27. The Science of Prayer

By John Thiel, The Sanctuary Series, study 27, mp3

Our brain is a living computer and our prayers are recorded in the altar of incense where the angels stand. It is the altar of incense which is the altar between the angels that have the coals between them. There are the wheels within wheels that record everything. Everything God says is recorded by those instrumentalities. Under the altar the people who were slain for their faith are crying. It is the recording of those prayers that are coming up before the Lord. This is equivalent to the earthly sanctuary altar of incense. Jesus in the last days ever since his ascension to heaven is there as the priest offering the prayers of the saints. Since 1844 he is in the most holy place. Prayer is very much part of the sanctuary ministration. The angel with the censor offers up the prayers of the saints and it is all part of the message of the sanctuary when we look into the subject of prayer. Looking at the time in which we are living in the last days, the work of the sanctuary is energetically going on with Jesus there in the holy place with the censor.

I was shown the people of God, and saw them mightily shaken. Some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, were pleading with God. Their countenances were pale, and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness were expressed in their countenances, while large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them. 1T page 179-180

Evil angels crowded around them, pressing their darkness upon them, to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and they distrust God and next murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere from the evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them, to scatter the thick darkness. {1T 180.1}

Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these, and I saw them hastening to the assistance of those who were struggling with all their energies to resist the evil angels, and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But the angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them. As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, a ray of light from Jesus would at times come to them, to encourage their hearts, and light up their countenances. {1T 180.2}

Here are people praying. The evil angels were trying to shut out Jesus from their view. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Here we see the video streaming of our brain to Jesus. The prayer and video streaming goes back to heaven and the wicked angels were trying to block that channel. This is the introduction of our study of Gods people in prayer. It is a prayer life that visualises and exercises itself. The science of prayer is a science that Gods people need to be engaging in. Jesus looks down to our time in history and addresses us in Luke.

Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Jesus had just been talking about the signs of his coming.

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Jesus is describing our experience of Gods people today. We have to take heed to ourselves lest we become overcome with mind activities that shut out or block the communication between us and heaven. You can be so absorbed in your mind with the affairs of daily life and that is the darkness the evil angels were trying to press upon gods people. The drunkenness and surfeiting which is not always understood in the words of Jesus as in the physical drinking of alcohol but focusing on perplexities and problems around you instead of your mind channelling itself and keeping your mind open to heaven. Jesus says these things will be a snare for those who dwell upon the earth therefore we are to watch and pray to keep our channel open to the headquarters of heaven so we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things.

That was the relevant counsel for us at this time. As we are affected by the immense realities happening around us, we are aware this is what the watching is all about. We need some tangible assistance from God. We have such an intense need as Jesus was saying. As we need tangible help, we need someone who is more powerful than we are to step in and assist us. We need to realise practical prayer. Prayer has to do with the important activity of surviving today. There comes that concept that prayer may not be practical. Prayer might be verbally expressed but does it necessarily have a practical effect? We need practical help and to be actively involved in our watching.

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

We read these words and we pray but don’t often relate to the practicalities. Is prayer some sort of magic exercise that after you have prayed, bang that’s it now, we get the results? I’ve heard people say I’ve been asking and praying and nothing happened. It is possible to be praying but not to be benefited in prayer. It’s often just an emotional thing. There is such a thing written of in regards to the people of Laodicea. The sad reality is that we can be in this Laodicean condition and pray and do all sorts of exercise but never really getting the true results. Jesus is our high priest and is interacting as our mediator.

To those who are indifferent at this time Christ’s warning is: “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16. The figure of spewing out of His mouth means that He cannot offer up your prayers or your expressions of love to God. He cannot endorse your teaching of His word or your spiritual work in anywise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you. {6T 408.2}

I can be sending prayers to heaven but I may not be getting connection as it is dependent upon Jesus to connect us with him and the Father. If he spews us out, then he does not offer our prayers and the actual internet headquarters activity is cut. This is a condition of being which that when we are praying the prayers go where? Just as far as the ceiling and there is no reciprocation from Jesus. That is a situation that can take place. Many prayers may arise but to no avail.

