has in our lives. We must think about what the Bible says and let it guide us in our prayers. We follow the Bible teachings about how to pray, and let God speak to us through His Word when we pray. When we pray with others, reading from the Bible and talking about what we have read makes God’s presence more real to us. God applies its message to our conditions and shows us how to pray about problems in our homes, our communities, and our world.

The Bible teaches us God’s will for our lives and lets us know we must pray for His will to be done. We must pray for what will honor God and what will be best for others too, not just for what we want or for selfish pleasure.

James 4:2-3. You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures.

Matthew 26:41. “Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

Many of the prayers in the Bible are a good guide for us. We may pour out our soul in the words of David’s cry for forgiveness or in Jesus’ anguished prayer of submission just before He went to the cross.

Psalm 51:1, 10. Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my Sins! Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.

Matthew 26:39. “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.”

If we want our prayers to be effective, then let us fill our minds with God’s Word. Let’s read  it, think about it, memorize it, talk about it, pray about it. It will shape our desires and guide our prayers. As it remains in us we can ask and receive the answer to our prayers.



Objective 2. Discuss the importance of faith as an aspect of our Christian experience.

Have you ever said, “I wish I had more faith,” or “I just don’t have any faith”? But you do already have some faith! Everyone does. At the beginning of this lesson, I said that many of the ordinary things we do each day are built on faith.

Now that you are a Christian, though, you have a new kind of faith. This faith is belief in God, a Person you have not seen. It is the foundation of your new life.

Hebrews 11:1. To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.

God Himself gives us faith—the confidence that He will do what He has promised. He works through His Word to strengthen our faith, and we cooperate with Him in this. Our faith grows as we read about these wonderful things that happen to others. We think about God’s love for us and realize that what He did for people in the Bible He will do for us today. We go to His promises and believe what they tell us. We pray believing that the answer will come—and it does.

Hebrews 12:2. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.

Romans 12:3. Judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you.

Romans 10:17. So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes from preaching Christ.

In Romans 10:17 we are reminded that it is not just reading and thinking about God’s Word that brings faith. Hearing it preached strengthens our faith. And so we go to church services and listen to gospel broadcasts when we can. The sermons, songs, and testimonies about Jesus, the Son of God, strengthen our faith in Him.

We don’t understand everything about it, but we know that God works through our faith. If we don’t believe, this hinders His work. If we do believe, this makes it easy for Him to answer our prayers and do wonderful things.

Matthew 13:58. Because they did not have faith, he did not perform many miracles there.

Mark 9:23. Everything is possible for the person who has faith.

Matthew 9:20-22. A woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will get well.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, my daughter! Your faith has made you well.” At that very moment the woman became well.

Matthew 9:28-29. When Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I can heal you?” “Yes, Sir!” they answered. Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it happen, then, just as you believe!”—and their sight was restored.


Objective 3. Identify the importance of depending on the promises of God’s Word.

God’s promises to His children are like checks or bank drafts on the Bank of Heaven. We have them in the Bible (our checkbook) and just have to present them for payment. God’s account is never overdrawn, so we can present these verses to God when we pray and know that He will honor the signature of His Son on them.

God’s Word is filled with promises that meet both our spiritual and physical needs. Because Jesus changed people, fed, and healed them, we know that He is concerned about all our needs. He promises comfort for our sin, grief, companionship for our loneliness, forgiveness of sin, deliverance from bad habits, and everything else we need.

Philippians 4:19. And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.

King David, head of the royal line from which our Lord Jesus came in His human nature, gives us a good example of how we can make God’s promises a part of our prayers.

2 Samuel 7:25, 27-29. And now, Lord, God, fulfill for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would. Lord Almighty, God of Israel! I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings. And now, Sovereign Lord, you are God; you always keep your promises, and you have made this wonderful promise to me. I ask you to bless your descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favor. You, Sovereign Lord, have promised this, and your blessings will rest on my descendants forever.

