Ask! Believe! Rejoice!

Prevail in Prayer

Ask! Believe! Rejoice!

God Wants To Answer Our Prayers

Matt. 7:7-8 “Ask and it shall be given….”
Eph. 3: 20  “…able to do exceedingly abundantly….”
Luke 1: 37  “With God, nothing is impossible.”  
   
“Prayer is a heaven-ordained means of success. Appeals, petitions, entreaties, between man and man, move men and act a part in controlling the affairs of nations. But prayer moves heaven.” In Heavenly Places, p. 75

“Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; and the promise is, ‘Ye shall receive.’” Acts of the Apostles, 564.1

“The people of God have accustomed themselves to think that they must rely upon their own effort, that little help is to be received from heaven; and the result is that they have little light to communicate to other souls who are dying in error and darkness. The church has long been contented with little of the blessing of God; they have not felt the need of reaching up to the exalted privileges purchased for them at infinite cost.... The power of God awaits their demand and reception.” Testimony to Ministers, 174.2

“The idea that prayer is not essential is one of Satan’s most successful devices to ruin souls.” My Life Today, 31.4

His Answers—Sometimes “Yes,” Sometimes “No,” 
Sometimes “Yes, But Later”—Are Assured!

Mark 11: 24 “…believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” 
 
“He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.” Education, 257.7

“If (we) have complied with the conditions upon which these promises are based, God’s word is pledged that He will do for (us) more than (we) ask.” Gospel Workers, 1892, 423.3

“In the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain. We shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings.” Ministry of Healing, 474.1

 

This Is The Pathway To Answered Prayer

1. We must ask.

Jer. 33:3 “Call … and I will answer....”
Ps. 50:15 “Call … [and] I will deliver you….”
Matt 7: 7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you….”
James 4:2 “…you do not have because you do not ask….”
 
It is part of God’s great plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.” Great Controversy, 525

“To pray aright, is to ask God in faith for the very things you need. Go to your chamber, or in some retired place, and ask your Father for Jesus' sake to help you. There is power in that prayer that is sent up from a heart convinced of its own weakness, yet earnestly longing for that strength that comes from God. The earnest, fervent prayer will be heard and answered.” Youth Instructor, March 1, 1856

“The summing up of the benefit of prayer is that devotion that leads to faith in God's promises. This faith is the key that opens the divine treasury, is the hand by which we appropriate to our use the richest gifts of God. The prayer of the contrite heart unlocks the treasure house of supplies, and lays hold of omnipotent power.” Signs of the Times, June 18, 1896 par. 8

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. “The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest.” Steps to Christ, 100.1

2. We must ask according to God’s will.

1 John 5:14-15 “…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

“Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God's will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.” Education, 257.7

“Be not discouraged if your prayers do not seem to obtain an immediate answer. The Lord sees that prayer is often mixed with earthliness. Men pray for that which will gratify their selfish desires, and the Lord does not fulfill their requests in the way which they expect. He takes them through tests and trials, he brings them through humiliations, until they see more clearly what their necessities are. He does not give to men those things which will gratify a debased appetite, and which will prove an injury to the human agent, and make him a dishonor to God. He does not give men that which will gratify their ambition, and work simply for self-exaltation. When we come to God, we must be submissive and contrite of heart, subordinating everything to his sacred will.” Review and Herald, November 19, 1895 par. 9  

“Said Christ, ‘If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.’ When we come to Him we should pray that we might enter into and accomplish His purpose, and that our desires and interests might be lost in His. We should acknowledge our acceptance of His will, not praying Him to concede to ours.” Counsels on Health, 378

3.We must ask in Jesus’ name.

John 16: 23,24 “… whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” 
Heb. 4: 16 “Let us therefore come boldly….”
 
