Growing Through Prayer

MEMORY VERSE: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” —John 15:7

LUKE 11:1-10

THE memory verse for this lesson is one that has been greatly misunderstood. From it many have supposed that believers may ask in prayer for anything their hearts desire, and their requests will be granted. Actually, however, the text does not imply this, for it attaches conditions to the Christian’s prayers. “If ye abide in me,” Jesus said, “and my words abide in you,” then you may ask what you will and your prayers will be favorably answered.

If the Lord’s Word is abiding in us, and we, as new creatures in Christ Jesus, are abiding in him, we will ask only for those blessings which are in harmony with the Lord’s will; the things which, when received, would not only be a blessing to us as new creatures, but a glory to the name of the Lord. If the Lord’s Word is abiding in us we will know that our covenant of sacrifice with him calls for the giving up of all our earthly interests, so we will not pray for the retention and protection of these.

Another condition of Christian praying is that we approach the throne of heavenly grace in the name of Jesus, and in the spirit of due reverence for our Heavenly Father. It is this latter thought that is stressed in the model prayer Jesus gave to his disciples—“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

There are prayers of thanksgiving and adoration. Then there are prayers which take form of petitions to our Heavenly Father, requests for those blessings which we know are in harmony with his will because they have been promised to us by him. The first request of Jesus’ model prayer is, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Certainly our Heavenly Father, through his Word, has promised the coming of his kingdom, his rulership over the earth which was disrupted by sin. So when we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we know that in God’s own due time our prayer will be answered, for this is his grand design toward his human creation.

“Give us day by day our daily bread.” Here again we are reminded of something which the Lord has promised, especially if we think of this “bread” as being the spiritual food provided in the Word for our sustenance and growth as new creatures. God has not promised to give us an abundance of temporal food, although in this area also he will supply our needs; and it could be that he will decide that our greatest need in this connection might be that we be placed in a position to put our trust more fully in him. We should always remember that as followers of the Master we have covenanted to lay down our earthly lives in his service.

“Forgive us our sins.” How many indeed are the precious and encouraging promises of God that, through the merit of Jesus, he will forgive our sins; so again, when we petition the Heavenly Father for forgiveness, we are simply asking for something which he has promised to give. There is, a condition, however, which is that we must be willing to forgive those who trespass against us. If this condition is not met, we cannot be assured that the Lord will forgive us.

“Lead us not into temptation.” This is something which the Lord has promised not to do, and we should claim this promise also. James wrote, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man.” (James 1:13) When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” there is no implication that the kingdom will not come. Just so, when we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” there is no implication that God intends to lead us into temptation. In both instances we are praying for blessings which he has promised. There are certain things which God has promised to do, and there are other things he has promised not to do. Let us claim all these promises in our prayers and thus grow strong in the fullness of his blessings.

Our prayers should not be casual, but earnest. “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” We are to realize the goodness” of our Heavenly Father, and know that when we ask bread, we will not be given a stone, or if we, symbolically speaking, ask for a fish, the Lord will not give us a serpent.


Explain the conditions of successful prayer as mentioned in our memory verse.

How can we know what God will be pleased to give us?

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |