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Principles And Practice Of Prayer

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Course Description

The PURPOSE OF THE COURSE is fivefold:

    1. To examine the teaching of the Scriptures on the subject of prayer.

    2. To meet God together in prayer.

    3. To see the absolute necessity of a vital prayer experience in the life of the man/woman of God and of the Bride of Christ.

    4. To foster a sense of the urgency of prayer.

    5. To provide practical guidance in fostering a consistent and effective prayer life in the local church.


Only the reading listed below is required for this course. For your future use, an extensive bibliography is included in the syllabus. The four books listed below shall be read in their entirety. A brief written report on each book is to be turned in on the dates listed by each book. (If a student has read these, or one is unavailable, please suggest an alternate book to the professor for approval.) On each completion date, please turn in a brief typewritten report (no more than two pages) in which you discuss:

--the overall value of the book, and

--some special help you received by reading the book.

It is strongly recommended that the student own a copy of each of these books (available through Bibles and Books).

    1. FRESH WIND, FRESH FIRE by Jim Cymbala (Zondervan)

September 6

    2. THE PRAYER FACTOR by Sammy Tippit (Moody)

October 4

    3. DARING TO DRAW NEAR by John White (InterVarsity)

November 1

    4. PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES by Evan B. Howard (InterVarsity)

November 22

    5. PRAYER POWER UNLIMITED by J. Oswald Sanders (Moody)

December 6

Articles on prayer included with syllabus also to be read by Dec. 6 with 2 page (double spaced) reaction paper.

NO MID-TERM OR FINAL EXAMS will be given in this course.


Because this course purposely has the emphasis on learning a habit, students are EXPECTED TO BE AT EVERY CLASS SESSION. The habit of prayer is as much or more caught than taught, therefore any student missing a class can expect 3 points to be taken from the final grade. Missing class before or after vacation periods will cause a double loss (6 points) of points from the final grade.


The five assignments are given below:

    Assignment #1 - due August 23, 2002

Prepare a list of questions you have about prayer: its nature and practice. The questions may involve interpretation of Scripture passage, practical problems, etc.

    1. The list must be typed.

    2. These questions can be of great help to the instructor in developing various areas of the course.

    Assignment #2 - due September 20, 2002:

Prepare a study on prayer from Acts 12. Suggestions for approaching this study:

    1. Master the contents of the chapter, noting carefully the matters relating to the prayer life of the Christians and the Church.

    2. You may consult commentaries or any other helps you desire.

    3. As you study and pray over the chapter, give attention to the following:

      a. Note the historical setting of the event. What is the significance of it in this very early period of the church?

      b. What is the problem involved?

      c. How is the problem solved?

      d. What do you see here of Satanic activity . . . of human weaknesses . . . of spiritual strength?

      e. By the extension of the problem and the solution revealed here, what important lessons on prayer do you find for the personal life and for the Church?

      f. What is the connection of verses 20-23 with the rest of the chapter?

    4. Write a brief paper entitled “Instruction on Prayer from Acts 12.” (Note: This is the item to be handed in; all the above is just to help in approaching the study.)

      a. Remember that you are handling a chapter of Scripture text on the theme of PRAYER. Each item in your outline will have a verse indicator.

      b. Use other Scripture (outside of Acts 12) to support, illuminate, or illustrate your points.

    5. Your paper must be a maximum of four pages in length, typewritten, double-spaced.

    Assignment #3 - due October 18, 2002:

Prepare a study on the prayer requests of the Apostle Paul.

    1. Study carefully Paul’s requests for himself in the following five passages:

Romans 15:30-32; Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

    2. Make a careful list of the requests that he makes. These should be in your own words, carefully referenced. There will be duplicates. This is to be handed in with your essay.

    3. Following the list of requests, write a short essay (maximum of four pages) entitled “Instructions for My Prayer Life from the Requests of the Apostle Paul.” Your paper should include such matters as:

      a. The predominant burden of his requests.

      b. Any light his requests throw upon the nature of the prayer itself.

      c. Compare and contrast with the “average” Christian’s praying today.

      d. Any determination to which you have come concerning your own prayer life.

    4. You may consult any “helps” you wish, but evidence of personal study and thought will be looked for in your work.

    5. Your paper should be a maximum of four pages in length, typewritten, double-spaced.

    Assignment #4 - due November 22, 2002:


    1. Read the passage carefully, remembering that Jesus was praying for the first missionaries (His apostles) to be sent out in the Christian era.

    2. Note carefully His petitions for them, the need expressed for the petitions, etc.

    3. Give thought to the answers to these petitions as seen in the subsequent history of the apostles' ministries.

    4. Prepare a paper (maximum four pages), presenting the lessons learned for praying for missionaries today. The paper may take the form of an essay, or a list (lesson 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. in full-sentence, short-paragraph form).

    Assignment #5 - please report on this on a single sheet of paper by December 6, 2002:

Pray/praise/confess/intercede an hour a week with someone not in this class. Married and engaged students are to pray with spouse/fianc. Singles should seek to disciple a person (same gender) to pray with: This could be a new believer or someone who simply desires to grow in his/her prayer life. Pray for and with this person over a period of time, seeking to help them establish a habit of regular prayer. This hour of prayer is not to be measured with the stopwatch (no legalism allowed), but neither is chit-chat time to be viewed as part of the hour.

If a mentoring possibility does not exist, please seek a prayer partner to pray with and learn from and pray for and with this person. Please pray with a degree of frequency one could call intense or urgent.

The report (one sheet double spaced) should share about how often you met, but most importantly what you learned or experienced about God or about yourself or about praying in this time together.

Married students are to share major principles learned in this course with their spouse as well as spend considerable time praying with their spouse. They are to report, in writing (1-2 pages) on the fact that these things happened and the value derived from doing it together. Any feedback from the spouse regarding the benefit of this course will be greatly appreciated.

Those having questions about this should contact the teacher.

    Assignments are due on the following dates:

Aug. 23

List of questions on prayer

Sept. 6

FRESH WIND, FRESH FIRE reaction paper

Sept. 20

Acts 12 paper

Oct. 4

THE PRAYER FACTOR reaction paper

Oct. 18

Paul’s prayers - paper

Nov. 1

DARING TO DRAW NEAR reaction paper

Nov. 22


Nov. 22

John 17 paper

Dec. 6


Dec. 6

SYLLABUS ARTICLES reaction paper, AND Prayer Partnership report

Related Topics: Prayer

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