“What is Prayer?” Series
An interesting fact about prayer in scripture. The apostles had many questions including how to pray, but they never once had to ask what to pray for. Sometimes we forget the many things we should pray for when we decide to talk to Yahweh. This specific lesson will cover the many facets of prayer along with examples in scripture of prayer.
Thankfulness / Praise
Thankfulness... the one easiest to do... and the one most often left out completely. It's simple. Thank Yahweh for everything you receive. Thank Him for the healing, the understanding, the protection, the forgiveness; everything He does for you and for others. It doesn't even matter if it was something you prayed for before. Yahweh loves to be thanked for the little things and the big things He does everyday. After all, you're made in His image... and don't you like to be thanked for the things you do?
3 I will call upon Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.
3 I thank my Elohim upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Yahshua Messiah:
3 We give thanks to Elohim and the Father of our Master Yahshua Messiah, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Messiah Yahshua, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of Elohim in truth:
II Thessalonians 1:3
3 We are bound to thank Elohim always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
Looking back on the last week, what things do you have to be thankful for?
Is there any time you've felt you should have thanked Yahweh, but just never got around to doing it? Is there any reason why you can't do it the next time you pray?
When you return home from the Feast of Tabernacles, what things would you be thankful for because of having been to the Feast?
Probably one of the most consistent use of prayer involves the need for healing. In fact, illness, injury, or disease in scripture is almost always followed by some request for prayer so that the individual(s) may be healed. Sometimes, this is the only time Yahweh hears from us.
21 And Isaac intreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren: and Yahweh was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of Yahweh:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and Yahweh shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Can you think of any examples in scripture of people who were sick or injured and requested prayer?
The last time you were sick or injured, did someone pray for you to be healed? Do you think it had an effect?
Proverbs tells us to seek wisdom and cling to it. Paul's letters mention that the knowledge of all man is nothing compared to the wisdom and knowledge that Yahweh possesses. What better source to seek more wisdom and knowledge than the one who created us?
II Samuel 7:18-29
I Kings 3:1-15
I Kings 4:29-34
11 Teach me thy way, O Yahweh; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
23 Search me, O Elohim, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
What kind of knowledge should you ask to receive?
Does this include understanding what you learn in school?
Since Yahweh can give you knowledge and wisdom, does this mean you stop studying and wait for Yahweh to download it to your brain?
The entirety of Psalm 91 is a hymn by David about being under the protection of Yahweh. That protection sometimes comes at the price of giving up our own goals to allow Him to guide us. Yahweh protected Israel in the wilderness; however, when they decided to take the land after Yahweh rejected them from inheriting the land, they stepped outside the boundaries of Yahweh's protection and paid a high price for it. We have to be willing to obey Yahweh in order to have him be our protector.
I Samuel 7:8
8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto Yahweh our Elohim for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
6 In my distress I called upon Yahweh, and cried unto my Elohim: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
As mentioned before, Yahweh did not protect the Israelites when they disobeyed or chose to not follow Him. Are there any times where you or someone you know has stepped “outside the boundaries” of His protection?
What kinds of protection might Yahweh give you? Is it just from physical harm?
This one is the toughest because it forces us to drop the ego barriers and admit we made a mistake. It becomes easier over time. However, it is also hoped that it gradually decreases in frequency as we get better at making those mistakes. Just keep in mind that forgiveness does not always involve sin.
7 And it was so, that after Yahweh had spoken these words unto Job, Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
Have you ever done something that you wish you could ask Yahweh to forgive you and actually hear him respond with “You are forgiven”?
“I'm sorry” is another way of asking for forgiveness. When was the last time you said that and why?
Most prayers are directed towards our own personal needs. However, there are many, many examples of prayers in the scriptures asking for something to be done for another person or group of people. A good prayer habit includes praying for others.
II Samuel 21:1
1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of Yahweh. And Yahweh answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
1 Ask ye of Yahweh rain in the time of the latter rain; so Yahweh shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
I Corinthians 1:4-5
4 I thank my Elohim always on your behalf, for the grace of Elohim which is given you by Yahshua Messiah;
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Messiah;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of Yahweh unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of Elohim;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
I Thessalonians 1:2-3
2 We give thanks to Elohim always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Yahshua Messiah, in the sight of Elohim and our Father;
For what reason(s) might you decide to not pray for someone else?
What kind of prayer would you believe to be correct for your own enemies?
Converse with Yahweh
Finally, not always are we to speak to Yahweh and only make requests and give thanks and praise. Sometimes, we just need someone to talk to when no one else will listen. Yahweh's ears are always open.
9 And Jacob said, O Elohim of my father Abraham, and Elohim of my father Isaac, Yahweh which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
II Chronicles 6
Have you ever felt the need to talk to someone but didn't have anyone you thought you could tell and would keep it secret?
If you talk with Yahweh, is it likely He would keep a secret? Doesn't He already know before you tell?
Lesson One – Purposes of Prayer Copyright ©2003-2017 – Congregation of YHWH (www.theCongregationOfYHWH.org)