“Christ has opened the way for us to approach God. He says, ‘Make use of My name. It will be your passport to the heart of My Father and to all the riches of His grace.” Signs of the Times, June 18, 1902

“He explained that the secret of their success would be in asking for strength and grace in His name. He would be present before the Father to make request for them. The prayer of the humble (petitioner) He presents as His own desire in that soul’s behalf.” Desire of Ages, 667

“The Lord Jehovah accepts the argument that is presented in the name of his Son, and places the resources of his merit at your command. It is our privilege and duty to bring the efficacy of the name of Christ into our petitions, and use the very arguments that Christ has used in our behalf. Our prayers will then be in complete harmony with the will of God. Then it is that Christ clothes the contrite suppliant with his own priestly vestments, and the human petitioner approaches the altar holding the holy censer, from which ascends the incense of the fragrance of the merit of Christ's righteousness.” Signs of the Times, June 18, 1896 par. 8  
 
4. We must ask in faith.

Mark 9: 23 “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 
Matt 9:29 “Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.”
James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith….”
 
 “Prayer is the key that unlocks the storehouse of heaven. The churches have been losing their power. We must have faith in God. We must have a firmer dependence on Him who is the Owner of the universe. The cause of God needs consecrated workers, and it needs money. What shall we do? Pray in faith, believing that as we advance, the means and the workers will come. Let us lay the whole situation before God, because He alone can supply that which we must have in order to enter new fields. He says, Advance, and we are not to wait till the money is in sight. There is to be no failure on our part.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 338.4 

“God desires us to receive great blessings. His promises are so clearly stated that there is no cause for uncertainty. He desires us to take Him at His word.  At times we shall be in great perplexity and not know just what to do. But at such times it is our privilege to take our Bibles, and read the messages He has given us; and then get down on our knees, and ask Him to help us. Over and over again He has given evidence that He is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. He fulfills His promises in far greater measure than we expect to receive help.” The Paulson Collection, 174

“When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you.’” Prayer, 102.2

“True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. We must send up our petitions in faith within the second veil and let our faith take hold of the promised blessing and claim it as ours. We are then to believe that we receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the Word it is ours. “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24. Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it. When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up.” Early Writings, 72.2

5. We must obey.

1 John 3:22 “…we receive … because we keep His commandments….”

“True faith rests on the promises contained in the Word of God, and those only who obey that Word can claim its glorious promises. "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7. "Whatsoever 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.” Early Writings, 72.2

“…only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. … If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” Ministry of Healing, 227.1 

“We must daily compare our character with the law of God, the great rule of righteousness; and if that does not condemn us, we may approach the throne of grace in faith. We may plead that we have complied with the conditions, and now claim the fulfillment of the divine promises. “If ye abide in me,” says Christ, “and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” There is no place or excuse for a doubt. The promise is positive, and the rich blessings of Heaven are ours to enjoy." Review and Herald, December 22, 1885, par. 1

6. We must live out our prayers.

“Children and youth may come to Jesus with their burdens and perplexities, and know that He will respect their appeals to Him, and give them the very things they need. Be earnest; be resolute. Present the promise of God, and then believe without a doubt. Do not wait to feel special emotions before you think the Lord answers. Do not mark out some particular way that the Lord must work for you before you believe you receive the things you ask of Him; but trust His word, and leave the whole matter in the hands of the Lord, with full faith that your prayer will be honored, and the answer will come at the very time and in the very way your heavenly Father sees is for your good; and then live out your prayers. Walk humbly and keep moving forward.” Messages to Young People, 123.1 

“After we have offered our petitions, we are to answer them ourselves as far as possible, and not wait for God to do for us what we can do for ourselves.” My Life Today, 19.3

 

What Hinders Answers From Coming?

Introduction:

Ps. 66:18 “If I regard iniquity….”
Prov. 28:9 “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”

“There are thousands of prayers daily offered that God does not answer. There are faithless prayers. "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." There are selfish prayers, proceeding from a heart that is cherishing idols. "If any man regard iniquity in his heart, the Lord will not hear him." There are petulant, fretful prayers, murmuring because of the burdens and cares of life, instead of humbly seeking grace to lighten them. Those who offer such petitions are not abiding in Christ. They have not submitted their will to the will of God. They do not comply with the condition of the promise, and it is not fulfilled to them.” Review and Herald, September, 11, 1883 par. 15  

 

Hindering Factors Of The Past and Present

1. What were some of the obstacles in Isaiah’s day?

Isaiah 59:1,2 “Your iniquities have separated you….”
Isaiah 1:15-17 “…when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood.”
  
