What is Prayer?


Introduction

The person or persons that are the intended target of our prayer can have a great impact on its effectiveness as well. Sometimes Yahweh answers one prayer while not answering another. Especially when the prayers contradict each other. Since this is also our last lesson in this series, we kinda put it all together and discuss a few situations and how Yahweh might handle them.


Me, Myself, and I

It is the most common prayer of all; to pray for yourself. However, sometimes it is best to not put yourself first. The best example of that is in the next scripture reference when Solomon is asked what he would like to receive. Notice his reason for the choice he made.

1 Kings 3:5-15

Genesis 24:10-26

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what way were both of the prayers similar?

  2. Did Solomon ever disobey Yahweh? If so, what were the consequences based on this prayer?


Family

Closest to ourselves, our family should always warrant prayer from us. It should not matter if they are believers or not. They are family after all.

Nehemiah 1:6

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Just how close does a family member have to be related to you for you to pray for them?


Fellow Believers

The scriptures remind us to pray for our brothers, the others who believe as we do. Whether someone is sick or needs help overcoming sin, we pray for each other.

Jeremiah 42:1-4

1 Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near,
2 And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto Yahweh thy Elohim, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)
3 That Yahweh thy Elohim may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto Yahweh your Elohim according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing Yahweh shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.

James 5:14-16

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.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Can you think of any exceptions to the rule mentioned in James 5:14 requiring the person sick to call on the elders of the church?

  2. In the passage from Jeremiah, he did receive a message from Yahweh for the people. The message required obedience to Yahweh else He would kill them. Do you think they obeyed?


Enemies

Usually, when we hear of prayers about enemies, it is that of David asking that Yahweh help him defeat his enemies or to bring them down to nothing. There is no commandment to do as David did and pray against your enemies, so he was not wrong for doing so. However, Yahshua came forth with a different commandment altogether. It was a difficult one for most of the ones to do at that time since they were under Roman occupation.

Matthew 5:44-48

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Discussion Questions:

  1. So, exactly who are your enemies? Look up the word in a dictionary and see if it what you think of when you hear “enemy”.

  2. Does this passage mean to only pray for your enemies?


Blessings and Cursings

Blessings and cursings are actually prayers to Yahweh. A blessing asks Yahweh to do something good for someone while a cursing is the opposite. In the following passage, Balak is asking Balaam to curse the Israelites.

Numbers 22:1-24:45

James 3:9-12

9 Therewith bless we Elohim, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of Elohim.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Romans 12:14

14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Since a blessing and a cursing are both prayers, does this mean we have to be more careful what we bless or curse?


Putting it All Together

Finally, we come to the end of this series. Now, we'll just go over a few discussion questions and see if we can put all of the lessons together.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Suppose you go to a high school football game and just before the game, you watch both teams get down on their knees. You know that each team is praying to God to help them win. Does Yahweh answer one of the team's prayers and not the other?

  2. Now what if one of the teams uses the name “Yahweh” while the other prays to “God”, does this change the outcome of the prayers?

  3. What if both teams pray to Yahweh?

  4. Just what kind of prayer might the team make that Yahweh would answer?

 

 

 

 

Lesson Five – Prayer in This World Copyright ©2003-2017 – Congregation of YHWH (www.theCongregationOfYHWH.org)