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

People ask and pray but they receive not. Why? Because they ask amiss. This is why we need to study this as there is a science in prayer that is effective and a prayer that isn’t. We are not to ask amiss. There would be a people that would be offering God prayers and services that are not going through. We could be praying for things and we don’t get the full practical benefit of it. What is the science of prayer that we need to understand?

The Effectual Prayer

Prayer is a science.

Christ’s lessons in regard to prayer should be carefully considered. There is a divine science in prayer, and His illustration brings to view principles that all need to understand. He shows what is the true spirit of prayer, He teaches the necessity of perseverance in presenting our requests to God, and assures us of His willingness to hear and answer prayer. Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.) {Pr 177.2}

Prayer is something we need to learn about. It is a divine science. It is gaining knowledge on things, the divine science and knowledge in reference to prayer.

Through faith in Christ, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed. {Ed 257.5}

Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. {Ed 257.7}

How many people appreciate this importance? If I am going to make my life work a success, I must understand a divine science. It doesn’t just say prayer but prayer and faith. These must be studied together as part of the science of prayer. There is much more to it than what generally meets the eye. It is a science like studying chemistry, physics or aerodynamics. If someone wants to fly a plane they have to study are of aerodynamics or they will crash. If something goes wrong in a direction that a plane flies by a lack of correct science it can go way off course. Do we have the necessary information so our prayer life is going to get us there? We will research six points that are part of the science of effective prayer.


The first point is we are to ask.

John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

People use prayer like this. They just ask but that is as far as they go. This is the first ingredient or the first segment of the science of prayer, to ask.


If I ask, what other element is there?

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].

This is an important aspect in regards to asking God for forgiveness for sin and a righteous character so we will be ready when he comes. We hear today it is impossible to be perfect but in the science of prayer it is possible to obtain that if correctly relate to this science. We ask and we are to believe. This is a principle that needs to be carefully applied.

We are not to be so overwhelmed with the thought of our sins and errors that we shall cease to pray. Some realize their great weakness and sin, and become discouraged. Satan casts his dark shadow between them and the Lord Jesus, their atoning sacrifice. They say, It is useless for me to pray. My prayers are so mingled with evil thoughts that the Lord will not hear them. {HP 78.3}

Our communication with heaven is through the atmosphere and space and Satan can put a block there. This is what happens in the time in which we are living when we reflect upon our past life and Satan puts thoughts in our mind. We pray Father forgive my sins and we don’t believe my terrible condition can be forgiven because as I’m praying, thoughts come in my mind that the Lord won’t hear.

These suggestions are from Satan. In His humanity Christ met and resisted this temptation, and He knows how to succor those who are thus tempted. In our behalf, He “offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears” (Hebrews 5:7). {HP 78.4}

In his humanity Christ met the temptation to think what? My prayers are so mingled with evil thoughts that the Lord won’t hear me. Therefore Jesus prayed with supplications and strong crying and tears. Why were there tears? Satan was crowding thoughts upon him. Jesus prayed fervently in faith. Here is the second important ingredient in this science of prayer. We must have the faith that although there are so many other things crowding on our minds even though we are praying, we must believe our prayers are heard and we don’t become slack in our prayer life and believe what he has promised that the Lord Jesus our atoning sacrifice is active.

Praying Effectively

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

What is the ingredient? Whatsoever you shall ask in Jesus name that will Jesus do. In our prayers we utter the prayer in the name of Jesus. Is that a magical ingredient? Is that what He is saying? Is that necessarily what we have to utter? They can be just words. To pray in the name of Jesus is something more than just uttering that name.