“If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted.  When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions.” Steps to Christ, 95

“Many think they have not time to pray, or that it would be useless to pray if they had time. They indulge themselves in the gratification of unholy desires. They cherish unchristlike traits of character, and the least crossing of their will arouses their combativeness and upsets their temper. While they are thus unemptied of self, and unwilling to renounce their evil way, they cannot expect to receive answers to their prayers; for evil tempers and corrupt indulgences will make prayer of none effect. The psalmist says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’” Bible Echo, February 15, 1893 par. 7

“Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 145.1

2. What obstacles are listed in Isaiah 58?

Isa. 58:3 “find pleasure and exploit….”
Isa. 58:6,7 “Loose the bonds of wickedness….”
Isa. 58:13 “If you turn your foot from the Sabbath….”

“I pray that my brethren may realize that the third angel’s message means much to us and that the observance of the true Sabbath is to be the sign that distinguishes those who serve God from those who serve Him not. … Upon us rests the solemn obligation of taking a more decided stand for truth and righteousness than we have taken in the past. The line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not is to be revealed with unmistakable clearness.” Testimonies for the Church vol. 7, p 108.1

Note the promise given in Isaiah: 
Isa. 58:8 “Then your light shall break forth….”

3. What were some of the obstacles in the days of Jeremiah?
(Idolatry, stubborn disobedience, ignoring the true prophet of God, following false prophets and mocking the truth)

Jer. 7:17-18 “…fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven….”
Jer. 23-26 “Sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.”
Jer. 7:28 “This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction.”
Jer. 7:30 “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it.”
Jer. 8:5,6 “They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return”
Jer. 8:10 “Everyone is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely.”
Jer. 9:13 “…Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it….” 
Jer. 17:21-23 “Hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.”
Jer. 5:31 “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”
2 Chron. 36:15,16 “But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.”

Jer. 7:16 “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you.” (See Jer. 11:14)
Jer. 15:1 “Even if Moses were here, I would not listen.”

“How much means are spent for things that are mere idols, things that engross the thoughts and affections, little ornaments that require attention to be kept free from dust and placed in order. The moments spent in arranging these little idols might be spent in speaking a word in season to some soul, awakening an interest to inquire, "What shall I do to be saved?" These little things take the time that should be devoted to prayer, seeking the Lord, and grasping by faith the promises. . . .” Evangelism, 344.3

“An idol is anything that human beings love and trust in instead of loving and trusting in the Lord their Maker. Whatever earthly thing men desire and trust in as having power to help them and do them good, leads them away from God, and is to them an idol. Whatever divides the affections, or takes away from the soul the supreme love of God, or interposes to prevent unlimited confidence and entire trust in God, assumes the character and takes the form of an idol in the soul temple.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 330.2 

“God is true to his covenant with his people. His word is infallible. His people bring suffering on themselves by forsaking his counsel for their own human wisdom. It is impossible for their prayers to reach his throne, because the rebellion of disobedience is the substance of their petitions. Christ came from heaven to teach the word which his Father committed to him for the fallen members of his family. Those who hear and obey walk in safe paths, under the protection of the Lord of heaven.” Review and Herald, April 8, 1902 par. 12

I am instructed to say to our churches, Study the Testimonies. They are written for our admonition and encouragement, upon whom the ends of the world are come. If God's people will not study these messages that are sent to them from time to time, they are guilty of rejecting light. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, God is sending instruction to His people. Heed the instruction; follow the light. The Lord has a controversy with His people because in the past they have not heeded His instruction and followed His guidance. Selected Messages, vol. 3, 358

 “God cannot approve of the least degree of covetousness or selfishness, and He abhors the prayers and exhortations of those who indulge these evil traits.” Early Writings, p. 268.1 

“There is too much mocking the Lord, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases God, too many vain, unmeaning petitions. First we should feel needy, and then ask God for the very things we need, believing that He gives them to us, even while we ask; and then our faith will grow, all will be edified, the weak will be strengthened, and the discouraged and desponding made to look up and believe that God is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him.” Early Writings, 115.1 

“All our prayers will be in vain while we cherish feelings of envy, jealousy, suspicion, and enmity. We shall be forgiven only as we forgive. It is no better than mocking God to engage in religious worship with hearts thinking evil, and full of bitterness toward our brethren or our fellow-men.” Review and Herald, November 6, 1883 par. 9  

Note the following promises:
Jer. 7:23 “Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.” 
Jer. 17:24-26 “…but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses….”
Jer. 29:11-14 “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity….”
Jer. 31:31-34 “…after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

4. What were the obstacles in the days of Haggai?

(Worldly priorities)

Hag. 1:2-11 “…to dwell in your paneled houses and this temple….”

“God cannot approve of the least degree of covetousness or selfishness, and He abhors the prayers and exhortations of those who indulge these evil traits. As Satan sees that his time is short, he leads men on to be more and more selfish and covetous, and then exults as he sees them wrapped up in themselves, close, penurious, and selfish. If the eyes of such could be opened, they would see Satan in hellish triumph, exulting over them and laughing at the folly of those who accept his suggestions and enter his snares.” Early Writings, 268.1

Note the promise:
Hag. 2:4 “Be strong….”

5. What hindered in the days of Zechariah?
(Refused to listen to the prophets, oppression and hardened their hearts)

Zech. 7:7 “Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets…”
Zech. 7:9,10 “‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.”
Zech. 7:11,12 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. 12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. 13 Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts.”

“God will hold the church at ----- responsible, as a body, for the wrong course of its members. If a selfish and unsympathizing spirit is allowed to exist in any of its members toward the unfortunate, the widow, the orphan, the blind, the lame, or those who are sick in body or mind, He will hide His face from His people until they do their duty and remove the wrong from among them. If any professing the name of Christ so far misrepresent their Saviour as to be unmindful of their duty to the afflicted, or if they in any way seek to advantage themselves to the injury of the unfortunate and thus rob them of means, the Lord holds the church accountable for the sin of its members until they have done all they can to remedy the existing evil. He will not hearken to the prayer of His people while the orphan, the fatherless, the lame, the blind, and the sick are neglected among them.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 517.2  

Note the promise:
Zech. 8:15, 20-22 “Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.”

6. What were the obstacles in the days of Malachi?
(Blemished offerings, relational fractures and robbing God)

Mal. 1:6b-8 “You offer defiled food on My altar….”
Mal. 2:13-14 “…witness between you and the wife of your youth….”
Mal. 3:7-10 “Will a man rob God?”

Regarding making an unreserved surrender:
“Paul had a keen sense of the conflict which every soul must wage with the agencies of evil that are continually seeking to deceive and ensnare, and he had worked untiringly to strengthen and confirm those who were young in the faith. He had entreated them to make an entire surrender to God; for he knew that when the soul fails to make this surrender, then sin is not forsaken, the appetites and passions still strive for the mastery, and temptations confuse the conscience.” Acts of the Apostles, 298.2

“This is the preparation day. Set your own hearts in order, and work earnestly for your children. An unreserved surrender to God will sweep away the barriers that have so long defied the approaches of heavenly grace. When you take up the cross and follow Christ, when you bring your lives into conformity to the will of God, your children will be converted.” Review and Herald, July 15, 1902, par. 13

Regarding seeking after the heavenly pearl:
“There are some who seem to be always seeking for the heavenly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. They have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. They do not take up the cross and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they cannot enter there. Almost but not wholly saved, means to be not almost but wholly lost.” Christ Object Lessons, 118.1

