DARE TO ASK
Scriptures: Matthew 7:7–11; John 15:16, 16:23–24; 1 John 5:14–15
Memory verse: 16:24
"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive...."
Young people like challenges. They enjoy challenging other youth to do something difficult. They dare them to accept a challenge. Responding will require courage and boldness to attempt it. An example might be: "I dare you to jump from that tall tree into the river below!"
Ask: Have you ever dared someone to do something difficult? If so, what happened? (Allow responses.)
Today's study shows Jesus daring His disciples, challenging them, to ask for whatever they needed. When people ask for something, they put a request into words. Jesus wanted His disciples to put their request into words, and to verbalize it in such a way that the request would be granted.
Hearing God's Word
Jesus often taught and encouraged His disciples to ask His Father for whatever they needed. The following Scriptures emphasize how "asking" is an important and acceptable part of prayer:
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8),
"Ask and it will be given to you" (Matthew 7:7),
"Whatever you ask for in prayer" (Mark 11:24),
"You may ask me for anything" (John 14:14),
"Ask whatever you wish" (John 15:7),
"Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask" (Ephesians 3:20).
Ask: Why is God pleased when we ask Him to meet our needs? (Allow responses.)
Pray in Jesus' Name
It is good to ask our heavenly Father to meet our needs, and the needs of others. It pleases Him when we present routine requests to Him, such as: daily food, school uniform and fees or a new machete. The Father is also ready to receive our requests, such as: rain to break the drought, recovery from malaria, and a scholarship to attend the university.
We ask and expect an answer. We present our request and anticipate the need being met. However, in making our request it is important to do so "in the Name of Jesus." Why? Because Jesus clearly states in John 15:5, "Apart from me you can do nothing."
There is power in the Name of Jesus. He is God! He took upon Himself the nature of a servant and lived among us in a human body. He allowed Himself to be crucified in order to pay for the forgiveness of our sins. As a result, the heavenly Father gave Jesus a place at His right hand. The Father also made Jesus' Name higher, more worthy and more powerful than any other name!
Jesus has "All authority in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18). This is why Jesus instructs us to present our prayer requests "in His Name." Then, we can expect answers to our prayers.
"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:14),
"My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" (John 16:23),
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will...place their hands people who are ill, and they will get well" (Mark 16:17–18).
Ask: Why is it important for us to pray "in the Name of Jesus?" (Allow responses.)
Pray with a Pure Heart
Prayer that gets results is offered in the Name of Jesus. This prayer needs to come from a pure heart in order to be acceptable. The apostle John points this out in 1 John 3:21-22, "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before Good and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him."
Believers who have been born-again, accepted Jesus as their Saviour, love God with all their heart and seek to please Him in every aspect of their daily life have the privilege of asking the Lord to work a miracle in their behalf.
Pray According to God's Will
Prayer offered in the Name of Jesus is effective when requested in accordance to God's will. We learn this from 1 John 5:14, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
It is impossible to pray in the Name of Jesus without receiving an answer. When we pray with a pure heart filled with confidence in our heavenly Father's wisdom, we know the answer is on the way.
Sometimes God's answer comes immediately. We like that. Sometimes the answer is delayed in order to fit His sovereign plan. At other times, His answer comes but in a different manner than we anticipated. Then, there are some prayers to which His answer is "No." This is the most difficult to accept, but we do so believing that He knows what is best.
Ask: Is there a time when you or your family prayed and the answer came immediately? (Allow responses.)
Accepting God's Word
Jesus brought to the attention of His disciples an interesting observation. He said, "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name" (John 16:24). They had listened to Jesus' teaching about praying in His Name, but they had never practiced it. They had never experienced the joy of exercising the authority and demonstrating the power there is in the Name of Jesus!
Ask: Have you ever prayed in the Name of Jesus for a particular need? Have you ever prayed for a miracle and then concluded the prayer by saying "In the Name of Jesus"? (Allow responses.)
"Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete" (John 16:24).
Present the information about the Rufiji tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.
Meet the Rufiji
Born-again Believers: 1.5%
SEE THE VIDEO
The Rufiji people group live along the banks of the Rufiji River in Tanzania. Their homeland is largely rural but the heaviest population is clustered around a number of towns on the Dar es Salaam–Lindi main road.
The majority of the Rufiji are subsistence farmers. Many have farms some distance from their family homes in order to take advantage of occasionally flooded alluvial soils. This practice creates family separation for up to four months as the crops are sown and harvested. The primary crops grown are cassava, maize, rice, millet, sesame, coconut and cashew nuts.
Mangoes, oranges, pineapples, papaya and jackfruit are a major part of their diet. Some individuals are involved in fishing; others with making and selling furniture while several are engaged in small-scale commercial ventures.
Each village has at least one primary school with standard grades 1 to 7. Regional secondary schools are available with a post-primary polytechnic school located in Ikwirri. Health services are provided at clinics located within 3 to 5 miles of the majority of the people.
The Rufiji houses are simple. Some are constructed with walls made from mud and wooden poles and thatched or corrugated roofs. Others, found primarily in towns, are conventional homes built with concrete blocks. In the fertile and often flooded valleys along the Rufiji, traditional shelters on stilts are built to deal with the floodwaters.
The villagers are exclusively Islamic with their lives revolving around the mosque and imam. Sometimes the imam will also serve as the elected village chairman. However, teachers in the primary schools and the dispensaries' staff are primarily non-Rufiji with several Christians among them.
The towns on the main road have several churches, but most of their members are outsiders from other parts of Tanzania.
The need is evident. Individuals, local churches, national church organizations and mission groups must recognize what is happening and intentionally reach out to the off-the-main-road Muslim Rufiji.
May this recognition of spiritual need result in on-site research for the purpose of developing relational bridges and identifying felt needs through which the gospel can be presented.
As cross-cultural messengers, may they catch a vision of demonstrating the love of God and providing a living witness to those among whom they live. Jesus has a word for them: "Bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8).
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for the Rufiji Tribe
1. Believers in Christ to identify Rufiji villages without a gospel witness,
2. Gospel messengers intentionally make friends among them,
3. Committed messengers to live in the villages and reveal Christ through the way they live.
"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me (apostle Paul), or seen in me—put it into practice" (Philippians 4:9).
MORE INFORMATION: www.linkupafrica.com
Remember: DARE TO ASK
Memory verse: John 16:24
"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive...."
1. I will ask "in the name of Jesus" for needs to be met.
2. My prayers will be offered from a pure heart.
3. May the answers to prayer be according to the Lord's plan.
Pray for the Rufiji tribe.
Study 6 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach