Comments You Will Not Hear at the 01-10-10 WT Study (November 15, 2009, pages 7-11)(PRAYER/BIBLE STUDY)
Review comments will be in red or headed by COMMENTS
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ENRICH YOUR PRAYERS THROUGH BIBLE STUDY
"Ah, Jehovah, please, let your ear become attentive to the prayer of your servant."-NEH. 1:11.
Notice how the WTS cannot find many prayers in the NT. Jesus refers to God as Father not Jehovah. While showing
that God protects individuals in the OT, is the same true today?
START OF ARTICLE
Q 1, 2. Why will it be beneficial to consider some prayers recorded in the Bible?
PRAYER and Bible study are essential features of true worship. (1 Thess. 5:17; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17) Of course, the Bible
is not a prayer book. Yet, it does contain numerous prayers, including many found in the book of Psalms.
Can jws study the Bible without using WTS publications?
“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to
individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible
cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.”—The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p.
“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and
discreet slave’ organization.”—The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, p. 19
“Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ [Watchtower organization] endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet
together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?—Matt. 24:45, 47. No, it does not. And yet, in various parts of the
world, a few associates of our organization have formed groups to do independent research on Bible-related subjects.
Some have pursued an independent group study of Biblical Hebrew and Greek so as to analyze the accuracy of the
New World Translation. …They have also held conferences and produced publications to present their findings and to
supplement what is provided at our Christian meetings and through our literature. …Thus, ‘the faithful and discreet
slave’ does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight…
For those who wish to do extra Bible study and research, we recommend that they explore Insight on the Scriptures,
‘All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial,’ and our other publications….”—Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, p. 3
“Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also,
that if anyone lays the SCRIPTURE STUDIES aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with
them, after he has read them for ten years—if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone,
though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness.”
—The Watch Tower, September 15, 1910, p. 298, Watchtower Reprints, p. 4685
On occasion opposers will question the various teachings that Jehovah’s people hold in common… They will declare
that all one needs to do is to read the Bible. But Christendom has been reading the Bible for centuries.” —The
Watchtower, March 1, 1983, p. 25
“We must not lose sight of the fact that God is directing his organization… To turn away from Jehovah and his
organization, to spurn the direction of ‘the faithful and discreet slave,’ and to rely simply on personal Bible reading and
interpretation is to become like a solitary tree in a parched land.”—The Watchtower, June 1, 1985, pp. 19-20
“Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life,
no matter how much Bible reading we do.”—The Watchtower, December 1, 1981, p. 27
2. As you read and study the Bible, you are likely to find prayers that fit situations you encounter. In fact, when you
incorporate prayerful thoughts recorded in the Scriptures, your prayers are enriched. What can you learn from those
whose pleas for help were answered and from the content of their prayers?
Have you listened to the prayers at the KH and assemblies/conventions? Listen to the cut-and-paste phrases and
sentences that every brother uses. Notice that at conventions the final prayer of the final day is merely a review of the
points of the whole convention; is the prayer of reminders to God who knows all things or to the audience? How
"thoughtful" can prayers be when the brother giving it has 60 seconds notice before the meeting begins?
SEEK AND FOLLOW GOD'S GUIDANCE
Q 3, 4. What was the mission of Abraham's servant, and what can be learned from the outcome that Jehovah gave?
3. Bible study makes it evident that you should always pray for God's guidance. Consider what happened when the
patriarch Abraham sent his eldest servant--likely Eliezer--to Mesopotamia to obtain a God-fearing wife for Isaac. As
women drew water at a certain well, the servant prayed: "Jehovah ... , what must occur is that the young woman to whom
I shall say, 'Let your water jar down, please, that I may take a drink,' and who will indeed say, 'Take a drink, and I shall
also water your camels,' this is the one you must assign to your servant, to Isaac; and by this let me know that you have
performed loyal love with my master."--Gen. 24:12-14.
*** w97 1/1 p. 30 Finding a Wife for Isaac ***
The man was Abraham’s servant, “the oldest one of his household.” (Genesis 24:2) Though not named in the account,
apparently this was Eliezer, whom Abraham at one time referred to as ‘a son of his household’ and whom he spoke of
as being in line to ‘succeed him as heir.’ (Genesis 15:2, 3)
Pray for God's or the WTS guidance?
*** w05 9/1 p. 22 par. 17 We Shall Walk in the Name of Jehovah Our God ***
The only reliable guidance by which to direct our steps is spiritual guidance, which comes through Jehovah’s Word, his
spirit, and his organization.