Regarding marriage:
“Whatever will make the character lovely in the home will make it lovely in the heavenly mansion, and by your home life Jesus will measure your religious life. The grace of Christ can make your home a place of peace and rest, but unless you heed His Word and cherish His Spirit, you are none of His. God requires you to be sanctified wholly in your home life. The religion of Christ is not a religion to be reserved for certain places and occasions, and then laid aside at home. The truth as a sanctifier is needed more in the home than in any other place. Every thought, every impulse, every word and deed, is to be sanctified by the power of the truth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 80.1

Regarding returning God’s tithe:
“As the Giver of every blessing, God claims a certain portion of all we possess. This is His provision to sustain the preaching of the gospel. And by making this return to God, we are to show our appreciation of His gifts. But if we withhold from Him that which is His own, how can we claim His blessing? If we are unfaithful stewards of earthly things, how can we expect Him to entrust us with the things of heaven? It may be that here is the secret of unanswered prayer.” Christ Object Lessons, 144.4

“Hasten, my brethren and sisters, to bring to God a faithful tithe, and to bring Him also a willing thank offering. There are many who will not be blessed till they make restitution of the tithe which they have withheld.” Counsels on Stewardship, 87.1

“The Bible does not condemn the rich man because he is rich; it does not declare the acquisition of wealth to be a sin, nor does it say that money is the root of all evil. On the contrary, the Scriptures state that it is God who gives the power to get wealth. And this ability is a precious talent if consecrated to God and employed to advance His cause.” Counsels on Stewardship, 138.2

“None need fear that their liberality would bring them to want. Obedience to God’s commandments would surely result in prosperity. “Thou shalt lend unto many nations,” He said, “but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.” Deuteronomy 15:6.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 533.1

Note the promises:
Mal. 3:10-11, 16-18 “…pour out such a blessing….”
Prov. 3:9-10 “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
Prov. 11:24-25 “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
 
7. What additional obstacles were mentioned by Jesus and the apostles?
(Unresolved differences/lack of love)

Matt 5: 23,24 “…go your way… then come and offer your gift.”
Matt. 5:43-44 “Love your enemies….”
Mark 11: 25-26 “If you do not forgive, neither will your Father….”
1 Pet. 3:7 “that your prayers may not be hindered.”

“One great reason why our brethren and sisters have no more confidence toward God in prayer, is, that nearly all neglect to follow the words of Jesus in preserving harmony between brethren. They allow various wrongs to exist with members of the church, which create bitter envy and strife; and while these differences exist, God neither hears nor answers their prayers….” Review & Herald April 15, 1880

“When the laborers have an abiding Christ in their own souls, when all selfishness is dead, when there is no rivalry, no strife for the supremacy, when oneness exists, when they sanctify themselves, so that love for one another is seen and felt, then the showers of the grace of the Holy Spirit will just as surely come upon them as that God's promise will never fail in one jot or tittle. But when the work of others is discounted, that the workers may show their own superiority, they prove that their own work does not bear the signature it should. God cannot bless them.” Ms. 24, 1896, p. 4, Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 385.3 

“In union there is strength; in disunion there is only weakness. We should work most diligently to answer the prayer of Christ that his disciples might be one, as he is one with the Father. If we are united to Christ, the formation of a church will be a benefit to all its members; for by entering into this church union, we pledge ourselves to help one another. The Holy Spirit does not lead us into this to be a mutual admiration society, but to put forth all the powers of our being to help one another, in sympathy, in love, to be more like Jesus.” Review and Herald, October 6, 1891 par. 5  

“We have a character to maintain, but it is the character of Christ. Having the character of Christ, we can carry on the work of God together. The Christ in us will meet the Christ in our brethren, and the Holy Spirit will give that union of heart and action which testifies to the world that we are children of God. . . .” Amazing Grace, 211.6

Note the promise:
John 17:21 “…“that they also may be one in Us….”

 

Helpful Remedies

1. Secret Personal Prayers

Matt. 6:6 “…when you have shut your door….”

“When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Ps. 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found. And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.”  Desire of Ages, 363

“Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work.” Maranatha, 125 

“Do not neglect secret prayer, for it is the soul of religion. With earnest, fervent prayer, plead for purity of soul. Plead as earnestly, as eagerly, as you would for your mortal life, were it at stake. Remain before God until unutterable longings are begotten within you for salvation, and the sweet evidence is obtained of pardoned sin.” Messages to Young People, 268.2 

“Nothing will give such clear views of self as secret prayer. He who seeth in secret and knoweth all things, will enlighten your understanding and answer your petitions. Plain, simple duties that must not be neglected will open before you.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 163

2. United Prayers

Matt. 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered….”

“The Lord has promised that where two or three are met together in His name, there will He be in the midst. Those who meet together for prayer will receive an unction from the Holy One. There is great need of secret prayer, but there is also need that several Christians meet together and unite with earnestness their petitions to God.” In Heavenly Places, 91.2 

“I remember in Battle Creek when there were those who felt the burden for the unconverted, and those who were in darkness and saw no light; then prayer meetings were appointed that they might make the strength of God their strength. In every case the heavenly intelligences worked with these efforts, and souls were saved.” Maranatha, 38

“The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” Letter 32, 1903, p. 5, Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 303.3

“Let every one who give of his means, also send up his prayers daily that it may bring souls to the foot of the cross. And in every church, once a week at least, let there be a season set apart for praying for this work. Let all be united, not mingling in their petitions other wants, such as blessings for the sick and needy, but having a specific object for their faith and entreaties. Brethren, move high heaven by your prayers for God to work with the efforts of his servants. The Lord has agencies which he will put in operation in answer to the importunate prayers of faith. He will fulfill his word, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Review and Herald, October 12, 1886 par. 14 

3. Intercessory Prayers

Isaiah 59:16 “…and wondered that there was no intercessor....”
Isaiah 62:6 “…ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence.”
Luke 11:5-8 “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves….”

“Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to free the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.’” Desire of Ages, 466
 
“I have been shown angels of God are ready to impart grace and power to those who feel their need of divine strength. But these heavenly messengers will not bestow blessings unless solicited. They have waited for the cry from souls hungering and thirsting for the blessing of God; often have they waited in vain. There were, indeed, casual prayers, but not the earnest supplication from humble, contrite hearts....” Our High Calling, 129

“Let your prayers follow the servants of God like sharp sickles in the harvest field. God will hear the earnest entreaties of his people. The prayer of faith will move the arm of God.” Signs of the Times, September 4, 1879

“The record shows that prayers of faith, though offered by frail human beings, have power with God. The earnest cry, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,” has saved many a soul. If there were far more urgent intercessions for perishing souls, there would be far more souls saved.” Review and Herald, February 11, 1909, par. 9

4. Overcoming Prayers

“Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God’s word declares he must have before he can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man’s obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ’s righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sin-sick soul. He has not the wisdom or the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and He bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek Him for help.” Acts of the Apostles, 532.1

“Prayer brings Jesus to our side, and gives new strength and fresh grace to the fainting, perplexed soul to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan.” Spaulding Magan Collection, 67.2 

“When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God and agonize with Him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty, but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy. Oh, that all could see these things in their true light and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus! Then would Israel move forward, strong in God, and in the power of His might.” Early Writings, 46.2

5. Reviving Prayers

Zech. 10:1 “Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain.”
Isa. 44:3 “I will pour water on him who is thirsty….”

“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 121

“A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. When churches are revived, it is because some individual seeks earnestly for the blessing of God. He hungers and thirsts after God, and asks in faith, and receives accordingly. He goes to work in earnest, feeling his great dependence upon the Lord, and souls are aroused to seek for a like blessing, and a season of refreshing falls upon the hearts of men. Many are weary of their half-hearted service. Their souls cry out after the living God. They cannot be satisfied with a form of godliness; they long for the deep movings of the Holy Spirit. Let the weary, discouraged one cry, as did Jacob, for the Comforter. Let him lay bare his soul in the secret place before God. Let him with loathing put away soul-defilement. The work is between him and his God. God is at work; he doeth wonders; and although he is high and lifted up, prayer will reach his throne. He that is turning and overturning, he that can do marvelous things, will regard the contrite prayer of faith from the humblest of his children.” Home Missionary, November 1, 1890

6. Healing Prayers

Gen. 20:17 : “So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children,…”
James 5:13-16 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. ….”
I Cor. 11:28-30 "For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep."

