This post is about last Sunday’s message, “The Effective Prayer Paradigm,” which can be heard below. If you aren’t already subscribed to our podcast, you should be! Sign up for our weekly message podcast in your Podcasts app smartphone, or in iTunes on your computer.
Do your group members have their Bibles ready? We’ll be looking up verses together to discuss tonight. If you are the discussion leader, read over these questions yourself first, and pick ones that will work best with your group.
On Sunday, Steve talked about being frustrated in our prayer lives. Be honest… What is one thing you find to be challenging, surprising, boring, or annoying about prayer? Do you ever feel awkward during a prayer situation?
Read these Old Testament verses about prayer: Psalm 65:2, Psalm 91:15, Psalm 145:18. How do those line up with the New Testament verses here: 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18? Are they different? Do they align? How? What is the primary difference in prayer between the Old Testament and the New Testament?
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:14-16
Steve’s main point was that prayer connects us to the presence and the power of God. How is that a different paradigm than most people have? In fact, he said that we often confuse God with Santa. How did that thought hit you?
“Pray, then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name… -Matthew 6:9
On Sunday, Steve talked about “flippant prayers.” What did you think about that? How do you contrast that with verses like Romans 8:15-16?
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”… “Safe?” said Mr Beaver… “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” -C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
I read an online discussion of people who were “ex-Christians,” claiming that they turned away from God after years of following him, but with no answer to their prayers. They prayed for healing in their families, yet had death. They prayed for restoration, but they continued to experience brokenness? The overwhelming message of the discussion was that prayer had no real power. That you could get the same result from praying to a milk carton. How is this paradigm different from the Jesus prayer paradigm? Hint: Philippians 3:8-11
What are some ways that we can cultivate a growing prayer life ourselves?