4. The prayer of Abraham's servant was answered when Rebekah watered his camels. She soon accompanied him to
Canaan and became Isaac's beloved wife. Of course, you cannot expect God to give you a special sign. Yet, he will
guide you in life if you pray and are determined to be led by his spirit.--Gal. 5:18.
So jws cannot expect a special sign but Eliezer could?
How are jws guided then?
PRAYER HELPS TO ALLAY ANXIETY
Q 5, 6. What is noteworthy about Jacob's prayer when he was about to meet Esau?
5. Prayer can reduce anxiety. Fearing danger from his twin brother, Esau, Jacob prayed: "O Jehovah, ... I am unworthy
of all the loving-kindnesses and of all the faithfulness that you have exercised toward your servant ... Deliver me, I pray
you, from my brother's hand, from Esau's hand, because I am afraid of him that he may come and certainly assault me,
mother together with children. And you, you have said, 'Unquestionably I shall deal well with you and I will constitute
your seed like the grains of sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.' "--Gen. 32:9-12.
So can jws with the mental illness of anxiety only pray, no medications? Notice this quote is from the Awake which is
directed toward non-jws.
*** g02 7/22 p. 22 I Won My Battle With Postpartum Depression ***
Together, we finally found a very kind doctor who took the time to listen to how I felt. He diagnosed my condition as
postpartum depression and suggested that my treatment include medication to help control my frequent anxiety
attacks. He also encouraged me to seek the help of a mental-health professional. In addition, he recommended regular
exercise, a therapy that has helped many to combat depression.
6. Although Jacob took precautionary steps, his prayer was answered when he and Esau were reconciled. (Gen.
33:1-4) Read that petition carefully, and you will see that Jacob did not just plead for help. He expressed faith in the
promised Seed and gratitude for God's loving-kindness. Do you have some "fears within"? (2 Cor. 7:5) If so, Jacob's
entreaty may remind you that prayers can allay anxiety. However, they should contain not only requests but also
expressions of faith.
What precautionary steps did Jacob take? Wasn't it more likely these were the reasons Esau and he were reconciled
not some miraculous action by God? Is this a case of "working" with a prayer? How many times to jws specifically
thank God for anything...isn't it more likely thanking the governing body rather than God?
PRAY FOR WISDOM
Q 7. Why did Moses pray for knowledge of Jehovah's ways?
7. A desire to please Jehovah should motivate you to pray for wisdom. Moses prayed for knowledge of God's ways.
"See," he pleaded, "you [Jehovah] are saying to me, 'Lead this people up [from Egypt]' ... And now, if, please, I have
found favor in your eyes, make me know, please, your ways, ... in order that I may find favor in your eyes." (Ex. 33:12,
13) In response, God gave Moses greater knowledge of His ways--a necessity if he was to take the lead among
Did you notice that the WTS made snippets of a 2-verse quote?
How did Moses find knowledge of God's ways without a bible?
Was Moses a leader? If the elders "take the lead" doesn't that make them leaders?
*** g77 8/8 p. 27 Women in the Pulpit? ***
So baptized males are to take both positions of leadership (elder and ministerial servant) in the congregation.
*** w59 6/15 p. 363 par. 7 Shepherding the Sheep with Skillfulness ***
For one to give good advice, an overseer must be “nourished with the words of the faith” and follow closely “right
teaching.” Then he can shepherd the flock of God skillfully. “He that presides [acts as leader], let him do it in real
earnest; he that shows mercy, let him do it with cheerfulness.” (Rom. 12:8, footnote) An overseer must “act as leader” if
he is selected to preside over the congregation. He must follow these instructions: “Abhor what is wicked, cling to what
is good. In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead.
Q 8. How might you benefit from meditating on 1 Kings 3:7-14?
8. David also prayed: "Make me know your own ways, O Jehovah." (Ps. 25:4) David's son Solomon entreated God for
the wisdom required to discharge the duties of kingship in Israel. Solomon's prayer pleased Jehovah, who gave him
not only what he requested but also riches and glory. (Read 1 Kings 3:7-14.) If you receive service privileges that seem
overwhelming, pray for wisdom and display a humble spirit. Then God will help you to acquire the knowledge and
exercise the wisdom needed to care for your responsibilities in a proper and loving manner.
So is he a good example of someone who lived in harmony with his prayers? Who married 1,000 women, many
non-Israelites? Who went following the "false" religions of his wives?
So where are "service privileges" in the NT? Where are the mike handlers, attendants, readers,
literature/magazine/territory handlers, COBOE (PO), service overseer, secretary, etc.?
Proper and loving? My husband and I were talking about all the MS and elders that came late to the meetings? I
wonder if the article in the January 2010 KM is for them?
PRAY FROM THE HEART
Q 9, 10. What do you find significant about Solomon's references to the heart in his prayer at the temple's
9. To be heard, prayer must come from the heart. Solomon offered a heartfelt prayer, recorded at 1 Kings chapter 8,
before throngs assembled in Jerusalem for the inauguration of Jehovah's temple in 1026 B.C.E. After the ark of the
covenant was placed in the Most Holy and Jehovah's cloud filled the temple, Solomon praised God.
So who decides if a prayer is heard...God or the WTS/FDS/GB (and elders)?
Notice how Solomon had a "special sign" that his prayers had been heard.
10. Study Solomon's prayer, and note its references to the heart. Solomon acknowledged that Jehovah alone knows a
person's heart. (1 Ki. 8:38, 39) The same prayer shows that there is hope for a sinner who 'returns to God with all his
heart.' If an enemy captured God's people, their pleas would be heard if their heart was complete with Jehovah. (1 Ki.
8:48, 58, 61) Surely, then, your prayers should come from the heart.
Just because Solomon "said" something about "the heart" doesn't mean it was from his heart.
If Solomon knew he could return to God, why didn't he but died in an "apostate" situation?
By choosing so many OT examples, there is no room for Jesus.
HOW THE PSALMS CAN ENRICH YOUR PRAYERS
Q 11, 12. What have you learned from the prayerful expression of a certain Levite who could not go to God's sanctuary
for a time?
11. Studying the Psalms can enrich your prayers and help you to wait for God to answer them. Consider the patience
of an exiled Levite. Although he could not go to Jehovah's sanctuary for a time, he sang: "Why are you in despair, O my
soul, and why are you boisterous within me? Wait for God, for I shall yet laud him as the grand salvation of my person
and as my God." --Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5.
So how long did the Israelites wait--approximately 70 years and they knew it was 70 years (plus or minus) based on a
prophecy that even Daniel could understand. How many years have jws been waiting, 136 years, 1874 to 2010. Dates
for the beginning of Armageddon have been 1914, 1915, 1925, 1940's, 1975, (1984), (1994).
12. What can you learn from that Levite. If imprisonment for righteousness' sake were to prevent you from being with
fellow believers. in their place of worship for a time, wait patiently for God to act in your behalf. (Ps. 37:5) Meditate on
past joys in God's service, and pray for endurance while you "wait for God" to restore you to active association with his
So the big thing is not being in a building to worship? Is meeting in the woods not valid? Is there some holiness
connected with the kingdom hall buildings?
fellow believers--only jws
active association--what is inactive association?
PRAY IN FAITH
Q 13. In harmony with James 1:5-8, why should you pray in faith?
13. Regardless of your circumstances, always pray in faith. If you are facing a test of integrity, follow the counsel of the
disciple James. Turn to Jehovah in prayer, and do not doubt that he can give you the wisdom needed to cope with your
trial. (Read James 1:5-8.) God is aware of any disturbing thoughts you may have, and he can guide and comfort you by
means of his spirit. Open your heart to him in full faith, "not doubting at all," and accept the guidance of his spirit and the
counsel of his Word.
Pray in faith as determined by the WTS?
How do jws get comfort?
Q 14, 15. Why can it be said that Hannah prayed and acted in faith?
14. Hannah, one of the Levite Elkanah's two wives, prayed and acted in faith. Childless Hannah was taunted by the
other wife, Peninnah, who bore several children. At the tabernacle, Hannah vowed that if she bore a son, she would give
him to Jehovah. Because her lips quivered while she prayed, High Priest Eli thought she was drunk. Learning that this
was not so, he said: "May the God of Israel grant your petition." Although Hannah did not know exactly what the
outcome would be, she had faith that her prayer would be answered. Therefore, "her face became self-concerned no
more." She was no longer sad or downcast.--1 Sam. 1:9-18.
Why didn't Elkanah stop his other wife from taunting Hannah?
So if Eli had not "granted" Hannah's petition, God would not have answered her? Could Hannah have prayed without
her husband's permission? If he had not wanted more children.......How long would Hannah have prayed; until she was
too old to have children and then not expect a "special sign"?
15. After the birth and weaning of Samuel, Hannah presented him to Jehovah for sacred service at the tabernacle. (1
Sam. 1:19-28) Taking time to meditate on her prayer on that occasion may well enrich your own prayers and help you to
see that even sadness over a distressing problem can be overcome if you pray in faith that Jehovah will answer you.--1
So can jws present/sacrifice their children....Bethel service. Samuel did not have a choice.