“His disciples in this time are to pray for the sick as verily as His disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow, for “the prayer of faith shall save the sick.” James 5:15. We need the Holy Spirit's power, the calm assurance of faith that can claim God's promises.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1904

“When you neglect to pray for the sick, you deprive them of great blessings; for angels of God wait to minister to these souls in response to your petitions....” Medical Ministry, 195

“It has often been my privilege to pray with the sick. We should do this much more often than we do. If more prayer were offered in our sanitariums for the healing of the sick, the mighty power of the Healer would be seen. Many more would be strengthened and blessed, and many more acute sicknesses would be healed.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 295

“It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well.” Ministry of Healing, 226

7. Prayers That Include Fasting

Mark 9:29 “… This kind can come out by nothing except by prayer and fasting.”
 
“When Peter also was imprisoned, the entire church engaged in fasting and prayer.” Acts of the Apostles, 144

“For certain things fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 105

“The spirit of true fasting and prayer is the spirit which yields mind, heart, and will to God.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 189

“Our brethren would receive a blessing in dispensing with or deferring one meal of the day, if necessary, in order that an hour or more might be devoted to testimony meeting. We used often to make the Sabbath a day of fasting and prayer, and we were greatly blessed in our worship.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 96.3
 
“The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 90

“All the fasting in the world will not take the place of simple trust in the word of God. "Ask," He says, "and ye shall receive." ... You are not called upon to fast forty days. The Lord bore that fast for you in the wilderness of temptation. There would be no virtue in such a fast; but there is virtue in the blood of Christ.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 189

8. Prayers Resisting Satan

James 4:7 “Resist the devil….”
Col. 1:13 “He has delivered us….”
1John 3:8 “…that He might destroy the works of the devil….”
Rom. 16:20 “…will crush Satan under your feet….”

“The prayer of faith is the great strength of the Christian, and will assuredly prevail against Satan. This is why he insinuates that we have no need of prayer. The name of Jesus, our Advocate, he detests; and when we earnestly come to Him for help, Satan's host is alarmed. It serves his purpose well if we neglect the exercise of prayer, for then his lying wonders are more readily received.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 296.

“The prayer of faith is the weapon by which we may successfully resist every assault of the enemy.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 103

“If you have faith like this, you will lay hold upon God's word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed. Thus your faith will strengthen, and will bring to your aid the power of heaven. The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path, though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills, shall disappear before the demand of faith. "Nothing shall be impossible unto you." Desire of Ages, 431.3

“If Satan sees he is in danger of losing one soul, he will exert himself to the utmost to keep that one. And when the individual is aroused to his danger, and, with distress and fervor, looks to Jesus for strength, Satan fears he shall lose a captive, and he calls a re-enforcement of his angels to hedge in the poor soul, and form a wall of darkness around him, that heaven’s light may not reach him. But if the one in danger perseveres, and in helplessness and weakness casts himself upon the merits of the blood of Christ, Jesus listens to the earnest prayer of faith, and sends a re-enforcement of those angels which excel in strength to deliver him.” Messages to Young People, 53.1

“Satan cannot endure to have his powerful rival appealed to, for he fears and trembles before His strength and majesty. At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan’s whole host trembles. He continues to call legions of evil angels to accomplish his object. And when angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armory of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, Satan and his host fall back, well knowing that their battle is lost. The willing subjects of Satan are faithful, active, and united in one object. And although they hate and war with one another, yet they improve every opportunity to advance their common interest. But the great Commander in heaven and earth has limited Satan’s power.” Counsels to the Church, 319.3

“God's servants need constantly to lay hold with one hand of souls ready to perish, while with the hand of faith they lay hold of the throne of God. Souls possessed with evil spirits will present themselves before us. We must cultivate the spirit of earnest prayer, mingled with genuine faith to save them from ruin, and this will confirm our faith. God designs that the sick, the unfortunate, those possessed with evil spirits, shall hear his voice through us. Through his human agents he desires to be a comforter such as the world has never before seen. His words are to be voiced by his followers: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye believe in God, believe also in me." Spaulding and Magan Collection, 89.2,3

 

We Must Persist

(Why does God sometimes delay giving answers?)

Luke 11:1-5 “Because of his persistence….”
1 Thess 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

“Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God's promises as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for his blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God.” The Great Controversy, 621.2

“The servant watched while Elijah prayed. Six times he returned from the watch, saying, There is nothing, no cloud, no sign of rain. But the prophet did not give up in discouragement. He kept reviewing his life, to see where he had failed to honor God, he confessed his sins, and thus continued to afflict his soul before God, while watching for a token that his prayer was answered. As he searched his heart, he seemed to be less and less, both in his own estimation and in the sight of God. It seemed to him that he was nothing, and that God was everything; and when he reached the point of renouncing self, while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength and righteousness, the answer came." Review and Herald, Mary 26, 1891, par. 8

“Special mercies are often withheld for a time, that we may more earnestly supplicate the throne of grace. We must stay ourselves upon God, and not measure the time by our own finite fancies. Our impulses must not rule over us, but we must rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him, nor let our sunshine turn to darkness, our faith to distrust.” Present Truth, January 30, 1890 par. 17

 

Praise Builds Our Faith 

Php. 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
Php. 4: 6,7 “…but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving….” 
Eph. 5:20 “…giving thanks always for all things to God….”
1 Thess. 5:18 “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
 
 “We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 317

“When difficulties and trials surround us, we should flee to God, and confidently expect help from Him who is mighty to save and strong to deliver. We must ask for God’s blessing if we would receive it. Prayer is a duty and a necessity; but do we not neglect praise? Should we not oftener render thanksgiving to the Giver of all our blessings? We need to cultivate gratitude. We should frequently contemplate and recount the mercies of God, and laud and glorify His holy name, even when we are passing through sorrow and affliction. . . .” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 268

“To praise God in fulness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer. We are to show to the world and to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God …, and that we are expecting larger and yet larger blessings from His infinite fulness. . . . After a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service would be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children. These exercises drive back the power of Satan. They expel the spirit of murmuring and complaint, and the tempter loses ground. ... No more effective means can be employed for winning souls to Christ." Christ's Object Lessons, 299, 300

 

Go Forward With Faith!

1 John 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

“In reading the history of the past year’s labor, I saw distinctly how much the laborers had lost through a lack of faith; how much they could have asked of God, and how willingly he would have bestowed his grace upon them in answer to their humble prayers of faith.” Review and Herald, April 13, 1886, par. 7 

“We are in duty bound to draw largely from the treasure house of divine knowledge. God wants us to receive much, in order that we may impart much. He desires us to be channels through which He can impart richly of His grace to the world. Let sincerity and faith characterize your prayers. The Lord is willing to do for us “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20. Talk it; pray it. Do not talk unbelief. We cannot afford to let Satan see that he has power to darken our countenances and sadden our lives. Pray in faith. And be sure to bring your lives into harmony with your petitions, that you may receive the blessings for which you pray. Let not your faith weaken, for the blessings received are proportionate to the faith exercised. “According to your faith be it unto you.” “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 9:29; 21:22. Pray, believe, rejoice. Sing praises to God because He has answered your prayers. Take Him at His word. “He is faithful that promised.” Hebrews 10:23. Not one sincere supplication is lost. The channel is open; the stream is flowing. It carries with it healing properties, pouring forth a restoring current of life and health and salvation.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 273 3,4; 274.1

This compilation of scriptures and quotations forms the basis of a handout used by Dan Augsburger in some of His seminars. Commercial use of the arrangement of the quotations is forbidden. Unless stated otherwise, quotations come from the writings of Ellen White.