under a special agreement with
presents Best Friends Series 2
under a special agreement with
Series 2 Lesson 9
Every child of God has a marvelous privilege—the privilege of speaking to God in prayer. Unsaved people do not have this privilege, but God hears and answers the prayers of His obedient children. In this lesson we will learn how to pray and to have our prayers answered.
Prayer is talking to God. It is not just asking for what we want. We can talk to God about how great and how good He is. We can thank Him for all He has done for us, and, of course, we can ask Him for what we need.
Prayer is a personal conversation between you and God. Jesus said, "…pray to your Father…in secret…" (Matthew 6:6). The Lord Jesus also told us to talk to God from our heart, and not just say the same things over and over.
We pray to the Father in Jesus' name. The Lord Jesus said, "Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you" (John 16:23).
We can always pray to the Lord Jesus, but normally we pray to the Father in Jesus' name. Jesus said, "Until now you have asked nothing in My name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24).
Can everyone pray to God as Father? No, only His children, those who have been born into His family through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
We can pray anytime! The Bible says, "Pray without ceasing." This means that you can talk to God at any time. You can pray quietly in your heart, go to your room and pray out loud, or pray with other people. The Lord Jesus loves to have you talk to Him. Since He is with you all the time, you can talk to Him any time and in any place. Isn't that wonderful!
The blessed Holy Spirit helps us pray. Many times we do not know what to pray for. The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God, and He helps us pray according to God's will.
Prayer is "a mighty circle" which involves the Father, the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the believer. The Holy Spirit comes from the Father to tell us in our heart what to pray for. Then, as we pray in Jesus' name, the Holy Spirit takes our prayers to the Lord Jesus, and the Lord Jesus presents them to His Father.
Yes, He does! How do we know? We know because the Bible says so. God said, "Call upon Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not" (Jeremiah 33:3).
There are many different kinds of prayers, and all are needed. We will consider some of them.
Prayers of praise and thanksgiving.
We should begin our prayers by praising and thanking God. The Bible says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise…" (Psalm 100:4).
We have so much to praise and thank God for! Praise Him for His greatness, for His love for us, and for His goodness to us. Thank Him for all that He has given us in Christ, and all that He does for us.
Prayers of confession.
When we pray, we should confess our sins to God. This is very important. The Bible says, "If I regard iniquity [hide sin] in my heart, the Lord will not hear me [answer my prayers]" (Psalm 66:18).
We should not try to hide our sin because God sees our heart. Instead, we should tell God that we are truly sorry for our sins. He has promised to forgive us. He says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Prayers for our needs.
God wants us to come to Him and ask for what we need. He says, "…you have not, because you ask not" (James 4:2).
We should always pray in Jesus' name. All the blessings of God come to us through His Son, the Lord Jesus. The apostle Paul said, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Prayers for others.
We have the privilege of praying for others. You can pray for your sick friends. You can pray for those who are in trouble and for the poor and hungry in every land. Best of all you can pray for your family, friends and others, that they will be saved. The Bible tells us that the Lord is "not willing that any should perish," so we know He will hear our prayers for those who are not saved.
Can you think of some things you should pray for every day? Here are a few:
*Pray that you will be patient and kind.
*Pray that you will obey your parents and teachers without grumbling.
*Pray that you will do your work well and not be lazy.
*Pray that Jesus will help you to love Him more and obey His Word.
*Pray for the things that you need.
*Pray for your unsaved friends and relatives.
No, He does not. There are two conditions I must meet if I want God to answer my prayers:
• My life must be pleasing to God. God delights in answering the prayers of His children whose lives are pleasing to Him. The Bible says, "Whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).
When my prayers are not answered, I should ask myself, "Is there anything in my life that is displeasing to God?" If I am holding on to some sin in my life, God will not answer my prayers. But if I confess my sins and turn from them, God will forgive me and answer my prayers.
• I must pray in the will of God. If I ask God for something that is not His will for me, He will not give it to me. God often has to say "No" to our prayers because He loves us. He knows that what we are asking for would not be good for us. We should be very thankful for this.
There is no better way to please God than to love and obey His Son, the Lord Jesus, and to delight yourself in Him. When we do this, God will hear and answer our prayers. The Bible says, "Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
3 Great Facts
I have the wonderful privilege of talking to my heavenly Father in prayer any time and in any place.
I pray to the Father in Jesus' name. Only those who have been born into God's family by faith in the Lord Jesus can call God "Father."
God delights to answer my prayers when my life is pleasing to Him and my prayer is according to His perfect will.
The story so far…
The 4 campers meet with Mr. Douglas. He is very concerned about what he hears regarding Mr. Patrick.
A Solved Mystery
Mr. Douglas continued his talk with Steven, Randy, Maria, and Susan. "I will do some more observing and take care of this as soon as I can. I am pleased with you for telling me.
"It was good that you waited until you had enough information, but told me now before it went on any longer. Please, don't say anything to the other campers about it until I make an announcement tonight. I hope this does not spoil your week here at camp."
"Oh, no, sir!" Steven said quickly. "We are having a wonderful time."
"And I am learning so much about Jesus," Maria added.
After thanking the children again, Mr. Douglas told them they could go.
Once outside, Steven exclaimed, "You girls sure came at just the right moment!"
"Why?" Susan asked. "Didn't Mr. Douglas believe you?"
"Yes, I think he believed us," Randy answered. "But he has known Mr. Patrick for many years. He told us that he thought Mr. Patrick was buying these things cheaply and then selling them to the campers to make some money. He never thought that these were stolen items.
"And then you told Mr. Douglas what you heard at the corner store. Wow! That is something!"
The children walked slowly away from the cabin. Steven did not look at the others when he said, "I guess this will finish me with Pete."
Maria turned to Steven and said, "Don't be sad, Steven. Everything will work out."
"I am worried about Pete," Steven answered. "He will think all Christians are tattletales and I am sure he does not want me as his buddy anymore. I know he has not taken Jesus as his Savior. Now, he may never do that."
Maria could tell by Steven's voice that he was very concerned. "We can pray!" she said with a sparkle in her eye. "Let us do it right now. The Lord Jesus can change Pete before camp is over."
The children walked behind a shady tree. They joined hands in a circle and each one began to pray for Pete to take Jesus as his Savior before the end of camp.
After dinner, all the children gathered together with their buddies for the evening meeting. Pete did not want to talk much. The song leader led many of the songs the campers had enjoyed that week.
Then Mr. Douglas got up to make the evening announcements. There was a sudden hush as he said, "I have something very sad to tell you tonight. I am sorry to say, Mr. Patrick will not be with us tonight to play his violin."
He went on to tell the campers that the old man had been guilty of stealing some things and then selling them to two of the campers. "The boys have admitted that they secretly received those items from Mr. Patrick.
"Since the boys did not know that they were stolen, they will only be punished for going off ground. But the fact that they did it secretly showed that they knew what they were doing was wrong. They will be punished by not being allowed to go swimming for the remainder of camp.
"Because this is Mr. Patrick's first offense and since he is an old man, the police have asked him only to pay for the stolen items. The storekeeper told me that you may keep the things that you bought because you did not know that they were stolen. I hope you will pray for Mr. Patrick."
Mr. Douglas paused for a minute and then asked, "Does anyone have anything to say about all this?"
The room was very still as Mr. Douglas waited. Then Joey jumped up and said, "I am sorry that I bought those comic books. They were not really funny, but they were the kind that put bad thoughts in your mind.
"I knew they were not good, and I did not want to read my Bible afterwards. This afternoon, I threw them away. I don't want to read that kind anymore because our camp verse tells us to do the things that please Jesus. I know that the Lord Jesus would not read those comic books."
"You made a wise decision, Joey," said Mr. Douglas. "I am pleased with you. Always remember that golden verse, even after camp."
Then Nancy stood up and said with a trembling voice. "I bought some beads with the money my dad gave me for the Sunday offering, and I—I am sorry." She began to sob as she sat down. Miss Amy came over and put her arm around Nancy.
Mr. Douglas was touched as he listened to Joey and Nancy. He cleared his throat as he said, "I am so thankful that Joey and Nancy are sorry for what they have done. We may think that these were just small sins. But, boys and girls, any sin is wrong whether it is big or small and it makes Jesus unhappy. Also many times sin has terrible consequences."
Then he talked to the children about how a seemingly small sin can grow and become bigger and bigger until many people are harmed by it. He asked all the campers to stand up and read the camp verse out loud with him again:
"That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." Colossians 1:10
After Mr. Douglas had finished speaking to the campers, many of them stayed behind to talk to their counselors. The rest went quietly to their cabins and settled down more quickly than usual.
It was not until the next afternoon that Maria and Susan saw Steven again. They could tell by the look on his face that something was troubling him. "Steven, what is wrong?" Maria asked.
He showed them a wallet and said with a quivering voice, "Oh, Maria, the wallet I was making for Dad has been ruined. It has been cut in different places. It was fine when I put it away yesterday. But, this morning, I found it all cut up. I think I know who did it," Steven added.
Who ruined Steven's wallet?
Don't miss the next chapter about Steven and Maria!
Now click on the Questions link below so you can do the questions.