What if God had not given her a child...wait on God?
Q 16, 17. What happened because Nehemiah prayed and acted in faith?
16. The upright man Nehemiah of the fifth century B.C.E. prayed and acted in faith. He pleaded: "Ah, Jehovah, please,
let your ear become attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take delight in fearing
your name; and, please, do grant success to your servant today and make him an object of pity before this man." Who
was "this man"? It was Persian King Artaxerxes, whom Nehemiah served as cupbearer.--Neh. 1:11.
Nehemiah worked at a government job--similar to Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. Was that keeping
How does the WTS get around that?
*** w90 11/1 pp. 20-21 par. 16 The Role of the Superior Authorities ***
The fact that the superior authorities are God’s minister explains why Daniel, the three Hebrews, Nehemiah, and
Mordecai were able to accept responsible positions in the Babylonian and Persian governments. They could thus
appeal to the authority of the State for the good of God’s people. (Nehemiah 1:11; Esther 10:3; Daniel 2:48, 49; 6:1, 2)
Today some Christians also work in government service. But since they are separate from the world, they do not join
political parties, seek political office, or accept policy-making positions in political organizations.
17. Nehemiah prayed in faith for days after learning that Jews released from Babylonian captivity were" in a very bad
plight and in reproach; and the wall of Jerusalem [was] broken down." (Neh. 1:3, 4) Nehemiah's prayers were answered
beyond his expectations when King Artaxerxes allowed him to go to Jerusalem to rebuild its wall. (Neh. 2: 1-8) Before
long the wall had been repaired. Nehemiah's prayers were answered because they focused on true worship and were
offered in faith. Is that true of your prayers?
So do jws pray for days? Do you think Moses prayed to be allowed to go into the Promised Land---the answer, no.
I have heard jws pray for God to heal them or another jw; protect them from car accidents--was that focused on true worship per the WTS?
REMEMBER PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
Q 18, 19. For what reasons should a servant of Jehovah praise and thank him? 20. How did Mary express her devotion to God?
18. In prayer, remember to praise and thank Jehovah. There are so many reasons to do so! For example, David was
eager to extol Jehovah's kingship. (Read Psalm 145:10-13.) Do your prayers show that you appreciate the privilege of
announcing Jehovah's Kingdom? Words of the psalmists may also help you to express to God in heartfelt prayer your
gratitude for Christian meetings, assemblies, and conventions.--Ps. 27:4; 122:1.
So was David praising as he committed adultery with Bathsheba, or planned the murder of her husband, or conducted a
census which lead to the deaths of 70,000 innocent Jews? So what "christian" meetings, assemblies, conventions did
the psalmists pray for?
Christian meetings--only jws
19. Gratitude for your precious relationship with God may move you to pray from the heart with thoughts like these: "I
shall laud you among the peoples, O Jehovah; I shall make melody to you among the national groups. For your
loving-kindness is great up to the heavens, and your trueness up to the skies. Do be exalted above the heavens, O
God; let your glory be above all the earth." (Ps. 57:9-11) What heart-warming sentiments! Do you not agree that such
touching words from the Psalms can affect and enrich your prayers?
Do jws seek a relationship with Jesus? Where is Jesus?
BESEECH GOD WITH REVERENCE
20. Reverence for God should be evident in your prayers. The reverential words of Mary shortly after learning that she
would be the mother of the Messiah were similar to those of Hannah when she was presenting young Samuel for
tabernacle service. Mary's reverence for God is obvious in her words: "My soul magnifies Jehovah, and my spirit cannot
keep from being overjoyed at God my Savior." (Luke 1:46, 47) Could your prayers be enhanced by expressing similar
sentiments? No wonder godly Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus the Messiah!
Finally NT--Mary but then a segue to Hannah
Does "Jehovah" appear in the NT manuscript at Luke 1:46,27? Mary was not quoting from the OT.
Q 21. How did the prayers of Jesus give evidence of reverence and faith?
21. Jesus prayed reverently in full faith. Before he resurrected Lazarus, for instance, "Jesus raised his eyes
heavenward and said: 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me. True, I knew that you always hear me.'" (John 11:41,
42) Do your prayers give evidence of such reverence and faith? Study Jesus' reverential model prayer, and you will
see that particularly significant features of it are the sanctification of Jehovah’s name, the coming of his Kingdom, and
the accomplishment of his will. (Matt. 6:9, 10) Think about your own prayers. Do they reflect your keen interest in
Jehovah's Kingdom, in the doing of his will, and in the sanctification of his holy name? They should.
Until 1986 the WTS put forth the teaching of "vindicating" God's name.
