II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Psalm 32:6a For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found.

Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and wil try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

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

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.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

MEMORY VERSE: 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. —James 5:16

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A distinguishing difference between God’s people and the people of the world is that God’s people are a people of fervent prayer: they love to pray, they know the worth of prayer, they pray with faith and confidence, they pray with pure hearts, and God recognizes, listens to and answers the prayers of His people.


Ephesians 6:18 “Supplication”: to be in need; want; lack; a felt need that is personal and urgent (Strong’s Concordance and HELPS Word Studies). “Watching thereunto”: “[Watching] towards spirituality, against formality, as also against forgetfulness and neglect of prayer” (Pulpit Commentary). “Perseverance”: persistence; steadfastness.

Revelation 5:8 “Harps”: representing praise. “Vials full of odours”: bowls of incense, as were offered in the tabernacle, representing prayers.

James 5:16 “Effectual, fervent”: energize; to put forth power; to work; to do. “Availeth”: to be strong; to be able; to engage the resistance; to be combative; to prevail.


From the Old Testament we chose a few verses which clearly show the important place prayer had even in the lives of God’s people of that time. His house, or tabernacle, or temple, was to be a house of prayer. Ancient examples include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha, who built altars and called on God in times of decision, need, or celebration. These godly people were characterized by prayer. Powerful promises were given to God’s people, telling what God would do when they prayed and accompanied their prayers with humility, diligent seeking, fasting and turning away from wickedness.

The passage in II Chronicles was given by God to Solomon when He appeared to him in the night after Solomon had finished and dedicated the house of the Lord. This place, God said, was the place He had chosen for a house of sacrifice, and if there was famine or pestilence in their land, He would be attentive to the prayer that was made in that place. This perpetual covenant is now carried on in a spiritual way to His spiritual house of prayer, in the hearts of His people, the church.

Psalm 32 was written by David, describing first the blessedness of one whose transgression is forgiven and then speaking of the deliverance God will give the godly who pray unto Him.

Isaiah prophesied of the universal kingdom, where “strangers” (Gentiles) would join themselves to the Lord, take hold of His covenant and be brought to His house of prayer. Jesus quoted this passage when He purged the temple in Jerusalem of the merchandise and worldly business that had polluted it. This scripture also clearly points to the spiritual house made up of holy people (I Peter 2:5). The Sabbath, burnt offerings and sacrifices are clearly spiritual in Christ’s kingdom, to which also the passages from Revelation refer: prayers and praises mingled with, and made acceptable to God by, the intercession of Jesus Christ for His people.

Zechariah also points forward to the remnant of God’s true people and the spiritual refining they would go through. A precious scene is portrayed here: that as His people go through their trials they would call on God and He would hear them and lovingly recognize them—“It is my people.”

The epistle from Paul to the Ephesians describes in the sixth chapter the spiritual armor of the Christian soldier. He ends his description with this admonition: to pray always, for all saints, and for him, that he would be able to boldly preach the gospel.

James wrote to the saints concerning what to do in times of sickness and affliction. There were temples in the land which were dedicated to the healing god, Asclepius. The early church refused to take their sick there, but being instructed by the apostles they resorted to prayer and anointing with oil. The essential elements of the prayer of faith are outlined here: confession of faults and the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What four things are important in the prayer God’s people were to pray in famine or pestilence? What three things did God promise to do?
  2. A particular “time” was mentioned by the psalmist, in which the godly would pray. What is that?
  3. What was God’s house to be called? Who quoted this in the New Testament?
  4. What components to prayer are listed in Ephesians 6:18?
  5. Prayer is compared to what things in the verses from Revelation?
  6. James instructed the saints to do what in times of sickness and affliction?


We have shown by the scriptures how God’s people are a chosen, special treasure; set apart and kept near unto Him and called out of sin to be a holy nation. We saw how these special people, in both the Old and New Testaments, recognize they are not “of” the world, nor do they fit in, neither are they even citizens, but their belonging is to a higher, spiritual kingdom and to that they do allegiance, even though they are persecuted and tortured. Because they see a heavenly vision that to the world is unseen, they endure with fortitude and great faith. They don’t stagger or draw back at impossible obstacles, but fight a good fight and lay hold of eternal life.

In today’s lesson, the holy people who keep themselves from this world and believe God to the saving of the soul demonstrate their faith by diligently seeking God in earnest prayer.

Do you see how it all fits together? See the spiritual house, the spiritual sacrifices, and the spiritual incense; the precious scene of God, listening to HIS PEOPLE pray and His loving response; the wondrous effects the fervent prayers have on the success of not only Paul’s ministry but the whole work of preaching of the gospel worldwide? This is so much greater than we have imagined or comprehended!

The vials full of odors. Think how odors, or fragrances, are composed of millions of tiny molecules. So little, so insignificant; yet, joined together and compounded, ascending up to the God of heaven, they avail much. Your prayer! My prayer!

Oh, may we be a people of fervent prayer!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck

John Wesley Trimble November 6, 1886 — January 24, 1969

“Bro. John Trimble was a terrible drunkard and sinner turned wonderful saint and true prayer warrior. He was also the most humble man I ever knew. Prayer was the theme of his life. In his old age he was crippled and his feet “flopped” when he walked. He was a man of great faith when he prayed. He never missed prayer meeting. Never. And every prayer meeting he would share how God had answered his prayers during the week! His regular routine was to rise around 4 a.m. each morning to pray at his bedside, even in the biting cold of winter with no heat in the house. These were no short prayers and then back to bed! He said he was often tempted to stay under the warm covers, but he would never do so! His exhortation to us always was to pray without ceasing and with faith, believing God would answer our prayers as he had promised. I know he prayed for everyone of us in our little congregation. He was, without question, the “go to” person whenever any of us had a burden or affliction or trial. We knew Bro. Trimble could get his prayers through for us. That was a given.

“During the day and evening he would pray in an old dilapidated unused barn not far from his old farm house. He said he often had to brush away the cobwebs and spiders to pray there. I knew well his spot of prayer in that old barn. Several of us young men would go there often late at night to pray; he told us we were always welcome to do so. I remember feeling my way along the walls when it was pitch dark, looking for the little bench where he prayed. I would make sure I got my knees right down into the two deep indentations that were there. It always made me feel a little closer to God, knowing I was praying where Bro. Trimble prayed.

“I know of no other man that lived closer to God. He prayed for years for his cantankerous wife who persecuted him regularly for his faith. Once his neighbor, out of spite, cut the roots of several huge eucalyptus trees with his plow so they fell across the long dirt driveway that led to Bro Trimble’s house. Even in his old age and crippled condition, he loaded up his chainsaw, cut the trees into firewood, loaded it into his old battered pickup, and delivered the load to his neighbor as a gift. That was Bro. Trimble…”

What a heritage of faith and prayer!

—As told by Bro. Cliff Smith to Bro. Jeremy Booher