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Prayer: Introductory Bible Lesson

by William W. Orr (1905-1992)

As Bible reading is the Christian's spiritual food, so is prayer the Christian's vital breath. While it is true that every believer will pray quite naturally, still the understanding of the principles, and the application of the practice of prayer should become the finest of the fine arts to the earnest seeker (Matt. 6:5-15; Phil. 4:6-7).

The scope of prayer is truly limitless. No mountain is too high, no desert is too broad. Time and distance are as nothing. From the vantage point of the prayer closet, a work for God may be carried on that absolutely defies difficulties (Acts 12:1-17).

Nor is anything too hard for God to answer. Rather, the believer is urged to ask whatsoever he desires according to the will of God. Many answers that would be impossible by human standards are the normal thing to the believing petitioner (John 15:7, 16).

God has added two great encouragements in the indicting and answering of prayer. First, there is the ministry of our Lord as He sits at the right hand of the Father, there to present our petition before the throne of God's grace. In addition, the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit includes the intercession which He alone can make in our behalf (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8 26).

The so-called "Lord's" prayer which is really the "Disciple's" prayer adds great wisdom as to the contents of acceptable petition. There Jesus included all the elements which ought to be included. While not intended as a rote prayer, it is nevertheless a model of the greatest value (Luke 11:1-4).

Since the death of our Lord all prayer is to be made on a new basis. Everything that is asked should be in His name. This does not mean merely appending the name of Christ to sundry petitions. Rather, the believer as he prays, is asking as Christ Himself would ask. The will of the believer is wholly submerged within the will of Christ (John 15:16; 16:23- 24).

The order of prayer is to address the Father, on the basis of the sacrifice of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is acceptable and pleasing to God (John 16:23; Jude 20).

From Believer's First Bible Course by William W. Orr. Wheaton, Ill.: Scripture Press, 1956.

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