Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

I John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


MEMORY VERSE: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Learning to pray after the manner Jesus laid down for us will give us the confidence to pray the effectual, fervent prayer that avails much. We can be assured that His ears are open to the prayers of His saints who seek Him with faith and perseverance.




Revelation 5:8 “four beasts and four and twenty elders”: a symbolic expression representing all the redeemed. “golden vials full of odours”: bowls of incense. An expression of the worth and value of the prayers of holy people.

I John 5:15 “petitions”: requests.

Luke 18:1 “faint”: utterly spiritless; weary; exhausted.

Ephesians 6:18 “supplication”: Heart-felt petition rising out of deep, personal need.

Philippians 1:19 “salvation”: deliverance.

James 5:16 “effectual”: active; energetic; efficient. The Greek word, energeo, translates to our word energy, which is defined as the ability to do work. “fervent”: zealous; heated; arduous. “availeth”: “properly, embodied strength that ‘gets into the fray’ (action), i.e. engaging the resistance. For the believer, [it] refers to the Lord strengthening them with combative, confrontive force to achieve all He gives faith for. That is, facing necessary resistance that brings what the Lord defines is success.” —HELPS Word Studies




This lesson ends our study on the Lord’s Prayer. Hopefully, for each of us, it is only the beginning of a life-long quest for more deeply satisfying, energetic, fervent prayer and communion with the Father.

Today’s references point us to the purpose, the worth, and the effects of prayer. In studying the life of Jesus, we can see that it was his communion with the Father; His living by the Father, that brought success. He said, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” The life of Jesus now, in the heart of the believer, is the life of intercession and prayer—the only way to our success.

The picture in Revelation of the redeemed holding their harps (representing praise) and vials full of fragrant prayers lets us know that even though they seem insignificant, like molecules of fragrant incense, they are precious to God, and He keeps them and treasures them up.

The apostle Paul concluded, at the end of his discourse on the full armor of God, that all was accomplished by “praying always” in the Spirit. In Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian was shown the arsenal, and there with the shield and sword was the weapon of “All Prayer” mentioned here by Paul. In his captivity, Paul depended upon the prayers of the saints for his deliverance and for the spread of the gospel.

James writes of anointing and prayer for the sick. In a history of the early Christians, I read that they refused to go to the hospitals of that time, because the hospitals were dedicated to the pagan healing god, Aesculapius. Their reliance on prayer in times of sickness was a serious thing to them. Confession of faults and sins—clearing of oneself to earnestly seek God—there was no cost too great.




1. The worth of prayer: Which verse gives a picture of the value God has placed on the prayers of His saints?

2. The importance of perseverance: What did Jesus’s teachings encourage us NOT to do? With what do we accompany earnest prayer?

3. The specifics of prayer: Name the different requirements of the prayer that avails much.




The manner in which Jesus instructed us to pray holds a great secret for us as we seek to pray the prayer that avails.

Recognition and faith: “Our Father—what love brought us to be Your own! We praise You and acknowledge You and trust in You. We know YOU ARE and You see us and hear us. You are in control and always do what is best. You are mighty and powerful in our behalf. Your Name is Wonderful, Holy, Mighty. May we honor and glorify You as we bear Your Name and come in Your Name.”

Humility and submission: “Father, may Your kingdom come into my heart and into the hearts of men and women. Be King over us; spread Your gospel to the world in us and through us! We intercede for the lost; for those who have never heard! Bless the translators and the missionaries; the pastors and teachers and parents who share Your Word. We pray for Your will to be done in us! Have Your way! In my life, in my family, in the Church, in our nation, in the world. Let us be as obedient to You as are the heavenly hosts. Direct and send them and us to do Your bidding throughout the earth and in the spiritual realm.”

Childlike trust, godly sorrow and tender compassion: “You know what we need today, Father! We place our business concerns, our family’s daily food, the trials and adversities of this day, in Your hands. Feed us, Lord, with what is sufficient for us. And we could never repay You, Father for what we owe You. For life, for forgiveness, for what You paid for our sins. We are so unworthy, but we ask for Your continued mercies. We realize that what You have forgiven us is so much greater than the hurts others have inflicted on us, but our load seems so great, Lord. It hurts, Lord! But we must forgive. Fill us with Your forgiveness. Erase our hearts, Lord, as you do the sandy coasts. Forgive those who are in trouble with You, Lord. I release them to You.”

Release, rest, and praise: “It’s up to You, now, Father. You have the power. It’s Your kingdom. Your church. Everything is to Your glory and honor. Everything You do is right. Praise You for WHO You are. You are worthy. Amen, Lord; let it be done; I believe, I believe. Amen and Amen!”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




What happens to the words we speak – to the prayers we pray? Where do they go? Are they only so much “space debris?” No! We have a beautiful picture of what God does with our prayers and how important they are to Him! He doesn’t just store them in some utilitarian, bare-but-functional warehouse on an out-of-the-way street, or casually listen to our petitions with one ear. Revelation depicts our prayers as being stored in golden vials!

A most precious manifestation of this truth was given in the account of a loved one upon whom, when the time was right, God poured out of the golden vials all the prayers that had been prayed for this soul in a beautifully cascading waterfall, which this dear one actually visualized. The prayers of the saints covered this person from the crown of their head to the sole of their feet and made a difference unto redemption! Let us never grow weary in prayer. God is taking note of our prayers and storing them up, no matter how brazen the sky may feel to us.

Surely we live in a world today where effectual prayer is desperately needed. There is loneliness, heartbreak, turmoil, and pain on every side. We don’t have to look very far to find it; maybe you or someone close to you needs prayer? Our country needs prayer. Souls need to be saved and bodies healed. Let us not just “know how to pray” intellectually—let us, in these very last days, have a burden for prayer. Let us not just casually throw a prayer heaven-ward; let us pray The Lord’s Prayer. Let us pray effectually and fervently. We have a great Father who not only loves us and is faithful, but He hears when we pray and prayer does make a difference.

—Sis. Julie Elwell

“Then let us ever humbly watch and pray; Seek oft in tears the Savior’s lovely face.
Come boldly with thy needs for every day; Blest mercy’s waiting at the throne of grace.”