Discipleship Community

#7 -- Knowing God -- Practical Applications on Prayer

1)  Discussion

Have these gatherings been helpful in your spiritual journey? Is it helping you live the "Abundant Life"?

The group takes a few minutes to reflect of the past 8 weeks and discusses how the Intentional Discipleship Gathering has been helpful, concluding that "we are family!"  and we should pray about other ways we can "touch" each other throughout the week and not just on Sunday night.


Regarding prayer we grappled with the following questions:

Is prayer an obligation to me? Or an honor? Why?

What are my challenges in spending time with God?

How do I stay focused?

What / where is my “secret place”?

How do I overcome busyness to spend time with God?

Do I feel my recent prayer life and Bible reading/study are bringing me into a deeper relationship with God?

Has being in this group helped? How?   


God is not impressed by the multitude of our words.  He does, however, respond when we ask those things which are closely related to the interests of the kingdom of His Son.

Matthew 6:7-8  When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words.  Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.

 


Prayer and the Word of God

“The Word of God is the fulcrum upon which the lever of prayer is placed, and by which things are mightily moved.” 

His Word becomes the basis, the inspirations of our praying…

The Word of God is a great help in prayer.  If it is “written in our hearts”, it will form an outflowing current of prayer, full and irresistible.

His promises, stored in the heart, are the fuel from which prayer receives life and warmth.


SCRIPTURES incite us to seek the God of prayer with all our wants, with all our burdens:

  • “Pray without ceasing”
  • “continue in prayer”
  • “continuing instant in prayer”
  • “in everything by prayer, let your request be made known unto God”
  • “pray always, pray and not faint”
  • “men should pray everywhere”
  • “praying always, with all prayer and supplication”

John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.”


Praying "in the Name of Jesus"

John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Praying in the “Name of Jesus” –  NOT a “formula”

The Bible says to pray “In the name of Jesus”, but this is not a magical incantation.  It’s significance lies deeper. 

In the culture in which the Bible was written, a person’s name indicated the sum total of his attributes and character. To ask for something in Jesus’ name is NOT to tag on a phrase at the end of a prayer. Rather it means that we believe that our request is what Jesus Himself would ask for.

We are showing that we are so closely aligned with the mind of Christ that we can make our request in His stead.


Unanswered Prayers

  • We ask with improper motives; (James 4:3)
  • We are praying for things we already have in Christ.
  • In John 4 Jesus – woman at the well. He tells her that if she realized to whom she was speaking, she would have known what to request!
  • We ask God for His presence – yet He has promised never to leave us or forsake us!
  • We ask for to give us peace, but Ephesians says that Christ IS our peace.
  • Imagine sitting down to a marvelous Thanksgiving feast, and asking the hostess for something to eat. 

It is possible to pray ourselves right into a state of unbelief by continuing to pray for those things we already have in Christ?

 AS WE SPEND TIME WITH HIM (IN PRAYER AND IN HIS WORD), WE WILL HAVE PEACE AND SENSE HIS PRESENCE!!


Practical Ideas to keep my prayer life fresh

  • Prayer List

  • Journal

  • “War Room”

  • Family Prayers and praying with children

  • Newspaper – How do we pray for current events?  How do we pray for these events in light of the kingdom of God?

    • How about intercession that is KINGDOM centered rather than SELF- centered?   

    • How about praying according to the daily news? (wherever you get your news)

      • When you read a story (or even just the headline), ask the Holy Spirit to light up prayer concerns in the news of the world.

      • This exercise will show you how often we ignore God’s power to change world events and meet deep human needs, both spiritual and social.

  • A-B-C  -  see handout   and listen to this short explanation    https://makingyourlifecount.org/player.php?ref=w39.20170103.1

    •  (Thank you to MakingYourLifeCount.org for this suggestion).


Practical Ideas to keep my Bible reading / study fresh

  • Memorize Scripture

  • YouVersion Devotionals

  • Our Daily Bread

  • Study – what do you use?

  • Group Bible Study

CHALLENGE:  is praying for others, reading my Bible and being involved in a church necessary to live in the abundant life?   

  • If yes, what specifically will I do this week to further my walk with the Lord? 
  • Let’s pause right now and pray for myself and each other in this challenge.
  • Take a few minutes right now to write down 1-2 specific things I will intentionally do – considering that GOD will help me! 

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How and When did Jesus Pray?

  • Luke 6:12-13 During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God.  When daylight came, He summoned His disciples, and He chose 12 of them—He also named them apostles:

  • Luke 9:18-20  While He was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”  They answered, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back.”  
    “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah!”

  • Luke 9:28-35  About eight days after these words, He took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men were talking with Him—Moses and Elijah. They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death,[a] which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.

    Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him.  As the two men were departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

     While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud.  Then a voice came from the cloud, saying: This is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him!

  • Luke 11:1-13  He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.” He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say:

Father,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone
in debt to us.
And do not bring us into temptation.”

He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

  • John 17  In this chapter, Jesus prays for himself, then for the disciples, then for all believers. 


YouVersion devotional suggestions

  • Talking with God – 5 day reading plan

      https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/3840-talking-with-god

  •  Conversations to Connections – 5 day reading plan

https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/3917-conversations-to-connections

Other suggestion: Why Isn't God Answering My Prayer? – 5 day devotional by Lysa TerKeurst


Session 7 - Knowing God -Final Summary.pdf Session 7 - Knowing God -Final Summary