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®. Chapters 1-3. The Bible study sessions help believers and unbelievers discover the source of effective prayer. Chapter One Following Christ in Biblical Prayer

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The Bible study sessions help believers and unbelievers discover the source of effective prayer.

Chapter OneFollowing Christ in Biblical Prayer

  • Even people who believe in prayer and have seen its power wake up one morning to discover that their prayer life is powerless.
Many desire to renew a personal passion for prayer. Believers know in their spirit that obedience to the living Lord means responding with a lifestyle that allows unceasing prayer (see 1 Thess. 5:17).
  • Satan hates prayer. He prefers that believers do anything except pray.
  • Don’t rely on processes and models to program prayer (see Zech. 4:6).
biblical prayer
Biblical Prayer
  • Prayer is popular.
  • People pray for 5 minutes or less a day.
  • George Barna indicates that 83% of North Americans pray during a typical week, but only 39% consider themselves “born again Christians.”
  • “9 out of 10 adults believe they know the teachings of Christianity very well.”
  • Where does a person begin to renew a personal passion to pray unceasingly?
becoming a follower of jesus
Becoming a Follower of Jesus
  • Prayer flows from our personal relationship with Jesus.
  • Jesus said, “Follow Me” (Matt. 4:19).
  • Believers should share a clear call for people to follow Jesus.
  • The followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians in the first century as an insult (see Acts 11:26).
  • The followers of Jesus should act like Him so there is no doubt that they are Christians.
first the creator god wants a relationship with his creation
First, The Creator God Wants a Relationship with His Creation
  • Creator and creation
    • People need a relationship with the Creator God.
    • Peace (reuniting what has been separated) only comes through Him.
    • God is worthy of our absolute trust in His love and justice.
    • A broken relationship with Jesus is the primary reason for prayerlessness or ineffective prayer.
God seeking humankind
    • Much of the Bible is God seeking humankind to restore His relationship with them.
    • Romans 1:25 “they exchanged truth of God for a lie.” Humans are not ultimately satisfied with religious rituals. Nor are they ultimately satisfied with the self-centered accumulation of wealth.
    • We must meet God on His terms.
    • Our knowing about God is dependent on biblical, consistent prayer and Bible study.
Confronting the lies of the culture
    • Satan has blinded people from the truth.
    • All of creation points to a Creator.
    • God is taking the initiative to bring His creation to relationship with Him.
    • God sent Jesus to show humankind how to know the Creator.
    • Humankind must admit to themselves and to God that He is Creator.
second humankind s problem is disobeying god and not knowing what god wants
Second, Humankind’s Problem is Disobeying God and Not Knowing What God Wants
  • Sin is to disobey God (see Rom. 3:23)
    • Our problem is we want to instruct the Creator.
    • There is no degree of acceptable sin. Sin undermines effective prayer.
  • God is holy
    • Any sin carries the consequence of being separated from God (see Rom. 6:23).
    • The culture teaches people that they will not go to hell.
Hell is horrible (see Luke 16:19-31)
    • People going to hell is not God’s choice but ours.
    • Every Christian is commanded to warn people away from hell.
  • Being good is not enough
    • Allowing Jesus to replace good activities with moral change (holiness) is the only way to heaven.
    • The Bible is the primary way to learn what God wants for and from His creation.
    • Humans must determine what authority they will follow.
Confess and repent (see Acts 26:20)
    • People must admit to God that His way is better than their way.
    • We must admit (confess) that we have disobeyed Him.
    • We should know God’s requirements.
    • Begin a life of obedience to the teachings of Jesus (see 1 Sam. 15:22). For some Christians it is easier to sacrifice than to obey. Other believers refuse to sacrifice any time, talent, or money for eternal causes.
third god provided the solution to our problem through jesus
Third, God Provided the Solution to our Problem through Jesus
  • Jesus is the only way to God
    • God sent His only Son to pay for our disobedience (see John 3:16,14:6;1 Pet. 3:18).
    • The individual’s response is to accept God’s solution through Jesus.
    • Consequences of choosing our way are severe because it is so dangerous to us.
    • Jesus’ death on the cross was so significant that it affected all of time and all of history.
False religion
    • False religion tries to convince humans that changing behavior and activities results in becoming a moral person (see Matt. 23:15-19).
    • Becoming a Christian is more than just changing behavior or believing in God (see Jas. 2:19).

A personal relationship with Christ replaces all religious pretense. It transforms prayer from a ritual into communication with our Lord.

Confessing Jesus as Lord (see Rom. 10:9-10)

– We become justified (just) through Christ. People cannot earn their justification.

  • Being sure about your salvation
    • Satan will try to bring doubt and discouragement into the believer’s life.
    • Christians cannot lose their salvation (see Rom. 8:38-39; 1 John 5:13). But Satan works very hard to ruin our testimony so we cannot take anyone to Heaven with us.
Growing as a healthy Christian
    • Every living thing needs nourishment to survive and grow (see Rom. 12:1).
    • Christians grow as they choose to let Jesus be Lord of every part of their life.
    • Seek to become a living and holy sacrifice to God.
    • Worship includes becoming part of a local church (see Rom. 6:4).
    • Baptism is a public symbol of what has happened on the inside of the new believer (see Acts 2:41).
    • Renewing our mind comes with Bible study, prayer, and worship.

Healthy Christians automatically begin to

tell others about Christ.

    • Jesus said that He came to “seek and to
    • save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
    • He who wins souls is wise (see Prov. 11:30).

A vibrant prayer life flows from a relationship with the Creator God through His Son Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. His enemy, Satan, seeks to confuse and distort the biblical facts about prayer.

God has taken the initiative to communicate with His creation through prayer.

chapter two praying from a believer s heart
Chapter TwoPraying from a Believer’s Heart
  • Only believers have Christ as their mediator to God. Without the mediator, unbelievers do not have access to the throne of God. Prayer is powerless if it does not go to the throne of God.
  • In a masterpiece of subversion, Satan will convince unbelievers that their prayer has been answered.
  • Prayer will not be answered separate from God’s requirements for prayer and for the one praying.
  • Study the biblical instructions for prayer.
the role of jesus in our prayer jesus provides access to the father
The Role of Jesus in our Prayer: Jesus provides access to the Father
  • By the blood

–“We ... enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19).

–“Through Him we have our access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:18).

Made righteous (see Rom. 10:10)

– Humans are made righteous only through Christ.

– Righteous prayer is effective (see Jas. 5:16).

– Righteousness is right behavior that comes from holiness.

– Without Jesus there is no righteousness. Without righteousness there is no effective prayer.

    • The requirement for answered prayer is obedience to God’s commandments (see 1 John 3:22).
    • R.A. Torrey wrote, “God’s promises to answer prayer are made to certain specific persons, and God is very careful in His Word to tell us just who these persons are.”
Boldness (see 1 John 5:14)
    • 1 John 5:14 shares here is the source for bold, confident, biblical praying.
    • The believer’s prayer of petition must be according to God’s will.
    • Much false teaching results in frustrated people who could not impose their will on God.
    • Many people become angry with God because they impose expectations on God that are not biblical.
the holy spirit s role in prayer
The Holy Spirit’s Role in Prayer
  • The Holy Spirit plays a key role in the prayer life of the believer (see Rom. 8:26-27).
  • The Holy Spirit helps in our weakness.
  • Our human weakness is so great that prayer requires the Spirit’s help. Some prayers deserve a “No” answer.
The Holy Spirit is our advocate in Divine courts.
  • Prayer is not informing omniscient God, it is recognizing that believers are bowing to God’s will.
  • The intervention of the Holy Spirit brings the unbeliever’s prayer for salvation to God.
  • Many answered prayers of unbelievers are the result of intercession for them by believers.
Works for the good of the believer

– Christians are “called according to His

purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

– Believers must come as Paul did (see 2

Cor. 12:10). What will we endure?

– Jesus wanted to be excused from the pain

of the cross, but He prayed “Your will be

done” because the salvation of humankind

required that sacrifice and pain

(see Matt. 26:42).

-- The work of the Holy Spirit is so crucial

that those outside of Christ have no hope

of effective prayer.

god s expectations for prayer matthew 6 6 13
God’s expectations for Prayer: Matthew 6:6-13
  • Not just an external activity

– Jesus warns believers that prayer must be more than mere external activity.

  • A spiritual discipline
    • Matthew 6:6 emphasizes the discipline of personal prayer.
  • Beware of imitation prayer

– Jesus rejects the misguided devotion of “meaningless repetition” (Matt. 6:7).

  • Focus prayer on the Father
    • Prayer is an act of worship to the Father, in the name of the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 6:8).
Verse 9 Jesus contrasts false prayer with Spirit-led prayer
    • Our relationship with “abba” Father comes through our accepting the Lordship and sacrifice of Jesus.
    • “Hallowed be your name” - respected, not profaned.
    • “Your kingdom come” - Preferring the reign and rule of Christ.
    • “Your will be done” - Praying for His will over our will.
Seek God’s influence (see Matt 6:11-13).

- We must acknowledge that our prayer flows from a life transformed by dependence on the grace and love of the Creator.

  • Prayer, like faith, without works is dead.

- We are often used by God to answer prayer

  • Forgiven and forgiveness“

- And forgive us ... as we also have forgiven ...” Forgiveness for our sin only comes from Christ. So does the ability to forgive.

Delivered from temptation

-“Do not Lead us into temptation.” The word for temptation in Matthew 6:13 is to test the believer’s strength, loyalty, and ability for service.

  • Powerful, effective prayer requires a relationship with the Creator
  • The Way

- Jesus tells us that access to God is only through the Son (see John 14:1-12).

  • Prayer that does not go to the Father is powerless. Elijah in 1 Kings 18:20-39.

Prayer is a gift to those who are in Christ. And even those who are in Christ must pray according to His will and teachings to have effective prayer. The only prayer God hears from an unbeliever is the prayer of repentance.

chapter three spiritual warfare and the biblical plan
Chapter ThreeSpiritual Warfare and the Biblical Plan
  • Satan’s influence in North America has grown along with the need for biblical spiritual warfare.
  • Recent books, movies, and TV shows have raised awareness in the supernatural.
We also have seen a shocking decline in moral and theological foundations. Rationalism and intellectualism have undermined belief in a spiritual world. Secularism and humanism worship the idols of human achievement.
three fold focus of spiritual warfare
Three-fold Focus of Spiritual Warfare

1.The conversion of lost people to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus emphasized salvation over their spiritual authority (see Luke 10:17-20).
  • Acts presents examples of SW, but its emphasis is conversion of the lost (see Acts 26:18).
  • Satan has blinded people (see

2 Cor. 4:3-4).

  • Understanding Satan’s nature and purpose will prevent people from being fooled by his tactics.
2. Identification of and protection from Satan’s plan.

– Satan is the enemy. He is the evil one, a thief, and a murderer (see John 10:10).

– Satan cannot be trusted to direct (possession) or even influence our life.

– The enemy is Satan, not his followers Jn 3:16

3. Accepting responsibility for biblical

authority and activity.–Bible teaches all we need about spiritual

warfare. There is a difference in earthly realm

and heavenly realm warfare.

–Below are five biblical responsibilities for

spiritual warfare in the earthly realm.


Prayer: John 17:15, Luke 22:31-32,

The responsibility in warfare prayer is interceding for other people, not against Satan and his demons (see 1 Timothy 2:1-8)

The primary responsibility of believers involved in spiritual warfare is prayer. More prayer warriors are needed.

Resist, draw near: James 4:7-8. We must draw near to Jesus or we will lose. It is the knowledge and use of God’s Word that protects believers from Satan’s influence (see Eph. 6:17).

Anything that gives Satan a foothold in our lives can cause us to fall into sin, and sin destroys our testimony (see 1 John 3:7-12)


Lift up Jesus: John 12:31-32. Lifting Jesus up will draw people from Satan’s influence. It is easy to lift up a church or people instead of Jesus.

Work through local church: Matthew 18:18, Ephesians 3:10 Primary role of the church for support, protection, accountability, and direction. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 includes “distinguishing of spirits.”

Error occurs easily without theological training or accountability.

Overcome strongholds with the power of the gospel

2 Corinthians 10:4: only place strongholds (fortresses) is used in the Bible. Paul explains in verse 5. Arguments that try to make individual will impregnable to God’s will. Believers do not have to discover and demolish vast levels of strongholds. We simply (but not easily) must take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

satan s plan
Satan’s Plan
  • Satan’s first tactic is to tell people that God and the spiritual world are not real (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4).
  • A second satanic tactic is to provide fake examples or incomplete definitions of salvation, revival, and prayer. He lures sincere people into works-based cults and false teachings (see Acts 13:8-10).
  • Third, he has confused some believers so thoroughly that they will not participate in spiritual warfare.
He provides decoys that drain energy, time, and other resources from the legitimate battle.
  • Christians must be careful to participate only in biblical spiritual warfare.
discerning false teaching
Discerning False Teaching
  • Studying the Bible will identify false teaching.
  • Many naïve and trusting people have been led astray by intentional and unintentional false prophets. Even sincere believers can become false prophets when we stray from God’s Word.
  • 1 John 4:1 says, “do not believe every spirit… because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
  • The Bible is the definitive source for understanding and practicing prayer and spiritual warfare.
  • Be very careful that our theology and spiritual warfare activities come only from the Bible.
spiritual warfare in the bible
Spiritual Warfare in the Bible

Five biblical principles are foundational to understanding and responding to warfare in the heavenly and earthly realms.

  • First, God is in control
  • Satan constantly questions God’s

sovereignty (see Gen. 3; Matt. 4).

  • Satan must come to God for permission to

“sift” believers (see Job 1:6; Luke 22:31).

Do not let Satan’s accusations steal

your joy.

second jesus is god s son and has authority over satan and his demons
Second, Jesus is God’s Son and has authority over Satan and his demons.
  • Christ alone will dethrone the powers and place “all things in subjection under His feet” (1 Cor.15:23-28).
  • Jesus disarmed (“unmasked”) the rulers and authorities with the resurrection (see Col. 2:15).
  • Satan and his forces continue working to remove the influence of Christ and Christ’s followers.
  • Satan is desperate to renew his dominion with false gods.
Demons can be cast out and their activity limited.
    • Demons can possess people and animals, but there is no evidence of them possessing inanimate objects.
    • Mark 5:1-9 is the only instance of Jesus asking for a demons name. It is descriptive and not a prescriptive formula for exorcism.
    • In Mark 10 Jesus does not bind any of the demons he encountered.
    • In Luke 4:40-41, the physician Luke describes that healing some illnesses is different from exorcism.
Jesus binds Satan. Carefully study these verses.

– Matthew 12:22-29 shows what Jesus did and completed by binding the strong man.

    • There is no evidence that Christians are to become involved in binding Satan and his demons. Paul nor anyone in the New Testament ever binds Satan.
    • The church is to carry out on earth the decisions already made in heaven (see Matt. 18:15-19). It does not refer to binding demons in people or to binding demons in general.
third satan is the enemy of god and humankind
Third, Satan is the enemy of God and humankind.
  • Satan and his demons are fallen angels.
    • In Luke 10:18, Jesus describes watching “Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
    • Judgment of Satan (see Matt. 25:41; 2 Pet. 2:4).
    • Demons have supernatural power (see Ex. 7:11). This is the danger of the “If it works, use it” philosophy of some people involved in spiritual warfare.
    • Beware of “fleshly wisdom” (2 Cor. 1:12).
Satan tempts and influences people (see Acts 14:2).
    • Satan, his demons, and his followers are working against God and His people (see Matt. 4:1-11).
    • The followers of Satan can hinder Christians.
    • Christians can be influenced to work against the kingdom. Beware of Satan’s influence more than possession (see John 13:2).
fourth there is a battle between good and evil
Fourth, there is a battle between good and evil.
  • The battle between good and evil predates the creation of humankind (see Rev. 12:7-12).
  • The Bible warns believers that there is a personal and cultural war between good and evil.
  • Satan’s purpose is to disobey God and lead others to do so (see Gen. 3:1-8, Matt. 4).
  • Life can only be understood by acknowledg-ing that good and evil are at war with each other.
  • The culture tries to explain evil in secular terms.
fifth the difference between warfare in the heavenly realm and the earthly realm
Fifth, the difference between warfare in the heavenly realm and the earthly realm.
  • Angels are the key warriors in the heavenly realm.
    • The current popularity of angels has led to many false perceptions about their work and nature.
    • Angels are not the spiritual remains of humans (see 2 Pet. 2:4-11).
    • In Daniel 10:13-20. Daniel does not discern, map, bind, or pray against a territorial spirit.
    • God and His angels are in warfare in the heavenly realm and this is usually unknown by humankind.
There is no evidence that believers have been given authority to be involved at that level.
  • Believers should daily confront Satan’sinfluence on a personal and cultural level in the earthly realm.
    • A congregation that is not transforming lives and impacting the culture is just competing with social agencies.
    • The culture needs the truth of Christ.
    • Paul took no authority to deal in the heavenly realm of spiritual warfare.

Understanding and practicing biblical spiritual warfare is important in the postmodern culture.

Not everyone involved in the Spiritual Warfare Movement is familiar with all of its teachings and theological error.

Spiritual warfare ultimately is won or lost in the conversion of lost people to Jesus and discipling them through a local congregation.