We are to pray in the name of Christ, our Mediator. Our petitions are of value only as they are offered in His name. He has bridged the gulf that sin has made. By His atoning sacrifice, He has bound to Himself and His Father those who believe in Him. His is the only name under heaven whereby we may be saved. {ST, November 18, 1903 par. 6}

To pray in the name of Jesus means that I am in my mind conscious in this computer of mine, conscious of my mediator who is the only one by Fis sacrifice has bound me to the Father so I can pray via that appreciation. If you hear someone saying words in prayer who doesn’t necessarily say ‘in the name of Jesus’, don’t think their prayer didn’t get heard. It’s what in the mind of that person and what He is praying. They are conscious of the communication of the Father through Jesus Christ.

When we pray in that conscious, then our prayers are heard as my mind is receiving the picture of Jesus and I am communicating to heaven through Him in the name of Jesus. We are to ask but we are to believe what we ask. We are to pray consciously by the only channel that we can communicate with heaven with as we can be spewed out. Our mind must be in tune with the science of John 5.

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

If we pray according to His will, the prayer will be answered as we are praying according to the will of the Father.


Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]:

The word iniquity is lawlessness. Sin is the transgression of the law. Iniquity comes from the root word lawless. If I have a mind that is occupied with lawless activity then the Lord can’t hear me as I’m involved in lawlessness and iniquity in my mind and if I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me. That is a very important item in the science of prayer. My mind must be willing to be submissive to the law of God and not indulge in regarding lawlessness.


Jesus gives the example of the importune widow. She keeps coming to the lawyer and asks him to avenge her of her adversary persevering till she gets what Holy Spirit is asking for.

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

This is an open question with a suggestion. When the son of man cometh will he find faith on earth? In other words we are to have faith and perseverance even though I don’t get the answer straight away. I keep on persevering and believing that God will answer. I have may have anguish and pride but I don’t stop. He says in the last days there will be very few people that will do that. Some keep praying but others stop. Only those who persevere for answer to their prayers will be avenged. Six points deal with the science of prayer.

  • Ask
  • Believe – Even though all sorts of negatives want to crowd it out of my mind, I must pray with a consciousness of Jesus as high priest and sacrifice of sin.
  • I must pray according to His will. Everything I pray for must be in the framework of His will.
  • I must keep my mind pure and not permit it to harbour iniquity.
  • I must also continue to persevere. This is the science of prayer in the last days. The point that comes to our mind is why can’t I just ask and that’s it? Why do I have to go through those other details as part of the science? Why do we need to pray day and night? Why is this if we are already praying for things that God wants me to have anyway? He wants me to have victory over sin, conquer and overcome and to be free from the devil so why exercise that science?

Prayer is not to work any change in God; it is to bring us into harmony with God. {COL 143.1}

We are not praying to God in perseverance but merely to try and swing Him around. It’s because of me that I need to do these things. He already has the desire for us. Elijah was told that there would be no rain for three and a half years. When the time came Elijah prayed but still no rain, but he prayed. How many times did he pray? Seven times. God said rain would come but he had to pray again and again. If you read the story, the more he prayed the less he saw good in himself and he went on and prayed until self was completely down and his total dependence and focus was on God and God alone and he saw himself as nothing and God everything and then the rain came. It wasn’t that God had to be convinced, it was he that had to change his whole self in the prayer. That is the whole drama of that science. Prayer is something that affects me.

Communion with God imparts to the soul an intimate knowledge of His will. . . . True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life. He who thus pours out his wants before God feels the emptiness of everything else under heaven. “All my desire is before thee,” said David, “and my groaning is not hid from thee.” “My soul thirsteth for God. . . .” “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me” (Psalm 38:9; 42:2, 4). {HP 73.5}

That is what Elijah did; he felt the emptiness. It was all to do with his own personal condition. Prayer has to do with dealing with my condition not Gods. God has it all in place. We pray to God to save us from sin and to redeem us from all our corruption. That is what we pray, God save me. Has He not already saved me in Jesus? We are justified already. Jesus has paid the price so what are we praying for? Has Jesus died for me? Absolutely. Is Jesus my sSviour? He is however as I pray for Him to save me, it is my own condition that is going to be dealt with in reference to that which Jesus has already done.

