Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Outreach/Prayer

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Prayer
General Conference

Outreach
See also Prayer - Advanced

Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 2011


Contents

Contents

Earning this honor meets a requirement for:


1. As a group or with a friend discuss:

a. What do you think prayer is?

Prayer is a form of communication with God, our Creator, through which we can say thanks, or ask forgiveness for our sins. Personal prayer is a method of talking to God without everyone watching, just you and Him.

b. Why do you believe prayer is important?

Please add your ideas here to help others in their discussions. Prayer is our connection to God. Is the way we communicate with him. Is how we praise him and how we ask for every need we have.

c. Do you think a person can be a Christian and not pray?

Please add your ideas here to help others in their discussions. You can't call yourself a Christian and not pray. That's our connection to God. Prayer is our lifeline.

2. Individually or as a group, examine the two versions of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4) found in the gospels.

The significance of the differences between the two versions depend on the translation you use. Some commentators point out that Jesus taught this prayer twice, on two different occasions. Matthew records the Lord's Prayer as given on the Sermon on the Mount, while Luke records the Lord's Prayer when the Master was asked to teach the disciples how to pray, much later than the Sermon on the Mount message.

Even if Jesus repeated the same prayer, word for word, the versions written down may not be identical because the Bible writers used thought inspiration, not dictation. The order is the same in both versions, and so are the thoughts. The exception is the last line which is found in some, but not other, manuscripts.

The prayer as it occurs in Matthew 6:9–13 NKJV
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The prayer as it occurs in Luke 11:2–4 NKJV
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.


a. What are the differences?

Some translations of Matthew include the doxology "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." although some sources omit this line, and some think to be a scribal addition after the fact.

Luke's version is shorter. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord's_Prayer. The other wording differences are nominal.

b. When might one of the versions be more appropriate than the other in your spiritual life?

A personal question, with no set answer.

c. Why do you think the Lord’s Prayer is important to Christianity? To you?

This is the model prayer provided by Jesus for us to follow. It contains praise, thanksgiving, repentance, and recognition of the supremacy of God in our lives. It serves as a unifying force as Christians of different denominations repeat the same words around the world (Easter for example).

3. Locate six prayers in the Bible (at least 2 of Jesus’ and 2 in the Old Testament), then:
a. Read / listen to each prayer
b. Discover who prayed, what they prayed for, and why they prayed.
c. Discover the result of each prayer

This page lists every prayer we have recorded that Jesus made: http://jesusalive.cc/ques204.htm and points out that Jesus was in constant prayer mode. He is shown to pray: alone (Mt 14:23)(Mk 1:35)(Lk 9:18)(Lk 22:39-41), in public (Jn 11:41-42)(Jn 12:27-30), before meals (Mt 26:26)(Mk 8:6)(Lk 24:30)(Jn 6:11), before important decisions (Lk 6:12-13), before healing (Mk 7:34-35), after healing (Lk 5:16), to do the Father's will (Mt 26:36-44), among other things. He also taught on the importance of prayer (Mt 21:22)(Mk 11:24-26)(Mt 7:7-11)(Lk 11:9-13)(Jn 14:13-14)(Jn 15:7,16)(Jn 16:23-24)(Mt 5:44)(Lk 6:27-28)(Mt 6:5-15: including the Lord's Prayer)(Lk 11:2-4)(Mt 18:19-20).

The idea is that Pathfinders will find their own, but we give a couple examples.

Prayer #1:

Hannah's prayer for a son 1 Samuel 2:1

Prayer #2:

Lord's Prayer. Matthew 6:

Prayer #3:

Psalms 61. David's prayer

Prayer #4:

Mathew 26 Jesus' prayer to His Father in Gethsemane before his crucifixion.

Prayer #5:

1 Kings 18:36 Elijah's prayer to God for rain.

Prayers #6 and #7:

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus related this incident:

Luke 18:9-14
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


This story told by Jesus contrasts two prayers - one by a self confident religious person and another by a tax collector, presumably who cheated people and certainly was hated by his fellow Jews for collaborating with the Romans. The first person prayed publicly to show off his good deeds. He did not believe he needed forgiveness! The tax collector simply sought mercy from God, admitting he was a sinner.

We do not know under what circumstances Jesus told this story, perhaps he told it over and over as he traveled from town to town. In the 2014 movie Son of God, Jesus is portrayed telling this story to a Pharisee (who likely prayed the first prayer himself) in front of Matthew's tax collection table. Matthew mouths the words of the tax collector's prayer along with Jesus, clearly recognizing himself in the parable.

Jesus clearly tells us that God honors the prayer asking for mercy over the self righteous prayer.

4. Learn the A C T S for prayer and list an example of a prayer of each type in the Bible.

There are many many prayers recorded in the Bible. The ones noted are just examples to use if you get stuck. Each Pathfinder should search out their own examples.

A – Adoration (Praise)

Many of the Psalms are sung prayers of praise. A short and sweet example near the end of the New Testament is the last verse of Jude which says "to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen"

C – Confession

Psalm 51 is King David's prayer of confession and repentance after he power over raped Uriah's wife, got her pregnant, tried to cover up his sins and then arranged for Uriah to be placed in a place he would likely be killed. Even after all this, because David showed true repentance, God allowed David to live (he should have been put to death by law) and continue as king. However David's sins did have harsh consequences including the death of his child, discord in his house including the rape of a daughter, killing of several sons, temporary loss of his throne and more.

T – Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1 "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (NIV) The Psalms are full of prayers of thanksgiving.

S – Supplication (Requests)

One of the most famous because of 'The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life' a book by Bruce Wilkinson published in 2000 which sold over 9 million copies, we find a short prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

'Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from the evil one." And God granted his request. (NIV)'

5. As a group or with a friend, read / listen to and discuss the chapter on Prayer in the book Steps to Christ.

Remember to discuss your reading with someone else who has read or listened to the chapter as well.

6. As a group or with a friend, discuss how you have seen God answer personal prayer, whether your prayers or those of a friend or family member.

There is no generic answer to this requirement. Enjoy your discussion.

7. Develop a personal prayer life by praying daily for a month for:
A mission / missionary
Person(s) who are ill
A church or school leader
An issue(s) affecting the neighbors of your community.
Share your experience with your group and/or instructor.

  • If you don't personally know a missionary, checkout AFM for profiles and stories of specific missionaries in frontier mission situations (like Turkey, Central Asia, various parts of Africa) to pray for. These missionaries can use all the help they can get as they work against the forces of evil.
  • Someone in your family or friendship circle is likely ill, or you might ask around.
  • A church or school leader could be someone local or perhaps a leader at the Regional, National or International level.
  • A local newspaper is a good source for prayer topics in your community.

Sharing your experiences will help confirm your completion of this requirement. Prayer will also make you more aware of other's needs.

8. Pray with someone that has a physical, emotional, or spiritual need.

This should be quite easy to fulfill since most everyone has one or more needs.

Teaching Notes from a Contributor

There are several requirements that require discussions in this Honor. Consider teaching it in two stages:

1. A preliminary discussion covering Requirement #1. Discuss Req #7 & Req #8 and have each Pathfinder identify (or make a plan to identify) the people and issues they will pray for. and with.

Then assign the Pathfinders to read and prepare to discuss:

  • Req #2 The Lord's Prayer versions
  • Req #3 The verses to discuss
  • Req #4 Find 4 prayers
  • Req #5 Read chapter in Steps to Christ

2. At a second discussion a little over a month later cover reports of the praying done, verses found, and have the remaining required discussions.