We Need to Pray

Bible Basics

by Bob Burridge ©2011, 2021
Lesson 9: We Need to Pray

God tells us to come to him in prayer.Talking with God is important. He tells us in the Bible that he hears all the prayers of all his people all the time. This is one of the ways we can show our love to God. We thank him for all the wonderful things he created, and for the way he takes care of us. We thank him for paying for our sins so that we are forgiven.

The Lord’s Prayer In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gave us an example for us to use when we say our own prayers. This is called “the Lord’s Prayer” because our Savior is the one who gave it to us. It shows us how we approach God, and gives us a form to follow as we come to him in personal worship and present our needs repentantly to him. It’s good to know this prayer by heart.

Many churches use the King James Version of this prayer when we worship together on Sundays.

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

What Is Prayer? Question 98 in the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is prayer?” The answer is, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.”

This means that we come to God to pray for things that are good and right. We should not pray selfishly. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”

We should offer our prayers in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. In John 14:13 Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

This does not mean you just add the words “in Christ’s name” to your prayers. It means you come to God with your sins covered and forgiven by Jesus our Savior. When you admit your sins to God and trust that Jesus died in your place, your Heavenly Father is pleased to hear all you have to say to him. In James 5:16 the Bible makes this promise to us, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

We should thank God for our food and other blessings as we enjoy them. We should ask him to help us understand the Bible when we read it. We should ask him to help us to worship with a pure heart, and to guide us in everything we think, say, or do all day long.

How often should we pray? We can pray any time from anywhere. A healthy Christian should pray throughout the day. Psalm 5:1-3 says, “Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”

What does the word “Amen” mean? We often end our prayers with the word “Amen.” It’s a Hebrew word that means “Truth” or “True.” It ends our prayers remembering that all God promises is true and that we have prayed honestly to him. It shows that we want God to know how sincere we are when we come to him with our praises and needs.

(Bible verses are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible)
Lesson 10: We Need to Worship
Index of all our lessons on Bible Basics

What can we do to be stronger Christians?

Bible Basics

by Bob Burridge ©2011, 2021
Lesson 7: What can we do to be stronger Christians?

To have stronger and healthier bodies we need to eat foods that are good for us, get enough exercise, get enough sleep, and take our medicines when we get sick.

To grow as better Christians there are things we should do too. God’s power and blessing is what makes us grow, but he tells us to obey him, and to make use of the tools that he promises will make us stronger spiritually. We call these the “means of grace“.

1. We need to learn God’s Word.
God’s word tells us what is true, and what things are right to do. When we read and study the Bible God uses it to make us more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. We should read our Bibles every day. On Sundays we need to pay close attention during the sermons and lessons at Church. We should listen carefully when we do our Bible study times together as a family and with other believers.

2. We need to talk with God in Prayer.
God tells us we should come to him in prayer. We should tell him how wonderful he is as our Creator and as our Savior who died to forgives us for our sins. We should thank him for his many blessings. We should repentantly admit our sins to him, and ask him to help us not do things that offend him. We should bring our needs to him, both our own needs and those of others we know. We can pray any time from anywhere. A healthy Christian should pray throughout the day.

3. We need to take part in worship, specially the Sacraments.
When we go to Church to worship we should pay attention to every part of the service. Worship is a very important exercise to keep us spiritually healthy. We should be sure we have been properly baptized to show we are members of the covenant community bearing the name of our Savior. When we understand the Lord’s Supper we should go to the leaders of the church and ask them to let us join with the congregation in humbly and thankfully receiving the bread and wine during Communion. God promises to help us grow spiritually when we receive the sacraments in the right way.

4. We need to help each other to live by what God says is right.
When we do wrong things, our Christian friends encourage us to admit our sins and to change our ways. When we do right, we should encourage one another too. Sometimes when Church members will not admit their sins or will not make things right again the officers of the church may correct them. They might even tell them not to receive the Lord’s Supper until they are ready to change their ways and admit they have done wrong..

These are ways God works in our lives to help us grow as Christians. They make us stronger. In our next studies we will look more closely at each of these means of grace.

(Bible verses are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible)
Lesson 8: We Need To Learn God’s Word
Index of our lessons on Bible Basics

The Meaning of “Amen”

Saying “Amen”

Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies
by Bob Burridge ©2011

Christians across all denominational boundaries use the biblical word “amen” to end their prayers or to express their agreement and enthusiasm to the wonderful promises and works of God. The word appears 78 times in the King James Version of the Bible. It’s an ancient custom that continues today.

When David had the recaptured Ark of the Covenant brought back to the Tabernacle in Jerusalem, he wrote a dedication Psalm which is recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. It ends this way, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! And all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.”

When true and good things were said about God, his people showed their agreement by saying “Amen”. But what does the word mean? It’s one of the few Hebrew words that have survived into almost every language where the Bible has had an influence on it’s people.

“Amen” is the Hebrew word ahmaen (אםן). It means “to confirm, to support, to be firm, to be sure, to be true.” The Greek New Testament writings used the the same word but written in the Greek alphabet as, ahmaen (αμην). We’ve even brought this Hebrew word into English unchanged except for the pronunciation. People have Anglicized it to “aymen” or “ahmen”.

Since God is truth, “Amen” is often used as a name for God. Deuteronomy 7:9 uses a form of amaen (אםן) when it says the “Faithful God” hael ha-neahman (האל הנאמן). Isaiah 65:16 twice speaks of the “God of Truth”, “the God of Amen.” elohae ahmaen (אלהי אמן). In Revelation 3:14 Jesus Christ is called “the Amen” ho ahmaen (ο αμην).

When you put “Amen” at the end of your prayers, it keeps this same basic meaning. It’s not a required way to conclude our words addressed to God. Not all prayers in the Bible end with an “Amen.” When it’s there, it wraps up the prayer by saying the word “truth.”

When you close your prayer that way, you’re saying that everything in your prayer is offered sincerely and is true. It’s all spoken from the honest hope and desire of your heart. It means you’re confident that the promises your prayers rest upon are true. They must be because God’s word is a solid and certain foundation, and God cannot lie.

The model prayer our Lord gave us in Matthew 6:9-13 ends with the word “amen”. It places the exclamation of “truth!” after all seven petitions. It confirms that the God to whom you pray is the all powerful and eternal King, and that in Christ he loves you and redeemed you with an infinitely great price. What an amazing set of truths are set forth in that prayer. Our God can deliver on all the things for which you are told to pray.

(Note: The Bible quotations in this article are from the New King James Bible unless otherwise noted.)