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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 13

Using God’s Hot Line

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Let’s begin this new lesson by requesting God’s assistance:

Dear Savior,

Today we would like to study the subject of prayer.

Is it true that prayer is a direct line through which we can communicate with You? If so, how can we use this hot line in the most efficient way?

Trusting in Your promise, we ask You to fill us with Your Holy Spirit, so that the teaching of Your Word may penetrate and transform us. In Jesus Christ we pray.


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Matthew 7:7

[Jesus said,]

«Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.»


Many people consider God as a doctor or a lawyer. They address Him only when they are sick or in difficulty!

Yet, prayer is not only a way to get out of trouble when the situation is hopeless. Above all, it is a way, for us who live on earth, to communicate directly with the Creator of the Universe.

A fascinating lesson in prospect!

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Let’s start at the beginning... What is prayer?

It’s not an act of merit granting us the favor of God...
It’s not a pretentious demonstration of piety...
It’s not to inform God of our needs, since He already knows them...
It’s not a whining to make God want to help us out of pity...
It’s not to make God change His mind about His way of doing things...

Prayer is a way to recognize our great need of God, to admit that without Him, we can do nothing.

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Luke 22:31,32

And the Lord said,

«Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not.»


No man ever prayed as Jesus did.

If His life was an active one, it is because it was also a life of prayer.

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Mark 1:35

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, [Jesus] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.


Luke 6:12

And it came to pass in those days, that [Jesus] went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.


Prayer is described as the breath of the soul.

Just as we cannot survive a long time without breathing, our spiritual life cannot subsist a long time without prayer.

Jesus knew that.

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Luke 11:1

And it came to pass, that, as [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him,

«Lord, teach us to pray.»


Witnessing the power of Jesus’ prayers, His disciples soon asked Him how to pray.

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Matthew 6:9-13

After this manner therefore pray you:

«Our Father which are in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.»


There is no blessing in the mechanical repetition of this famous prayer.

On the contrary, we must be aware of the requests we present to God through these words.

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Job 27:10

Will [the wicked] always call on God?


Another fundamental question: «To whom must we address our prayers?»

The Bible is very clear on this point: we must pray to no one else but God.

The following verses will clearly show this truth.

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We must pray to God, AND TO NO ONE ELSE BUT GOD:

«[Jesus] said to them, “When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”» (Luke 11:2)

«We made our prayer to our God.» (Nehemiah 4:9)

«[Man] shall pray to God.» (Job 33:26)

«But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord.» (Psalm 69:13)

«In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.» (Philippians 4:6)

«To You will I pray. My voice shall You hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer to You.» (Psalm 5:2,3)

«[Cornelius] prayed to God always.» (Acts 10:2)

«Do not err, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father.» (James 1:16,17)

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Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities.

For we know not what we should pray for as we ought.


Now that we know we must address our prayers to God alone, the second question is:

«What should we pray for?»

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What should we pray for?

Forgiveness of our sins:
«And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.» (Matthew 6:12)

Gift of the Holy Spirit:
«How much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him!» (Luke 11:13)

«If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraides not; and it shall be given him.» (James 1:5)

Understanding God’s will:
«Teach me to do Your will.» (Psalm 143:10)
«Open You my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.» (Psalm 119:18)

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What should we pray for?

Our daily bread:
«Give us this day our daily bread.» (Matthew 6:11)
«Feed me with food convenient for me.» (Proverbs 30:8)

No extra material:
«Seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.» (Matthew 6:33)

Deliverance from temptation:
«Deliver us from evil.» (Matthew 6:13)
«Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation.» (Matthew 26:41)

Help in distress:
«Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.» (Psalm 107:6)

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What should be the objects of our prayers?

Our enemies:
«Pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father.» (Matthew 5:44,45)

Leaders and those who are in authority:
«I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, (...) be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.» (1 Timothy 2:1,2)

The preaching of the gospel:
«Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified.» (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

The coming of the kingdom of God:
«Our Father (...), Your kingdom come.» (Matthew 6:9,10)
«He which testifies these things said, “Surely, I come quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!» (Revelation 22:20)

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Matthew 6:6

[Jesus said,]

«But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.»


It may be important to pray in public or with our family. However, secret and personal prayer is essential to our spiritual life.

So we must go away from any distraction that could disturb our meditation. This way, we will be able to listen to what God wishes to tell us.

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Ecclesiastes 3:7

[There is] a time to keep silent, and a time to speak.


Isaiah 50:4

[The Lord God] wakens my ear to hear as the learned.


Habakkuk 2:1

I will watch to see what [the Lord] will say to me.


Here is an important point: prayer is not a monologue, but definitely a dialogue between God and us!

Let us keep silent a moment in each one of our prayers, to allow God to speak to us.

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1 Samuel 3:10,11

Samuel answered, «Speak, for Your servant hears.»

And the Lord said to Samuel (...).


Psalm 4:4

Commune with your own heart on your bed, and be still.


Ecclesiastes 5:2

Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter any thing before God.


Let’s remember: prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue.

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Matthew 6:7,8

[Jesus said,]

«But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not you therefore like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.»


God does not take pleasure in recited prayers in which the same requests are repeated again and again.

The prayer presented only once by a trusting and sincere heart is the one that will be accepted.

Praying a lot doesn’t mean speaking a lot, but loving a lot.

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Daniel 6:10

[Daniel] kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.


Psalm 55:17

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and [God] shall hear my voice.


During a day, we have several opportunities to address a short prayer to God.

Why not take advantage of them?

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John 14:13

[Jesus said,]

«And whatever you shall ask in My name, that will I do.»


We must present our prayers in the name of Jesus.

This doesn’t simply mean mentioning His name at the end of our prayers...

The Bible teaches us that we must pray with Jesus’ sentiments, that is, with a firm trust in the Father’s promises, and a desire to accomplish His will, completely relying on His grace.

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1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.


Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.


This is vitally important: when we pray to the Father, let us always remember that Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and us.

The Word of God is positive: we must pray to God only, and only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Jeremiah 29:12,13

Then shall you call on Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart.


Mark 11:24

[Jesus said,]

«Therefore I say to you, what things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.»


We know that God always keeps His promises.

If so, why doesn’t He always grant our prayers?

First, we must know that there are some conditions, well described in the Scriptures, for the fulfillment of our prayers.

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2 Chronicles 7:14,15

If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven. (...)

Now My eyes shall be open, and My ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.


James 4:6

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.


We must come near God in a spirit of humility, aware of our condition as sinners and our great need of a Savior.

It is indeed when we first learn to kneel before God that we spiritually grow tall.

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Matthew 21:22

And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.


James 1:5-7

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, (...) and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.


Our prayer must always be marked with faith, with a complete trust in our Father.

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John 15:7

[Jesus said,]

«If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.»


James 4:8

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.


Our trust in God will bring us to seek a close communion with Him.

This desire to develop a personal relationship with God is also a condition for the fulfillment of our prayers.

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Isaiah 59:1,2

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.


Proverbs 15:29

The Lord is far from the wicked: but He hears the prayer of the righteous.


If we know the will of God, and in spite of that we choose to live a sinful life, our prayers will have no power.

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Separation from sin, by the grace of God, gives powerful prayers!

«For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.» (1 Peter 3:12)

«He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.» (Proverbs 28:9)

«Then shall they cry to the Lord, but He will not hear them: He will even hide His face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.» (Micah 3:4)

«If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but truly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.» (Psalm 66:18,19)

«Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, him He hears.» (John 9:31)

«The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.» (James 5:16)

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1 John 3:22

And whatever we ask, we receive of [God], because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.


1 John 5:14,15

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us.

And if we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.


Obedience to the will of God is therefore a very important condition.

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Other important conditions for the fulfillment of our prayers:

Forgiving others:
«And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.» (Mark 11:25)

Absence of selfishness:
«You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts.» (James 4:3)

Absence of wrath:
«I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.» (1 Timothy 2:8)

Harmony in the couple:
«Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, (...) that your prayers be not hindered.» (1 Peter 3:7)

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Romans 12:12

(...) continuing instant in prayer.


1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.


1 Peter 4:7

But the end of all things is at hand; be you therefore sober, and watch to prayer.


Perseverance in prayer is a crucial factor, especially since difficult times lie before us.

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Ephesians 5:20

(...) giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Philippians 4:6

In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.


And last but not least: let’s be grateful for everything God does for us.

When we pray, we must give thanks to God for His grace, His love, His blessings.

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2 Corinthians 12:7-9

There was given to me a thorn in the flesh (...). For this thing I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said to me,

«My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.»


Matthew 26:39

[Jesus] prayed, saying,

«O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.»


Sometimes God chooses to answer our prayer differently from what we would have wished.

But He ALWAYS has a good reason to do so.

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Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.


Lamentations 3:26

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.


If God seems to delay answering our prayer, let us wait with humility and obedience.

One day, we will understand why God chose to act this way, certainly for our greatest benefit and happiness.

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Luke 22:46

Then [Jesus] said to them,

«Why sleep you? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.»


Luke 21:36

[Jesus said,]

«Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.»


Let us put into practice Jesus’ advice, because when we kneel before God, we can better stand before man.

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1 Timothy 2:8

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.


May this lesson have convinced us to use this hotline to our Creator every day, because it is essential to our relationship with God.

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Let’s begin communicating with God right now:

Our Father,

We thank You for this direct line You give us through prayer.

Please help us by Your Holy Spirit to always satisfy the conditions of fulfillment for our prayers, and to pray only for the things which are worth it.

We also thank You for the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ, by whom we receive forgiveness of our sins, and everlasting life. In His name we pray.


The test of Lesson 13 is waiting for you!

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