Term 3 2019

“Teach us to Pray”

Prayer is one of the privileges of life as a child or our heavenly Father. Like all privileges it comes with its own challenges and responsibilities. This term we learn from the masters as we look at Jesus and his Apostles’ teaching on prayer.
We are planning some “Prayer Events” to accompany the series!

 

Kingdom Focused Prayer   Matthew 6:9-10 & 13:31-33   11th August

  1. In the old days, a king ruled over a territory which was known as his kingdom. How does this help us to understand ‘the kingdom of God’?
  2. What was the role of a king in the old days? How does this help us to understand ‘the kingdom of God’?
  3. In praying ‘your kingdom come’, are we saying that God is not in control?
  4. If God is in control, why doesn’t everyone and everything do what he says?
  5. What is the connection between ‘your kingdom come’ and ‘your will be done’?
  6. If we want God’s kingdom to come, how will we conduct ourselves in our families, friendships and workplaces? What contribution will we make to our society and our world?
  7. When will God’s kingdom fully come? How will that happen? See Rev 21:1-4 and 22:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. What is the link between the last prayer in the Bible – ‘come, Lord Jesus’, and praying for God’s kingdom to come?
  8. Is there a conflict between childlike prayer (asking for what we want) and kingdom focused prayer? Can you resolve the conflict?
  9. What are some examples of kingdom-focused prayer?

Child-like Prayer   Matthew 6:9 & 7:7-12   4th August

  1. Read Mark 10:13-16. Why do you think Jesus chose a small child as the example we should follow to receive the kingdom? What makes a small child a good example to follow?
  2. Read Mark 10:17-31. How is this man’s reaction the exact opposite of a child’s? What is the outcome for him?
  3. Read Matthew 7:7-12. Jesus contrasts our human fathers with God our Father in heaven. How does this contrast help us to support a friend who says she has trouble relating to God as her Father because her human father was cruel and harsh?  What other themes in the Bible would you draw on to help her?
  4. Matthew 7:7-8 looks like a 100% guarantee that God will give us whatever we ask for when we pray. How does the relationship of a parent to a child help us to understand that this will not always be the case?
  5. How does Matthew 6:25-34 help us to deal with your own anxiety and to support others who feel anxious? How do verses 31-34 pick up the themes of Matthew 6:7and 8?
  6. How would you respond to someone who is critical of childlike prayer because it is naïve and unrealistic in a world where people, including Christians, are dying from starvation and famine?

 

God-centred Prayer   Matthew 6:1-9   28th July

  1. Someone has defined prayer as “The natural expression of our relationship with God our Father.” In your group discuss the “types” of prayers we pray and how they are consistent with our relationship with God.
  2. As a group, identify some of the problems people have in prayer that you hope will be addressed by the current sermon series.
  3. “Prayer doesn’t work. God works in response to our prayers.” Is this a helpful insight? Why/why not?
  4. Read 1Kings 18:20-39.  What are the differences between the “prayer” of the prophets of Baal and Elijah’s prayer?  What is Elijah’s priority in his prayer?  How are these prayers shaped by the character of the one to whom they are addressed? How does God’s character shape our prayers?
  5. Read Matthew 6:5-8. What does Jesus teach us about our motives for prayer and the character of God to whom we pray?
  6. How would you answer someone who says “What’s the point of praying if God knows what I need before I ask him?”
  7. The Lord’s prayer Matthew 6:9-13 is a series of requests. How many are there? What do these requests reveal about our motives and priorities when we pray them? How should this shape all our prayers?