PRAYER: Part 1, What the Bible Says
Outline: What is prayer; only the true God can hear prayer; prayer from the heart that is not holding on to sin.
Script Number: X15
Theme: Living as a Christian (Prayer, petition, Worship, Forgiveness); Sin and Satan (Sin, disobedience)
Genre: Messages and Fiction
Purpose: Evangelism; Teaching
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
Y: Teacher, yesterday while I was walking along the roadside, I happened to meet a young man I know. He asked me, "Yusuf, what is prayer? What is the meaning of prayer?" Teacher, what would your answer be? Tell me.
H: Yusuf, it is good for all of us to speak about prayer. Therefore, let us think about prayer. I will summarise my ideas about prayer later and from night to night we will talk about it.
Y: All right, teacher. Tell all of us who are listening to your voice from the radio, and me, what you think about prayer.
H: Brothers and sisters, tonight we shall start the lesson about prayer by asking these questions: What is prayer?
How shall we pray? Can the gods, made out of stones, hear our prayers? What is the first prayer? Where do we pray? Will all those who pray go to heaven? Will those who worship idols (go to heaven) or those who worship the true God? What kind of prayer is accepted by God? What are sinful prayers? - the prayers in the name of Jesus? - the prayers of those who prayed at the time of the Old Testament and New Testament? - prayers read from the Bible? Does God want to hear repeated prayers? Does Satan worship God?
Y: Teacher, will you teach us about all these questions?
H: Yes, and we will start from the question which the young man asked you. He asked you the meaning of prayer,
Y: Yes, teacher, and when he sees me next, he wants the answer.
H: Alright, Yusuf. Tell the young man this: Prayer is talking with God. Sometimes prayer is like a conversation. We exchange conversation with people. When we meet God we can talk with Him. Prayer is simply, speaking to God. When thanks is given to God, that is prayer. When you ask God for something, that is prayer. When you praise God, that is prayer. When you confess your sin to God, that is prayer. The meaning of prayers is just - speaking to our Creator.
Y: Teacher, I haven't heard that before. But what you told me is right. Prayer is speaking with our Creator, who is God, about His creation. It is a good answer. I will ask you another question, now, teacher.
H: What is your other question, Yusuf? Tell me. If I can tell you the answer, I will.
Y: Teacher, do all people worship God? Does the whole world worship God?
H: Yusuf, you know I used to travel to many places of the world. I travelled through Europe and the countries of
China and India and America, and from the east to the west coasts of Africa. Therefore, my nickname is "World
Y: That is right, teacher. I knew about your travelling and I had heard your nickname. But you haven't told me the
answer. Do all the people in the world worship God?
H: I will tell you the answer, Yusuf. Most of the people of the world pray. Whether they worship idols or the true God, they all pray. Some worship the true God; some worship trees and rivers and Satan. Some beg and pray to
idols. Others also beg and pray to their dead fathers or to stones and other things. Most people do pray.
Y: But teacher, do the gods made out of stone hear their prayers? I mean, do idols hear our prayers?
H: No, Yusuf, only the true God can hear prayer. The others, made out of stone, can hear nothing. If a man bows down to a tree and begs him for something, that tree won't hear anything. If a man bows down to the moon and the sun and the stars and begs them for something, they don't hear anything. Only the true God can hear our prayers.
Y: Teacher, I read from the Bible a verse that God told to David that reads: "Idols of silver and gold are something
that man has made by his own hands. They have mouths but they can't walk. They have throats but they can't speak. And those who have made them shall be like them, even those who believe on them." Ps 115:4-8.
Y: Teacher, I have many questions to ask you. How does one pray? There are many religions in the world. All say
there is a certain way to pray. What do you say?
H: Yusuf, I have heard that asked many times before, but I think the way to worship God is this: God considers the
heart, therefore those who worship Him should worship Him by truth and spirit. God is looking at the heart. If the body is very clean and if the heart is dirty, the heart is nothing to Him. Indeed, God says about those kind of people, "This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They are hypocrites".
Y: It is right, teacher. Those kind of people who try to look righteous are really hypocrites.
H: Yusuf, if prayer doesn't come from the heart it is worth nothing. How you go to God and how you bow down before Him and how you speak with Him doesn't matter if the prayer doesn't come from the heart.
Y: Alright, I understand, teacher. If a man is being hypocritical and sins, God won't hear or accept his prayers.
H: Now you understand, Yusuf. The Bible says, "If I plan evil in my heart, God will not hear me." We have to go to him without sin so that our prayers will be made acceptable by God.
Y: Teacher, I don't understand what you mean by that. What do you mean by, "a prayer that has sin?" How can a
prayer be, that has sin? I don't understand. Make it clear for me, teacher.
H: Alright, I will make it clear for you, so listen. Prayers that have sin in them are two different types. I shall tell you about the first one. If someone fails to honour his father and his mother, or if he takes the name of God in vain, or if he steals or sheds blood, or if he spoils his body by smoking or drinking or by jadt, or if he becomes angry, or if he is deceitful at heart when he prays, his prayer is in vain. It is for nothing. God does not hear; God refuses to listen to that kind of prayer. The Bible says, "If I plan evil in my heart, God will not hear me." If someone is committing sin, he cannot pray in truth and sincerity. He is not a true worshipper. That kind of man needs a clean heart, and until he receives a clean heart, God will not accept his prayers. That is a prayer which has sin in it - and God will not accept it.
Y: And what is the second one, teacher? What is the second prayer that has sin in it?
H: I will tell you, Yusuf. I will describe it now. That prayer that has sin in it and that God cannot accept is like this: a man wanted to commit fornication with a beautiful woman. The woman was not his wife. He wanted to do an evil thing. Then at night he entered her house when all the people were sleeping. It was a grand house. While he was going into the house in a secret way, he faced a big jar. The jar fell down and smashed to pieces. A big noise was caused. The man thought that the people of the house would wake up. The man stood upright and lifted his hands and prayed to God, saying, "O Lord, help me. Don't let the people wake up. O Lord, don't let them hear the noise. Cause a heavy sleep to be on them all." What do you think about that kind of prayer, Yusuf? Do you think God accepted it or refused it?
There was another man. He wanted to go by taxi to another town. The law of the government permitted only four men in a taxi. If the taxi owner broke the law, he would have to pay a heavy fine to the government. Now the man who wanted to go to the next town became the fifth passenger in the taxi. He got in the taxi with the owner and the other passengers. While the taxi was travelling, they passed by a soldier who looked after cars. The fifth passenger lay down and hid himself as the taxi passed the soldier. While it was passing, this passenger who had broken the law began to pray and beg God, "O God, don't let the soldiers see me. O God, DON'T let the soldiers arrest me. O God, you are merciful, help me." When the taxi reached a distant place, the fifth passenger stood up and said, "God, God." He was very happy. But brother, the man who wanted fornication with the woman, and the man who hid himself from the soldier, both prayed prayers that had sin in them. At the time of judgement, God will judge these men.
Brothers and sisters, every night listen to the VOICE OF THE NEW LIFE at the same time and the same metre band. May God bless you until tomorrow, and all the time, and keep you from all evil.