Think About God When You Pray
Do you ever wonder why some people receive such wonderful answers to prayer, while so many of your prayers seem to be unanswered? Or why some people talk to God so easily and you find it hard to know what to say? Or why sometimes you feel the presence of God, and at others you seem to be talking to a blank wall? Perhaps every Christian has asked himself these questions.
Even the disciples of Jesus had questions about prayer. They could see in His life how important prayer was to Him and what wonderful things happened in answer to His prayers. And so they begged Him:
Luke 11:1 “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Note: The reference at the beginning of the quotation you have just read (Luke 11:1) tells you where you can find the quotation in your Bible. It lists the name of the book, the number of the chapter or chapters, and the number of the verse or verses.
Jesus answered this request not only by His words but also by His example. He gave the disciples a prayer they could use and He showed them how to pray. God wants us to talk with Him. In fact, He is the One who has given us the desire to pray. Let us make the request of the disciples our request as we study these lessons in prayer. God is ready to teach us!
In This Lesson You Will Study:
- God Will Teach You to Pray
- God Is Good
- God Loves You
- God Is Our Father
- God Can Do Anything
This Lesson Will Help You:
- Think about God when you pray.
- Pray with the assurance that God loves you and wants to do what is best for you.
God Will Teach You To Pray
Identify God’s purpose for us in prayer
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. We reach out to the world of the supernatural for help. But our urge to pray goes beyond that. We feel the need to worship, honor, and serve some supernatural being.
How important it is to direct this worship to the right Person—the One who made us, God! Only then can we find the deep satisfaction that He wants us to enjoy. God made us so that we could talk things over with Him and He could talk with us and help us. Life is not complete without this communication with Him.
God invites us to come to Him in prayer and ask Him for whatever we need. Just think of it—the One who made the world and everything in it, the Lord and Ruler of the universe wants to talk with us. He made us, understands us, loves us, and wants to help us. Time and again in the Book He has given us—the Holy Bible—He invites us to take our problems to Him, talk everything over with Him. That’s what prayer is—talking with God. He tells us:
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about.”
You may be sure that God will teach you as you study and put into practice what the Bible tells us about how to pray. The title of each lesson in this book gives you a biblical principle, a simple rule that will help you when you pray. Then the lesson is full of practical suggestions on how to apply it. The principle for this lesson—think of God when you pray—is one that Jesus teaches us. If we follow the model He gave, we begin our prayers recognizing who God is, honoring Him, and praying for His will to be done.
Matthew 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored; may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ ”
God Is Good
Describe the manner in which we should approach God in Prayer
When we talk with someone, we don’t just think about ourselves and our needs. We think first about the other person—who he is, what he does, and what he is to us. Our first lesson in how to pray effectively is to apply the same principle when we talk to God: Think about God when you pray. In fact, this is a basic part of worship. The word worship in English comes from “worth” + “ship” and means to recognize the worthiness of God.
First of all, let us realize that God is good. Because God is good, He wants to free us from the things that bring suffering. He wants to bless us, making us happy and healthy and helping us live good and useful lives. Thinking about how good God is makes us want to join in the song of the Psalmist:
- Sing to the Lord, all the world!
- Worship the Lord with joy; come before him with happy songs!
- Never forget that the Lord is God. He made us and we belong to him; we are his people, we are his flock.
- Enter the temple gates with thanksgiving; go into its courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise him.
- The Lord is good; his love is eternal and his faithfulness lasts forever.
God Loves You
State how God’s love led him to provide for the forgiveness of our sins.
God loves you and me. It is His very nature to love. The Father sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to: 1) tell us about His love, 2) demonstrate that love in His life and death for us, and 3) make it possible for us to be with Him and enjoy His love forever. Jesus said:
John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.”
Because God is good, He has set certain standards for the world He has made. He teaches us right from wrong in the Bible and helps us to do what is right. As Ruler of the universe, He must judge us for what we do, regarding those who do right and punishing those who do wrong. Unfortunately, we have all done wrong and were condemned to be separated from God unless there was some way to save us.
And there was a way! God loved us so much that He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place. Jesus loves us too and died for our sins. He came back to life and went back to heaven. Someday He will come again to put everything right—here in His Father’s world.
John 10:10 “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.”
When we pray, if we think about how God loves us, we want to please Him. We are sorry for the wrong we have done and ask Him to forgive us and help us do what is right.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins to God, He will keep his promise and do what is right: He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.
God Is Our Father
Describe what it means to have God as our Father.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God becomes a Father to us. He does more than just adopt us. He sends His Holy Spirit to live in us, give us a new nature and make us His children. Jesus teaches us to call God Father when we pray, just as He always did. Think what it means for us to be able to call the Creator of the universe Father! We can come to Him at any time and ask for whatever we need from our Father in heaven. Jesus tells us that the Father loves us and wants to give us what we need.
John 16:27 “The Father himself loves you.”
Matthew 6:25-26 “This is why I tell you: do not to be worried about the food and drink you need… Look at the birds flying around: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds?”
Matthew 7:11 “As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:9 “And so I say to you: Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will fi nd; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”
Our part is simply to ask God for what we need. This is an important part of prayer. We ask and He has promised to answer. We need not be afraid that we are asking for something that is too hard for God to do. He can do anything! And so we ask, knowing that God is our Father.
Ask And You Will Receive
Your Need…………………. God’s Sufficiency
Your Weakness …………. God’s Strength
Your Failures ……………. God’s Forgiveness
Your Loneliness ……….. God’s Love
Your Ignorance …………. God’s Knowledge
Your Problems ………….. God’s Wisdom
Your Sickness …………… God’s Healing
God Can Do Anything
Identify the infinite power of God to meet our needs.
God can do anything because He is infinite, that is, He has no limits. He is not limited by time— He has always been and always will be; in other words, He is eternal. God sees the future just as clearly as He sees the past and present because He is infinite in knowledge. Nothing is hidden from Him—not even our thoughts.
God understands us much better than we understand ourselves and knows just what is best for us. As we go to Him in prayer and ask Him to guide us, we can trust in His infinite wisdom, goodness, and love. Whatever He does is right. We can surrender our lives to Him joyfully, knowing that He will take good care of us.
God is infinite in power—He created the universe and operates it by His commands. The laws of nature are simply the patterns that God has established for His world; He is not limited by them. Whenever it suits His purpose God may speed up or slow down their operation. Or, He may even temporarily suspend their action by a higher law, the order of the Creator. The result is the miracles that Jesus did: He healed the sick, raised the dead, caused the blind to see and the deaf to hear; all with a word or a touch. We need never fear that our problems are too big for God!
Matthew 19:26 “For God everything is possible.”