Teach us to Pray

Lesson 2, 1st Quarter January 6-12, 2024.

img rest_in_christ
Share this Lesson
Download Pdf

Sabbath Afternoon, January 6

Memory Text: 

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” KJV — Luke 11:1

In the Lord's exemplary prayer is to be found the perfect way. There is the prayer beautiful, the prayer perfect, its every word replete with purpose and meaning--"our Father," not "my Father" (especially so in public prayer); "forgive us...as," not merely "forgive us"; "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth"--not in heaven, but "as it is in heaven." 

Short, yet all-inclusive and without repetitions, it teaches us to address our Creator by His paternal title our Father, which brings us into a closer bond of union with Him than can any other of His titles. It makes us realize our utter dependence on Him for all our needs. It covers our sins and reconciles us to our Father, and makes us friends to our fellowmen, even to those who sin against us. It creates in us love for His Kingdom, and inspires us with zeal to labor for its coming. And finally, it leads us to do all we can for the enthronement of His will here on earth. 

“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” KJV — Psalm 19:12-14

Sunday, January 7

Fostering the use of the Psalms in Prayer.

Read Psalm 105:5, Colossians 3:16, and James 5:13. What is the place of the Psalms in the believer’s worship experience?

“The members of the church need now to confess their backslidings and press together. My brethren, allow nothing to come in that will separate you from one another or from God. Talk not of differences of opinion, but unite in the love of the truth as it is in Jesus. Come before God, and plead the shed blood of the Saviour as a reason why you should receive help in the warfare against evil. You will not plead in vain. As you draw near to God, with heartfelt contrition and in full assurance of faith, the enemy who seeks to destroy you will be overcome. 8T 11.6

“Turn to the Lord, ye prisoners of hope. Seek strength from God, the living God. Show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and His willingness to save. From Christ is flowing the living stream of salvation. He is the Fountain of life, the Source of all power. When in faith we take hold of His strength, He will change, wonderfully change, the most hopeless, discouraging outlook. He will do this for the glory of His name. 8T 12.1

“God calls upon His faithful ones, who believe in Him, to talk courage to those who are unbelieving and hopeless. May the Lord help us to help one another and to prove Him by living faith. 8T 12.2

“‘Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.” Psalm 81:1, 2. 8T 12.3

“‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High: to show forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.’” Psalm 92:1-4. 8T 12.4

Monday, January 8

Trust in times of Trouble

Read Psalm 44. What is it saying to us and why is this relevant to believers in all ages?

“After David's establishment upon the throne of Israel the nation enjoyed a long interval of peace. The surrounding peoples, seeing the strength and unity of the kingdom, soon thought it prudent to desist from open hostilities; and David, occupied with the organization and upbuilding of his kingdom, refrained from aggressive war. At last, however, he made war upon Israel's old enemies, the Philistines, and upon the Moabites, and succeeded in overcoming both and making them tributary. PP 713.2

“Then there was formed against the kingdom of David a vast coalition of the surrounding nations, out of which grew the greatest wars and victories of his reign and the most extensive accessions to his power. This hostile alliance, which really sprang from jealousy of David's increasing power, had been wholly unprovoked by him… PP 713.3

The dangers which had threatened the nation with utter destruction proved, through the providence of God, to be the very means by which it rose to unprecedented greatness. In commemorating his remarkable deliverances, David sings: PP 715.3

“‘Thou art my King, O God: Command deliverances for Jacob. Through Thee will we push down our enemies: Through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, Neither shall my sword save me. But Thou hast saved us from our enemies, And hast put them to shame that hated us.” Psalm 44:4-7. PP 716.3

Tuesday, January 9

A Psalm of Despair

Read Psalm 22. What can we learn from this psalm about trust in God amid great suffering?

“After Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was lifted by several powerful men and thrust with great violence into the place prepared for it, causing the most excruciating agony to the Son of God. And now a terrible scene was enacted. Priests, rulers, and scribes forgot the dignity of their sacred offices, and joined with the rabble in mocking and jeering the dying Son of God, saying, “If Thou be the King of the Jews, save Thyself.” Luke 23:37. And some deridingly repeated among themselves, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” Mark 15:31. The dignitaries of the temple, the hardened soldiers, the vile thief upon the cross, and the base and cruel among the multitude—all united in their abuse of Christ. SR 222.2

“The thieves who were crucified with Jesus suffered like physical torture with Him: but one was only hardened and rendered desperate and defiant by his pain. He took up the mocking of the priests, and railed upon Jesus, saying, “If Thou be Christ, save Thyself and us.” Luke 23:39. The other malefactor was not a hardened criminal. When he heard the sneering words of his companion in crime, he “rebuked him, saying, Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man hath done nothing amiss.” Luke 23:40, 41. Then, as his heart went out to Christ, heavenly illumination flooded his mind. In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he saw his Redeemer, his only hope, and appealed to Him in humble faith: “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, [By placing the comma after the word today, instead of after the word thee, as in the common versions, the true meaning of the text is more apparent.] shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42, 43. SR 222.3

“With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most excruciating agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. While pouring out His life in death, He exercised a love for man stronger than death. Many who witnessed those scenes on Calvary were afterward established by them in the faith of Christ. SR 223.1

“The enemies of Jesus now awaited His death with impatient hope. That event they imagined would forever hush the rumors of His divine power and the wonders of His miracles. They flattered themselves that they should then no longer tremble because of His influence. The unfeeling soldiers who had stretched the body of Jesus on the cross, divided His clothing among themselves, contending over one garment, which was woven without seam. They finally decided the matter by casting lots for it. The pen of inspiration had accurately described this scene hundreds of years before it took place: ‘For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet.... They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.’” Psalm 22:16, 18. SR 223.2

Wednesday, January 10

From Despair to Hope

Read Psalm 13. What two main moods can you distinguish in this psalm? What decision do you think brought the radical change in the psalmist’s general outlook?

“Christ rejoiced that He could do more for His followers than they could ask or think. He spoke with assurance, knowing that an almighty decree had been given before the world was made. He knew that truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the contest with evil; and that the bloodstained banner would wave triumphantly over His followers. He knew that the life of His trusting disciples would be like His, a series of uninterrupted victories, not seen to be such here, but recognized as such in the great hereafter. DA 679.2

“‘These things I have spoken unto you,’ He said, ‘that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged, and His followers are to manifest a faith of the same enduring nature. They are to live as He lived, and work as He worked, because they depend on Him as the great Master Worker. Courage, energy, and perseverance they must possess. Though apparent impossibilities obstruct their way, by His grace they are to go forward. Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them. They are to despair of nothing, and to hope for everything. With the golden chain of His matchless love Christ has bound them to the throne of God. It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame. DA 679.3

Thursday, January 11

Oh, Restore Us Again

Read Psalm 60:1-5. For what occasions do you think this psalm would be a suitable prayer? How can we benefit from the psalms of lament even in joyous seasons of life?

“‘Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.’ Psalm 60:4. TDG 31.1

“See that the truth is inscribed on your banner at all times and in all places.... TDG 31.2

As a nation the Jews refused to receive Christ. He had led them in their travels, as their invisible, infinite Leader. He had communicated His will to them, but in the test they rejected Him, their only hope, their only salvation, and God rejected them. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). To all who receive and obey the conditions, God's gifts flow steadily, without repentance, without recall. God has imparted His gifts to man to be used, not according to hereditary or fanciful ideas, not according to natural impulses or inclination, but according to His will.... TDG 31.3

Those who feared God were to think for themselves. They were no longer to leave other men to do their thinking. Their minds were no longer to be chained down to erroneous maxims, theories, and doctrines. Ignorance and vice, crime and violence, oppression in high places, must be unveiled. The Light of life had come to this world to shine amid the moral darkness. The gospel would now be proclaimed among the poor, the oppressed. Those in humble life would be given opportunity to understand the real qualifications necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God. TDG 31.4

And today men from the lower ranks are to take their place in obeying the command, “Go forward.” By faith they are to meet difficulties, not daring to yield to the strife and babble of unbelieving tongues. They are to press forward from one degree of success to another, praying always, and exercising that faith which answers prayer.... TDG 31.5

The agencies of God are many! But all those who are willing to work according to God's plan are included in the words, “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). God's servants are to move so that no spiritual gift shall be lost. Their will is to be held in abeyance, and when God's time comes, the rod will blossom. What form the work will take no one can know, but God's servants are to be minutemen, able to understand the ways and will of their Leader.—Letter 8, January 23, 1899, to Dr. J. H. Kellogg, medical superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. TDG 31.6

Friday, January 12

Further Thought

“Through song, David, amidst the vicissitudes of his changeful life, held communion with heaven. How sweetly are his experiences as a shepherd lad reflected in the words: Ed 164.1

“‘The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters....Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.’ “Psalm 23:1-4. Ed 164.2

“In his manhood a hunted fugitive, finding refuge in the rocks and caves of the wilderness, he wrote: Ed 164.3

“‘O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee, In a dry and weary land, where no water is....Thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.’ “Ed 164.4

“‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: For I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, And my God.” Ed 164.5

“‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 63:1-7, R.V.; 42:11; 27:1. Ed 164.6

“The same trust is breathed in the words written when, a dethroned and crownless king, David fled from Jerusalem at the rebellion of Absalom. Spent with grief and the weariness of his flight, he with his company had tarried beside the Jordan for a few hours’ rest. He was awakened by the summons to immediate flight. In the darkness, the passage of the deep and swift-flowing stream must be made by that whole company of men, women, and little children; for hard after them were the forces of the traitor son. Ed 164.7

In that hour of darkest trial, David sang: Ed 165.1

“‘I cried unto the Lord with my voice, And He heard me out of His holy hill. Ed 165.2

“‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, That have set themselves against me around about.’” Psalm 3:4-6. Ed 165.3