You can pray a similar prayer for any member of your family that does not believe in Jesus or has not accepted Him as his personal Savior.

Father, I thank You because You love my (fill in the relationship and name) ………………………..

…………………………………… who doesn’t yet know You. In Acts 16:31 You told a jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your family.” I do believe in the Lord Jesus and am asking for all of my family to be saved.

Please help …………………………………… to believe in Jesus. Use me to help him (her). Tell me what I should do and help me to do it. Thank you for answering this prayer. I know that what you did for the jailer you will do for me too, and I do thank you for it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • Make out a “Bank of Heaven” check in your notebook like the example given Fill in your name after Pay to the order of. Then after the sum of write a definite need of yours that you want God to meet. Talk with Him about it, quoting Philippians 4:19.
  • If any members of your family are not yet believers in Jesus, fill in the blanks in the prayer based on Acts 16:31 (Believe in the Lord Jesus, ).
  • Memorize Philippians 4:19 and try quoting it in your prayers. Does it make you feel a stronger assurance (faith) for the answer?


Objective 4. Describe four ways to act on God’s promises.

Prepare for the Answer

The director of a Bible institute and his wife were praying for the Lord to give them some cows to provide milk that the students needed. They had plenty of pasture land for cows but some of the fences were down or needed repairing. One day the Lord spoke to them in their thoughts: “Where would you put the cows you are praying for? If you expect Me to answer, get ready. Fix the fences.” So they had the fences repaired. A few days after the work was finished, God provided the cows.

A sick man who had not been able to leave his bed for a long time decided to ask the pastor to come and pray for his healing. He told his wife, “Get my clothes ready. I’ll be getting up after they pray for me.” He did–perfectly well.

Do you have some “fences to fix” to get ready to receive what you have prayed for and God has promised to give you? Go ahead and do your part, counting on God to do His, believing that the answer is on the way.

Believe and Thank God

Suppose you are poor, jobless, hungry, and in debt. Then a rich uncle of yours comes and tells you he is going to pay all your debts and give you a good job. He gives you a check so you can get the food you need and some clothes. Would you say, “It all sounds wonderful but I must first see if this check is good. If I get the money for it, I will thank you. And when I get my first pay for the job you offered me, I will surely thank you.”? Of course you wouldn’t talk like that to your uncle! You would be very happy believing you actually had what he promised you. How you would thank Him for it? Shouldn’t we do the same to God! He is happy when we believe and sincerely thank Him for what He offers us before we have it in our hands. So, let’s praise God for the answer!

Mark 11:24. When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.

James 1:6. But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all.

Keep on Believing

The story of Abraham (ancestor of both the Arabs and Jews) teaches us to keep on believing. God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. But 25 years passed and Abraham had no children.

Romans 4:19-21. He was then almost one hundred years old; but his faith did not weaken when he thought of his body, which was already practically dead, or of the fact that Sarah could not have children. His faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God’s promise; his faith filled him with power, and he gave praise to God. He was absolutely sure that God would be able to do what he had promised.

Abraham’s example teaches us to turn away from the natural view of faith. Let’s stop looking at the problem and focus our sight on the promise. Don’t look at your limitations or the mountain of difficulties that block your path—look to Jesus. Even when everything seems to go wrong, keep trusting and praising God. The mountain of problems can’t keep you from going forward with

Jesus. He will either remove them, show you a way through them, or lift you over them. Mountains are no problem to Him.

Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus answered, “I assure you that if you believe and do not doubt. . . you will even be able to say to this hill, ‘Get up and throw yourself in the sea,’ and it will. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Accept and Act

When we believe that we receive, we act on it. People who pray for harmful habits to be broken may take a step of faith by throwing away the things that they have asked God to free them from. Those who pray to be used of God step out in faith to do what He tells them to do, trusting in His power to help them. As we start acting on God’s promise, we see it fulfilled. This is the Bible pattern.

James 2:17-18. So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead. “I will show you my faith by my actions.”

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