Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology II"
Return to Syllabus
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
Ephesians 6:18 R.V., "With all prayer and supplication, praying at all seasons
in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for
all the saints. " "Being sleepless unto prayer" is the literal translation of
Why is it important to pray?
- Because there is a devil.
Ephesians 6:12-13 - we have a great adversary and God expects us to stand
- Prayer is God's appointed way for obtaining things and
the great secret of all lack in our experience in life and work is neglect
of prayer, Jas. 4:2.
- The apostles regarded prayer as the most important
business of their lives. Acts 6:4; cp. 1 Cor. 7:5 - Paul devoted much of his
time to prayer. Rom. 1:9 R.V.; Eph. 1:15-16; Col. 1:9 R.V.; 1 Thes. 3:10; 2
Tim. 1:3 R.V.
All mighty men of God have been men of prayer.
- Prayer occupied a very prominent place in the earthly
life of our Lord. Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12.
"Pray" and "prayer" are used 25 times of the earthly life of Christ. A
prayerless Christian is not a true follower of Christ.
- Prayer is the most important part of the present ministry
Hebrews 7:25; He can save to the uttermost, to completion, because He lives
to pray, Romans 8:34.
We meet the Lord Jesus Christ at the place of prayer. All can have a part in
the ministry of intercession.
- Prayer is important because of what it accomplishes.
- It promotes spiritual growth.
Ps. 139:23-24 - brings to light hidden sin. Ps. 51:2 - in answer to
prayer, God cleanses my heart. Ps. 119:18 - in answer to prayer, the Word
is opened up. Jas. 1:5 - in answer to prayer, I get wisdom to know God's
way. 2 Cor. 3:18 - as I meet God in prayer and gaze into His face, I am
changed into His own image.
- Prayer brings power into our work. Prayer and power are
- Prayer avails for the conversion of others.
Augustine's mother failed in her pleadings with her dissolute son, but her
prayer prevailed with God, and he became the mighty man of God.
- Prayer brings power to the church, Acts 4:31.
Prayer will root out heresy, stop misunderstanding, sweep away jealousies,
remove sin, and bring in revival.
- To neglect prayer is grievous to the Lord, Isa. 43:21-22;
- It is a sin to neglect prayer, 1 Sam. 12:23.
- Many evils in life are attributed to the lack of prayer,
Zeph. 1:4-6; Dan. 9:13-14.
- THE POSSIBILITY OF PRAYER
This possibility consists in five things:
- The revelation of God which Christ has brought to us, Jn.
1:18; Mt. 11:27.
- Christ reveals God as a personal God, as a Being who
sees, feels, knows, understands, and acts. Belief in the personality of
God is necessary to true prayer, Heb. 11:5.
- Must believe that He is;
- That He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek
- Christ reveals God as a sovereign God, Mt. 19:26.
"With God all things are possible." There are no unchangeable laws with
Him. Nothing is too hard for Him.
- Christ revealed God as the Father, Lk. 11:13.
The Saviour addressed God as Father in His prayers. This fact of God as
Father makes prayer possible.
- The sacrificial work of Jesus Christ, Heb. 10:19-22.
Even though God is a Person, my person may still not be pleasing-unto Him so
that I cannot approach Him, but my approach is made possible through the
- The intercession of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:26-27 - the Holy Spirit makes intercession according to the will of
God. His intercessions are with groanings. This gives us assurance that the
Holy Spirit will pray within us and will help us in our prayer life.
- Because of God's promise to hear, Jn. 14:13; 15:7; 1 Jn.
Be careful how you use the name of Jesus. He came to do the will of God,
- The universal. Christian testimony
The testimony of countless Christians is to the fact that God hears and
- THE METHOD OR MANNER OF PRAYER
The soul may be in prayer no matter what is the attitude of the body. The
Bible approves no special bodily posture.
- The Lord Jesus Christ
- John 17:1 - standing with eyes lifted to heaven shows
respect. Acts 7:55 - Jesus rose to welcome Stephen.
- Luke 22:41; Matthew 26:39 - kneeling, fell on his
face, submissive surrender, yielding, obedience. Falling on one's face
denotes complete submission.
- Solomon, 1 Ki. 8:54.
Kneeling with hands stretched forth to heaven. This denotes entreaty,
intense pleading, humbling to point where you admit superiority of God.
- David, Ps. 63:6, prayed lying on his bed.
- The thief on the cross, Lk. 23:42.
- Peter, Mt. 14:30, walking on the water.
