1. HOW does God anticipate the needs of His children?
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isa. 65:24.
2. Is there any limit to God’s ability to help?
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Eph. 3:20.
4. Do we always know what to pray for?
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” Rom. 8:26.
5. Does God always see fit to grant our petitions?
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:8,9.
NOTE.-Paul’s affliction, it seems, was impaired sight. Acts 9:8,9,18; 22:11-13. The retaining of this imperfection would be a constant reminder to him of his conversion, and hence a blessing in disguise.
6. If an answer does not come at once, what should we do?
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Ps. 37:7.
7. Why was the parable of the importunate widow given?
“And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Luke 18:1.
NOTE.-The importunate widow got her request because of her persistency. God wants us to seek Him, and to seek Him earnestly, when we pray. He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6.
8. How did Elijah pray before obtaining his request?
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” James 5:17,18. See Rev. 11:3-6.
9. Upon what condition does Christ say we shall receive?
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24.
10. Without this faith, will God answer prayer?
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” James 1:6,7.
11. What petitions may we confidently expect God to hear?
“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” 1 John 5:14,15.
NOTE.-God’s will is expressed in His law, His promises, and His Word. Ps. 40:8; Rom. 2:17,18; 1 Peter 1:4.
12. When Daniel and his fellows were about to be slain because the wise men of Babylon could not reveal to Nebuchadnezzar his dream, how did God answer their united prayers?
“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night-vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” Dan. 2:19.
NOTE.-In 1839 the sultan of Turkey decreed that not a representative of the Christian religion should remain in the empire. Learning of this, Dr. William Goodell, an American missionary to Turkey, came home to his friend and colleague, Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, the first president of Robert College, Constantinople, with the sad news: “It is all over with us; we have to leave. The American consul and the British ambassador say it is no use to meet with antagonism this violent and vindictive monarch.” To this Dr. Hamlin replied: “The Sultan of the universe can, in answer to prayer, change the decree of the sultan of Turkey. ” They gave themselves to prayer. The next day the sultan died, and the decree was never executed. See Dan. 4:17,24,25.
13. When Peter was imprisoned and about to be executed by Herod, what did the church do?
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Acts 12:5.
14. How were their prayers answered?
“Behold, the angel of the Lord came Upon him, . . . and he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. . . . And they went out, and passed on through one street ; and forthwith the angel departed from him.” Verses 7-10.
15. Because Solomon asked for wisdom rather than for long life and riches, what besides wisdom did God give him?
“Because thou hast asked this thing, . . . behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart. . . . And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor.” 1 Kings 3:11-13.
NOTE.-The following are some things we are taught in the Scriptures to pray for:-
(1) For daily bread. Matt. 6:11. (2) For the forgiveness of sin. 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 32:5,6; 1 John 1:9; 5:16. (3) For the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13; Zech. 10:1; John 14:16. (4) For deliverance in the hour of temptation and danger. Matt. 6:13; John 17:11,15; Prov. 3:26; Psalm 91; Matt. 24:20. (5) For wisdom and understanding. James 1:5; 1 Kings 3:9; Dan. 2:17-19. (6) For peaceable and quiet lives. 1 Tim. 2:1,2. (7) For the healing of the sick. James 5:14,15; 2 Kings 20:1-11. (8) For the prosperity of the ministers of God and the gospel. Eph. 6:18,19; Col. 4:3; 2 Thess. 3:1. (9) For those who suffer for the truth’s sake. Heb. 13:3; Acts 12:5. (10) For kings, rulers, and all in authority. 1 Tim. 2:1,2; Ezra 6:10. (11) For temporal prosperity. 2 Cor. 9:10; James 5:17,18. (12) For our enemies. Matt. 5:44. (13) For all saints. Eph. 6:18. (14) For all men. 1 Tim. 2:1. (15) For the Lord to vindicate His cause. 1 Kings 18:30-39. (16) For the coming of Christ and of God’s kingdom. Matt. 6:10; Rev. 22:20.
PRAYER makes the darkest cloud withdraw;
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.