When a jw prays about God's kingdom and his will it is regarding their own everlasting life on a paradise earth and the
destruction of all the wicked,soon, all 7 billion including children.
Q 22. Why can you be sure that Jehovah will give you courage to declare the good news?
22. Because of persecution or other trials, prayer often includes pleas for help to serve Jehovah with courage. When
the Sanhedrin ordered Peter and John to stop 'teaching upon the basis of Jesus' name,' those apostles courageously
refused to quit. (Acts 4:18-20) After being released, they told fellow believers what had happened. Then all those
present petitioned God for help in speaking his word with boldness. How thrilling it must have been when that prayer
was answered, for they were "filled with the holy spirit and were speaking the word of God with boldness"! (Read Acts
4:24-31.) As a result, multitudes became worshippers of Jehovah. Prayer can also strengthen you to declare the good
How many jws are really asked not to "preach"?
What are "other trials"?
worshippers of Jehovah--only jws, where is Christ in this lingo? Why not CHRISTIAN worshippers of "Jehovah"?
KEEP ON ENRICHING YOUR PRAYERS
23, 24. (a) Cite other examples showing how Bible study can enrich your prayers. (b) What will you do to enrich your prayers?
23. Many other examples could be cited to show that Bible reading and study can enrich your prayers. Like Jonah, for
instance, in prayer you can acknowledge that "salvation belongs to Jehovah." (Jonah 2:1-10) If you are troubled over a
serious sin and have sought help from the elders, the prayerful sentiments of David may help you to express your
repentance during personal prayers. (Ps. 51:1-12) In certain prayers, you can praise Jehovah as Jeremiah did. (Jer.
32:16-19) If you are seeking a marriage mate, studying the prayer found in Ezra chapter 9, coupled with personal
entreaty, can strengthen your determination to obey God by 'marrying only in the Lord.' --1 Cor. 7:39; Ezra 9:6,10-15.
OT--Jonah (NT couldn't last long)
Troubled over serious sin---help from the elders---not marrying in the Lord (another jw)?
Naomi's sons married Moabite women
Esther married a non-Jew
Note this experience (recent too) where a woman studying with jws married a non-jw and was baptized. Shouldn't she have sent him away?
*** w98 10/15 p. 16 par. 10 Jerusalem—Is It ‘Above Your Chief Cause for Rejoicing’? ***
Yet, the case of the Israelites who sent their foreign wives away does provide a fine lesson for single Christians. These
should not start courting members of the opposite sex who are unbelievers. Avoiding such a relationship may be
difficult, even painful, but it is the best course in order for one to have God’s continued blessing.
(Ezra 10:1-4) . . .Now as soon as Ezra had prayed and he had made confession while weeping and lying prostrate
before the house of the [true] God, those of Israel collected themselves together to him, a very large congregation,
men and women and children, for the people had wept profusely. 2 Then Shecaniah the son of Jehiel of the sons of
Elam answered and said to Ezra: “We—we have acted unfaithfully against our God, so that we gave a dwelling to
foreign wives from the peoples of the land. Yet now there exists a hope for Israel concerning this. 3 And now let us
conclude a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and those born from them according to the counsel of
Jehovah and of those trembling at the commandment of our God, that it may be done according to the law. 4 Get up,
for the matter devolves upon you, and we are with you. Be strong and act.”
*** w06 10/15 pp. 10-11 Finding Spiritual Treasures in Guinea ***
Ernestine, from Cameroon, came to Guinea 12 years ago. She studied with Jehovah’s Witnesses and attended
meetings year after year without getting baptized. In 2003, tears filled her eyes as she watched the baptism at a circuit
assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Overcome with feelings of guilt, she prayed to Jehovah: “I am now 51 years old,
and I have done nothing good for you. I want to serve you.” Afterward, Ernestine acted in harmony with her humble
prayer. She explained to the man with whom she was living that they could stay together only if they got legally married.
He agreed, and she later shed tears of joy at her own baptism in November 2004.
24. Keep on reading, studying, and searching the Bible. Look for points you can include in your prayers. You may be
able to weave Scriptural thoughts into your supplications and prayers of thanks and praise. You are sure to draw ever
closer to Jehovah God as you enrich your prayers through Bible study.
Seaching the WTS publications...
closer to Jesus?
How Would You Answer?
• Why should we seek and follow God's guidance?
• What should motivate us to pray for wisdom?
• How can the book of Psalms enrich our prayers?
• Why should we pray in faith and with reverence?
Next week, "Treasure Your Place in the Congregation." According the strict WTS definition, only anointed jws are the Christian congregation.