"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:22).
↕ As you begin each day's lesson, read the prayer promise at the top of the chapter and begin your study with prayer. Today's prayer promise is also your Scripture-memory verse for this week. Ask the Lord to teach you how to pray with this kind of faith that secures His answer.
Prayer is not one-sided communication with a distant God. Prayer is a conversation between you and God, a relationship between you and your Creator. God desires your fellowship. More than anything else, He wants you to love Him with all your being (see Deuteronomy 6:5 below). He also wants you to know and experience His love and presence. God is seeking that kind of relationship with you!
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."—Deuteronomy 6:5
① Read Revelation 3:20 and John 14:23 below. Underline the words that describe the relationship God wants to have with you.
"Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me."—Revelation 3:20
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."—John 14:23
This love relationship with God is the point at which effective prayer begins.
God seeks a love relationship with you. He is knocking. Will you invite Him in? Will you enjoy fellowship with Him? Will you love Him? Will you permit Him to live with you? You may have already entered a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. For the remainder of this study, we will assume that you have done so. If you have not, find a pastor or a Christian friend to help you surrender your life to Christ as your Savior and Lord. This love relationship is the point at which effective prayer begins.
↕ Pause and thank God for inviting you into a love relationship with Him. Ask Him to deepen your experience of His presence in prayer.
In John 15:7 Jesus makes a special promise to those who abide in Him: "If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you." If you have a love relationship with Him and His words (teachings and commands) have become a part of your life, Jesus promises to respond to your prayers. The need for His words to remain in you is an important reason you are encouraged to memorize a Scripture passage each week. Hide God's words in your mind and heart.
② Cut out the Scripture-memory cards at the back of your book and begin memorizing Matthew 21:22. Read it several times. Meditate on its meaning for you. Repeat it aloud phrase by phrase until you can say it without looking. Review it each week during our study.
Jesus also makes a special prayer promise to those who pray together in His name: "If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them" (Matthew 18:19-20). In this passage Jesus makes two promises for united prayer in which two or more pray together in agreement:
This course is designed to help you experience these two promises. We want you to learn the great authority God has granted to believers when they pray together in agreement. Many people are not seeing answers to prayer. This says more about their praying than it does about God. He has not changed. He still answers prayer. We will help you learn to pray more effectively as you follow biblical patterns for prayer.
Those who gather to pray in His name experience a greater dimension of His presence. We reflect the unity within the Trinity.
This course is also designed to help you pray with other believers. God promises that those who gather to pray in His name experience a greater dimension of His presence. We reflect the unity within the Trinity when we pray together in agreement with the Lord.
③ Have you made plans to pray with other believers as you study Pray in Faith?
If yes, with whom will you pray?
If you have not made plans to pray with others, begin to do so now. See page 110 for suggestions.
↕ Each day you will close your study time with a prayer time. Feel free to expand your prayer time as long as you please. Learning to pray comes with experience and practice. Today talk to the Lord about your love relationship with Him. Share with Him your desires for this study. Ask Him to teach you to be a person of prayer. Ask Him to make your prayer group people of prayer.