Friday: Further Thought – Holy Spirit, the Word and Prayer

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Read Ellen G. White, “Asking to Give,” pp. 139-149, in Christ’s Object Lessons. For a helpful collection of encouraging promises read Ellen G. White, “God has Promised” (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1982).

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Without prayer, we would have no spiritual power in our lives, because prayer connects us to the Source of that power. Without prayer we would have no vital link with God. We will become empty vessels who might have “a form of godliness” but will be devoid of the power and promise of the gifts from on high. And, no question, as we have seen all this week, we have been given wonderful promises about God answering prayer. But what about the times when we don’t get what we pray for, even when we have sought to meet all the conditions to the best of our God-given ability? “But be not discouraged if your prayers do not seem to obtain an immediate answer. The Lord sees that prayer is often mixed with earthliness. Men pray for that which will gratify their selfish desires, and the Lord does not fulfill their requests in the way which they expect. He takes them through tests and trials, He brings them through humiliations, until they see more clearly what their necessities are. He does not give to men those things which will gratify a debased appetite and which will prove an injury to the human agent and make him a dishonor to God. He does not give men that which will gratify their ambition and work simply for self-exaltation. When we come to God we must be submissive and contrite of heart, subordinating everything to His sacred will.” – Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 89.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what ways does prayer impact our whole spiritual existence? That is, what effect does prayer have on you when you pray? In what ways are you different after you have prayed than before you did?
  2. What do you say to someone who has prayed and prayed for something and it hasn’t happened as the person had hoped and prayed for, such as the healing of a sick child or the like? How do we learn to trust God even in situations like this?
  3. In class, talk about your own experiences with prayer, and about what it means to you. What have you learned about prayer that could help others who might be struggling with understanding the purpose of prayer?
  4. Why is it important to pray even if we don’t fully understand how it all works?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons