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Prayer

Prayer is one of the most important Christian activities. Through sustained prayer you are practising a close walk with the Lord, which is foundational to success in other aspects of your Christian life. It also ensures victory in the struggle against the Evil One as, in faith, you commit yourself to the care and protection of the great Conqueror, Jesus Christ. Dr. Andrew Murray said: “I am sure that we will never fully realise what prayer is meant to be, as long as we mainly view it as a method to maintain our own Christian lives. If we learn to view it as the most important part of the work entrusted to us, the foundation and strength of all our work, then we will realise that there is nothing else that we should study and practise as the art of correct praying.”

The request of the disciples was: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). The art of true prayer and intercession can only be learnt from the Great Intercessor, Jesus Christ. It is a learning school in which we must also grow in grace and knowledge. Although prayer in its basic form is so simple that the smallest child can pray, it is also the highest form of dedication and divine service to which human beings are called.

Priestly work

As a holy priesthood, we must learn what it is to intercede with perseverance at the throne of grace for the salvation of souls (Luke 18:1). A priest only lives for the glory of God and the salvation of people. His prayers are not focussed on self-interest. In this regard we must learn from our High Priest: as Christ sacrificed Himself for us, we should also sacrifice ourselves in prayer for the spiritual interests of others.

The Holy Spirit and prayer

Guidance for prayer comes from the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26). We must continuously submit ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts, prayers and our whole life. Without this, we will not be able to pray the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man which avails much (Jas. 5:16).

Clarity of prayer requests

Prayer requests should be specific and clearly stated. The Lord Jesus asks: “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark. 10:36). Our prayer should not be vague and without purpose. Don’t just pray general prayers that God must forgive your sins, but mention your sins and unrighteousness by their names (1 John 1:9). In your task as intercessor for others you should also guard against unspecified prayers for the salvation of souls, as well as requests that God must bless all people on earth. Such prayers are not focused on any specific country, community, family, individual or problem, hence you will not know where to look for the answer to your prayers.

Personal prayers

Every Christians must maintain a personal prayer relationship with the Lord Jesus. Take care that you have a time and place where you can talk to the Lord alone (Matt. 6:6). Personal prayer is a secret source of power in your life. When it is continuously practised the Lord Jesus will reward you in public. When you are among people and have to contend with temptations and attacks by adversaries, He will strengthen you spiritually by giving you victory in His Name. Your friends, family members and colleagues will notice that you have a level of self-control, calmness, trust, determination, sincerity and firmness of principle that only comes from the Lord.

Group prayers

A special blessing rests upon prayer meetings (Matt. 18:19-20). A child of the Lord not only has a need for secret prayers but also for public prayers with other believers. The same Spirit joins us together as members of the same body, and for that reason we must function together as a group and work together for the realisation of common objectives. From the Scripture quoted above, it is obvious that we should agree on a specific matter. The value of corporate prayer must be discovered and pursued in that every person should agree in his or her heart when another member of the group worships the Lord and makes prayer requests. A prayer meeting, therefore, does not comprise the aggregation of a number of individual prayers, but mutual participation in every prayer offered to the Lord.

The certainty of answers to prayer

The Lord Jesus Himself is the guarantor for prayers offered in His Name (John 14:13; cf. John 16:23; Matt. 7:7-8; Mark 11:24). Biblical promises on the answering of prayer are conditional and it is in the interest of each one of us to ensure that we study these conditions and comply to them: Prayer requests must be aimed at glorifying the Father (John 14:13; Matt. 6:9-10). They must be in accordance with His will (1 John 5:14; Rom. 8:27). Our lives and desires should be in Christ, and His words in our hearts, to keep us from entertaining selfish motives (John. 15:7; Jas. 4:3). Prayers must be aimed at a life of purity and fruitful service to the Lord (1 Thess. 4:3,7; John 15:16). A holy life is a precondition for the answering of prayer (1 John 3:22). We are committed to forgive others when we pray for the forgiveness of sins to the Father (Mark 11:25-26). An unforgiving heart and bitterness will hinder the answering of our prayers. We must also pray in faith without doubting (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:6-8).

Themes of prayer

The following are biblical guidelines for prayer themes:

Worship. Praise the Lord for His greatness, goodness and compassion. Worship His Name and offer the reverence due to Him. Use verses from the Psalms for this purpose, e.g. Psalm 103.

Thanksgiving. Thank the Lord sincerely for everything that He has done for the salvation of fallen humanity, and also for you personally. Express your gratitude to Him for all the wonderful promises in His Word. He has promised never to leave or forsake you, to supply all your needs according to the riches of His grace, and to be with you always, even to the end of the age.

The needs of the saints. Pray for provision in the needs of the saints (Eph. 6:18). Pray for their protection against the attacks of Satan. Pray that the Lord will give to them open doors for the ministering of His Word, and also boldness in proclaiming the mystery of the gospel to a lost world (Eph. 6:19).

Your own needs. Make your needs known to the Lord through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving for its fulfilment (Eph. 4:6). If you have sinned, confess it to the Lord (Ps. 51:3-17).

The salvation of souls. The salvation of sinners is the great purpose for which the Lord Jesus has come to the world (Luke 19:10), and we must earnestly pray for its realisation. Also pray that the Lord will send labourers into His harvest (Matt. 9:37-38).

Sanctification and revival. Sanctification is the will of God for all His children (1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Pet. 1:14-16). Pray for a holy and victorious life. Also pray for revival in backslidden churches and congregations (Rev. 2:4-5).

Healing. The Lord Jesus also wants to heal our bodily illnesses (Jas. 5:14). However, we live in a broken and perishing world in which Christians also become sick and suffer afflictions without this condition always having a relationship to sin. In some cases people are healed (Acts 28:9) and in some cases not (2 Cor. 12:7-10; 2 Tim. 4:20). The Lord can heal people directly, but often uses medical science for this purpose. We must be content with our condition after praying about it. Some people who have not been healed are still powerful witnesses to the Lord.

Power to overcome in the spiritual battle. Pray for victory in the battle against the flesh, the world, the devil and sin (Matt. 6:13; 26:41; Jas. 4:7).

The government. Pray for the salvation of your heads of government and their subordinates (1 Tim. 2:1-4). From this Scripture it is evident that we need not pray for blessings upon a godless government but for the saving of their souls, and that the Lord will keep them from creating unbearable conditions for their subjects. The Lord can change any leader’s evil counsel and cause him to make decisions that are in accordance with His will and the prayers of His children (Prov. 21:1).

Israel’s salvation and the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel (Ezek. 36:22-27). We must also pray for the peace of Jerusalem because the attacks of the enemy are particularly aimed at this city (Ps. 122:6; cf. Isa. 62:6-7; Rom. 11:25-26).

Rain and material blessings. God gives rain (Jer. 14:22; Zech 10:1), and also withholds it if a people lapse into sin and rebellion (Jer. 3:2-3). When supplication for rain is offered it should be attended by personal, congregational and national repentance.

The Second Coming and the Millennium. It should be the prayer and desire of every believer that Jesus Christ will come again soon to reveal and establish His government of righteousness on earth (Matt. 6:10; Acts 15:16-17; Rev. 11:15). Jerusalem will then be the capital of the world and Satan will be bound (Isa. 2:2-4; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 8:20-22; Rev. 20:2-4).

Warning against false prayers

We are warned against false prayers which are prayed with a wrong motif of self-enrichment and pleasure (Jas. 4:3), as well as heathen prayers which consist of a vain repetition of words (Matt. 6:7). Meditation and the use of mantras is also a heathen form of prayer that must not be practised. These “silent prayers” are referred to as “contemplative prayers.”

Personal commitment

Praise be to God that we don’t have to serve and worship Him through the mediation of priests but that each one of us can draw near to the throne of grace in prayer. I am filled with joy for this new and living way which the Lord Jesus, by His death on the cross, has consecrated to me through the torn veil (Heb. 10:19-20). I commit myself to draw near to Him on this way, to mention my requests and desires before the throne of the Lord, and to offer the gratitude and praises of my heart to Him. I thank Him for the privilege to pray with all supplication in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18), and that He is a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1; 65:2). He invites all who labour and are heavy laden to come to Him (Matt. 11:28) for answers to prayer, for rest with Him and also for grace and power to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12).

Questions

1.    Explain the importance of prayer.

2.    What is the nature of personal prayers?

3.    What is the relationship between God’s will and answers to prayer?

4.    Name and discuss five themes of prayer.

5.    How should we intercede for governments?

Prof. Johan Malan

Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study

Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study

by Dwight Lyman Moody

We cannot overestimate the importance of a thorough familiarity with the Bible. I try to lose no opportunity of urging people by every means in my power to the constant study of this wonderful Book. If through the pages that follow, I can reach still others and rouse them to read their Bibles, not at random but with a plan and purpose, I shall be indeed thankful.

Go to this Bible study guide

Group or Individual Bible Study Guides
Studies available in English & Afrikaans.
Joshua

An Old Testament Type of Jesus

Joshua played an important role in Israel after they had been delivered from Egypt, thereby preparing him for his future role as leader when they crossed the Jordan to take possession of the Promised Land. His conquests in Canaan rendered proof that he was a special instrument in the hand of the Lord. Joshua was an Old Testament type of Jesus, who was sent by the Father to accomplish a much greater purpose, i.e. to deliver people all over the world from the bondage of sin.

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Josua

’n Ou-Testamentiese Tipe van Jesus

Josua het ’n belangrike rol in Israel se geskiedenis gespeel nadat hulle uit Egipte bevry is, en dit het hom voorberei om as leier op te tree toe hulle deur die Jordaan getrek het om die Beloofde Land in besit te neem. Sy oorwinningstogte in Kanaän het van hom ’n beson­dere instrument in die hand van die Here gemaak. Josua was ’n Ou-Testamentiese tipe van Jesus wat deur die Vader gestuur is vir ’n veel groter doel, naamlik om mense oral in die wêreld uit die slawerny van sonde te bevry.

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Die Bybel in Geheel

Die Bybel in Geheel

Hierdie is 'n kort oorsig om vir jou 'n duideliker prentjie te skets voordat jy in diepte met Bybelstudie begin. Hierdie Bybel in Geheel studie, is 'n studie van die hele Bybel. Dit neem jou deur elke boek van die Bybel om vir jou 'n kort oorsig te gee oor elke boek, deur wie dit geskryf was en waarom dit geskryf was en lig ook dan belangrike dele uit en som die boek in kort op. Met hierdie notas saam sal verdere studies van die Bybel baie meer vir jou sin maak en help om sekere konsepte beter te verstaan.
Die Bybel in Geheel

Kort Oorsig

Die waarde van die Bybel / Om die Bybel te verstaan / Bybelse Uitdrukkings.

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Die Bybel in Geheel - DEEL 1

Die Ou Testament

Die Ou Testament kan in 3 Dele opgedeel word: Deel 1 – Geskiedenis – Genesis tot Ester Deel 2 – Wysheid & Digkuns – Job tot Hooglied Deel 3 – Profesieë – Jesaja tot Maleagi

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Die Bybel in Geheel - DEEL 2

Die Nuwe Testament

Die Evangelies is seker die mees bekendste deel van die Bybel. Baie mense ken dele van die Evangelies maar min mense verstaan die omvang en doel van hierdie vier boeke.

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Studies Concerning the subject of Holiness

Holiness is a characteristic that is often talked about but hardly understood as to how it can be obtained. Too often holiness is considered an attribute of God that is not attainable to man. Holiness is considered something impossible.
1. Personal Holiness

2. The Holiness of God

3. Putting Sin to Death, Pursuing Holiness

4. Trained in Godliness

5. True Humility

6. Contentment

7. Self-Control

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13 Studies in Christelike Heiligheid

13 Studies in Christelike Heiligheid

Hierdie 13 Wesleyaanse lesings oor heiligmaking is opgestel om weekliks oor ‘n tydperk van drie maande aangebied te word.

Sien Studies

'n Studie oor Heiligmaking

Die leer oor heiligmaking as 'n tweede genadewerk ná bekering help alle Christene om tot geestelike volwassenheid op te groei.

Hier is 12 studies wat in diepte kyk na hierdie onderwerp. Die studies is ook as klank studies beskikbaar.
Inhoud
1. Die Behoefte aan Heiligmaking
2. Die Stryd Teen Vleeslikheid
3. Die Eise van Dissipelskap
4. Oorwinning Oor die Vlees: Die Stap van Heiligmaking
5. Oorwinning Oor Swakhede: Die Proses van Heiligmaking
6. Vervulling met die Heilige Gees
7. Volkome Heiligmaking
8. Die Wil van God
9. Gawes en Vrug van die Gees
10. Bedieninge van die Heilige Gees
11. Die pelgrimsreis van God se Volk
12. Heiligmaking en die Wederkoms

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Discipling New Believers
English & Afrikaans FREE printable studies.

8 Week study program

This can be used as a weekly study for new believers. These studies will help with assurance of salvation and will grow their Bible knowledge. These are the very basics of the Christian faith and will ensure a firm foundation. Give this to a young believer and go through all the answers with the person each week. Make sure they memorized the scriptures each week. Use the study's questions to lead conversations on subjects that the person do not yet understand.

/Study%201
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?
/Study%203
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOD
/Study%204
IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD
/Study%206
WITNESSING FOR GOD
/Study%207
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD
/Study%208
TO BE ONE IN CHRIST
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All 8 studies in one
/Answer%20sheet
Study 1 ot 8

8 Weke studie program

Gebruik die kort studies om weekliks deur te gaan met 'n nuwe Christen. Dit sal hulle sekerheid gee en hulle Bybel kennis verbreed sodat hulle op 'n vaste fondasie kan bou. Gee dit weekliks vir die persoon en gaan dit dan saam met hulle deur elke week nadat hulle dit ingevul het. Toets hul teks memorisering Gebruik die vrae in die studies as leiding tot nodige gesprekke daar waar die persoon dalk dinge nie verstaan nie.

/Studie%201
WAT HET MET MY GEBEUR?
/Studie%202
‘N WANDELING MET GOD
/Studie%203
OM VAN GOD TE LEER
/Studie%204
IN GESPREK MET GOD
/Studie%206
OM VIR GOD TE GETUIG
/Studie%207
GEVUL MET GOD SE GEES
/Studie%208
OM EEN TE WEES IN CHRISTUS
/Studie%201%20ot%208
Al 8 studies in een
/Antwoordblad
Studie 1 ot 8
Precept Ministries International

Precept Ministries International

PRECEPT MINISTRIES SOUTH AFRICA SERVES THE CHURCH BY HELPING TO ESTABLISH PEOPLE IN GOD'S WORD, USING INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY.

The ministry’s goal is to equip and encourage people to live as exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, studying the Bible inductively, viewing the world Biblically, making disciples intentionally and serving the church faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Through workshops, conferences and Bible classes the ministry provides training in Inductive Bible Study skills, which includes leading dynamic small group discussions. Inductive Bible study materials are available in nearly 70 languages. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, teens and children in close to 150 countries discover Truth for themselves using the Inductive Bible Study Method through the work of Precept Ministries.

www.precept.org.za

Precept Ministries - Lightning Studies

FREE downloadable Lightning Study topics offer a “print friendly” option for you to have a practical example of how Inductive Bible Study works during your personal devotion times or even with your small group.

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Read and download these free booklets

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Is it God’s will to “find” His will?
Exactly how should you go about making good, God-honoring decisions?

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The Companionship Principle
Bringing Biblical Sanity to the Insanity of Dating
The real reason dating is often "insane" is Christian young people and parents have never consciously shaped their understanding of "dating" with the Bible.

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Dinge van Belang
Dinge van Belang vir jong Christene
Hulp en raad aan jong Christene. Die boekie is vol waardevolle wenke en waarskuwings om jou te help op jou pad saam met die Here.

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Identifying False Teachers
A Biblical Checklist for Identifying False Teachers in the Church
The purpose of this booklet is simple: to give you a checklist so that you can identify and avoid Christian leaders whom God would call false.

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Testing Today's Prophecy
Does today's "prophecy" measure up to biblical standards?
Should Christians accept the modern prophecy movement as a new work of God’s Spirit?

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Articles on Bible Reading & Study

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  - Psalm 119:105

The Prophetic Books of the Old Testament have been fitted into the narrative at the place where they are thought to have been written. The Epistles have been inserted into the Book of Acts in a like manner.
Praktiese wenke vir jong Christene.
Practical tips for young Christians.
by Rev. R. A. Torrey
Questions to ask when reading the Bible.
Vrae om te vra wanneer jy die Bybel lees.