1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

He has given it to us but the life is in the Son. Can you see the importance of the science of prayer? I must pray in the name of Jesus which means I must have a connection with Jesus. Jesus must be clear in my mind and if I have Jesus, then I have eternal life. Jesus has already been given but it’s my prayer life that appropriates Jesus to me. Without prayer it doesn’t happen. To appropriate what God has already given requires prayer, the science of prayer. Not just to ask but to believe and ask in the name of Jesus and pray according to His will with no iniquity in my heart perseveringly so that Jesus can be appropriated to me. I

pray for a righteous character. Why should I pray for a righteous character when Jesus has already given that to us? There is a mentality that says it’s all done for you, that’s it, you can be happy now. It won’t be yours unless you pray.

We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. {SC 62.2}

It’s all been done already at the cross and in the life of Jesus. Its already mine however:

If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. {SC 62.2}

It requires prayer which is prayer and faith extending myself to God in prayer and then it’s mine. Prayer on my part is the avenue by which what I’m praying for can be imparted to me even though its already there. Gods will is already there only my communication must be exercised for it to take place. Without that science of prayer we miss out on what God has already given us. We are living in the last days, we are praying for the messages that God wants us to have, the three angels messages.

The Revelation 18 Angel

Take the Revelation 18 fourth angel’s message. He came into his lot in 1888. There was the message of 1888 the fourth angel’s message. We should pray that we should be participant of that message.

“Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). This is our message, the very message that the three angels flying in the midst of heaven are proclaiming. The work to be done now is that of sounding this last message of mercy to a fallen world. A new life is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people. But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest. {2SM 113.3}

The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time. And all who are laborers together with God will contend most earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. They will not be turned from the present message, which is already lightening the earth with its glory. Nothing is worth contending for but the glory of God. The only rock that will stand is the Rock of Ages. The truth as it is in Jesus is the refuge in these days of error. . . . {2SM 114.1}

In 1888 the message was brought and people are saying it was rejected and we have to wait for it again. Sr White said a new life is coming and taking possession of all Gods people but divisions will come. The present message is already lightening the earth. If we are praying for the message of 1888, its already around us. It’s been going on since 1888. There are a people who in prayer life are absorbing that and saying yes I thank you for it as they had been contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints as it came in 1888. Something that is already there needs to be appropriated by the science of prayer.

Mystic Babylon has not been sparing in the blood of the saints and shall we [not] be wide awake to catch the beams of light which have been shining from the light of the angel who is to brighten the earth with his glory.– Letter 112, 1890. {3SM 426.3}

We have these important messages and the angel of 1888 came the light of the angel who is to brighten the earth with his glory and we are to catch the beams of light that have been shining. As we pray for the things that we desire, they are already there. We are to by prayer catch it in the science of prayer.

The question of most vital importance for this time is, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will unite with the angel in giving the message of truth to the world? Who will receive the light that is to fill the whole earth with its glory?” Those who cherish the light that they have, will receive more. Increasing light will shine about the souls who yield to the softening, subduing grace of Christ; and those who love the light, will be saved from the delusions of Satan. {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 12}

Who will unite with the angel? We have these important messages from the angel that came in 1888 and all he had to give was given and now all the rays of light are shining and it is the prayer life in the science of prayer that appropriates in the soul of the person who prays and practises the science of pray. In connection of this message of 1888, Sr White wrote it was the latter rain and it says we are to pray for the latter rain and we think it’s not there and we are asking for it but the fact is it is there already but we are to come into the reception of it.

The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. T{TM 507.1}

The Lord says I will give you the Holy Spirit but what were they to do? Pray for it.