- Elijah, 1 Ki. 18:42; 19:4, prayed with his elbows on
his knees and his face in his hand
- The time and place of prayer
- The time of prayer
- Daniel 6:JO - morning, noon, night "as he did
aforetime" Psalm 55:16-17 - evening, morning, and at noon Acts 3:1 - 3
p.m. (time of afternoon sacrifice) Acts 2:42 - praying steadfastly
(daily, v.46) Acts 10:9 - noon
- Special occasions
(1) Choosing the Twelve, Lk. 6:12-13.
(2) Before He went to the cross, Lk. 22:45-46,
(3) After great success, Jn. 6:15
(4) Very early, Mk. 1:35.
(5) At the time of meals, Mk, 14:22-23.
(6) In trouble, Ps. 81:7; Ex. 2:23; 14:10,24.
(7) Before meals, Acts 27:35; 1 Tim. 4:4-5.
(8) Continued all night. Lk. 6:12.
- The place of prayer
There is no specific place necessary to make prayer valid.
- The inner chamber, Mt. 6:6; cp. Jn. 20:19; the
disciples were behind closed doors.
In Matthew 6 Jesus is:
(1) condemning hypocritical public prayer
(2) not condemning public prayer
(3) He thinks highly of and values private prayer
(4) so we stress the importance of private prayer
- Amid nature, Mt. 14:23; Mk. 1:35.
- In all places, 1 Tim. 2:8 R.V.
- Before the unsaved, Acts 16:25; 27:35.
- HINDRANCES TO PRAYER
Regard means to look favorably, to approve. Here we have un-confessed and
harbored sin. We recognize a sin in our hearts, but we would rather keep
this sin than forsake it and get the blessing of God. Sin so approved and
harbored in our hearts makes it impossible for God to answer prayer.
The difficulty is not with God, but with their attitude toward indwelling
sin. God will not hear today if there is un-confessed sin, past or present,
in the life. If we are to have power in prayer, we must be merciless in
dealing with our own sins.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law. If I do as I please in
spite of what God says, it is an abomination to the Lord for me to pray. God
Ezekiel 8:5-6, 14, 16, 18
Gross idolatry was rampant in Israel.
- He saw an image of jealousy, v.5.
- Worship of Tammuz immoral, v.l4.
- Worship of the sun, v.l6.
God says: "I will not hear them."
- Selfishness, Jas, 4:3
- Prayerlessness, Jas. 4:2
Prayer is the first and paramount thing until it is performed. Prayer needy
to be practiced not proven (Evans).
- Mk. 11:25; Mt. 5:23-24
The unforgiving spirit is the sign of an unforgiven spirit. Anyone nursing a
grudge has closed the ear of God a gains! his petition.
- Faithlessness, Jas. 1:5-8
Hebrews 11:6 - we must believe. We must ask in faith, doubting nothing. Mark
11:24 is possible through Romans 10:17.
- The lack of liberality, Prov. 21:13 Luke 6:38; 1 John
- Wrong relation between, husband and wife, 1 Pet. 3:7
The whole marital relationship should be spread before God. Ask Him to place
His finger on that which is displeasing.
- Idols in the heart, Ezk. 14:3
Anything upon which we have set our heart and would not give up for Christ's
sake is an idol. God often leaves our prayers unanswered that we may search
out the reason and thus detect the idol.
- ESSENTIALS TO PREVAILING PRAYER
- Sincerity, Ps. 145:18; Mt. 6:5
- Simplicity, Mt. 6:7; cp. 26:44
- Earnestness, Jas. 5:17; Acts 12:5; Lk. 22:44
- Persistence, Lk. 18:1-8; Col. 4:2; Rom. 12:12 R.V.; Rom.
- Faith, Mt. 21:22; Jas. 1:6
- Unison with others, Mt. 18:19-20
- Definiteness, Ps. 27:4; Mt. 18:19
- In the name of Jesus, Jn. 16:23; 14:13-14
- THE RESULTS OF PRAYER
- Prayer availeth much, Jas. 5:16-18; 1 Ki. 18:37-38
- Prayer secures definite answers, Jn. 14:13-14
- Prayer secures anything when the conditions are
fulfilled, 1 Jn. 3:22; 1 Jn. 5:14-15
Return to Syllabus
200 Manor Avenue
Langhorne, PA 19047
United States of America
Notes" Study materials on this website are made available
here free, through the generosity of Cairn University,
and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing
that no charge is made for them. No further distribution or use
of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright
Law without the express permission of Cairn University.