The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. {TM 507.1}

You can’t have it unless you have something already. Did you notice what prayer is? Prayer is that activity in science that you will discern and receive what is there. If you are not engaged in prayer according to the science of prayer you will miss out on what you are praying for that is already there. It is all around us but without prayer it can’t be appropriated.

At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labor of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. {TM 507.2}

There is an activity that is essential in the science of prayer that is to continue to develop in that which God is pouring upon us.

If you send up your petition to God, He says He hears you. What is your evidence? Do you feel any better than before? Do you think of and examine your feelings to see if some great change has taken place within? You should step out on the Word of God, and go straight forward, knowing that He answers your prayers, because He has promised to give, if you ask. Thus by exercising faith, [you] bring about the answer to your petitions. As you work to answer your own prayers, you will find that God will reveal Himself unto you. . . . Begin now to reach higher and still higher. Prize the things of heaven above earthly attractions and inducements. . . . Learn how to pray; learn how to bear a clear and intelligent testimony, and God will be glorified in you. If you trust God, if you commit the keeping of your souls unto Him as unto a faithful Creator, you will have the sweet assurance of His love. {UL 256.5}

The most important part of this is as you work to answer your own prayer’s you will find God will reveal himself to you. We are in need of answer our own prayers. After we have prayed we have to do something about what we have prayed for.

A mere knowledge of His will does not set aside the necessity of offering earnest supplications to Him for help, and of diligently seeking, by obeying His law, to co-operate with Him in answering the prayers offered. Thus His kingdom is established in our hearts. {ST, November 18, 1903 par. 7}

While you pray, dear youth, that you may not be led into temptation, remember that your work does not end with prayer. As far as possible you must answer your own prayers by resisting temptation. Ask Jesus to do for you that which you cannot do for yourself. With God’s word for our guide, and Jesus for our teacher, we need not be ignorant of God’s requirements or of Satan’s devices. {YI, December 21, 1899 par. 9}

When you pray for something, do what you can for yourself, answer your own prayer. We are to pray for the outpouring of the latter rain and we know that in 1888 it came so I have to research what God had given. If I do that the Lord will give me his latter rain because I will be answering my own prayer. I can’t wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon me and do nothing to make sure he does. When it comes to anything in life the science of prayer is I’m asking the Lord to help me out of a difficult situation. I have to do the right thing to make sure I will be helped out of that situation, I can’t just wait for something to happen.

Prayer life has to do with getting myself in getting in harmony with Gods will. We are to be a computer on earth that is deliberately linking up with the computer in heaven and taking what those computers in heaven are sending to you and interacting with that and sending back the prayer, I need help here, I’m doing my utmost and reading it yourself which turn your attention to certain messages and lo and behold you get your answers. This is God’s science of prayer.


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Posted on 02/09/2009, in Prayer, The Sanctuary (Series). Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. if that’s the case, i think it is then safe to argue that because God knows what we want, we need not repeat any of our requests to Him. is that really what we seeks to teach?we know that we cant belive that

  2. this was quite a long read! somewhere along the line, i lost it, but i hope i will manage with time (please divide these into even smaller sections in the future)! i believe winning souls is the point. i was uncomfortable with some statement i came across as i read through this subject and i wondered if i could be confused! it was to the effect that we don’t always have to pray in Jesus’ name, as long as we are conscious of who we are praying! i find its really one of the things i, without any prejudice, struggle with- appreciating a prayer that does not mention in whose name it is being prayed. is that statement in the Spirit of Prophecy?

  3. Matodzi senyegwe

    I hav learned alot thanx

  4. wht is it that you have to get up and do whn prayer is all you have and so than this means that God lets me sing the same prayer for years even though im true to his wrd and im leading a christ like life, he stil lets me parish in despair… Dnt you somtime have to leave it to him and let his plan take action, unfold right before your eyes. Isnt that faith???

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