[Podcast] Start This Way

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Jesus’ prayers were powerful. Yet ours tend to be on the weak side, don’t they? Scripture reveals a key insight into the difference between Jesus’ prayers and ours. And if we can tap into that critical difference, it will change our prayer life forever!

Lifegroup Discussion Questions after the jump!

 If you are the life group discussion leader this week, make sure everyone in your group opens this page on their mobile device. Have everyone take turns reading/asking questions. Remind everyone that these questions are based on this past week’s message, so they can always be prepared by listening on Sunday, or to the podcast, linked above.

My son and I are into Star Wars.  I saw the very first one in the theater back in 1977 as a kid, and was immediately hooked.  Who would have thought that after those three movies came and went, that I would have the chance to take my son, then just seven, to see the first of three “prequels” starting in 1999?  He was hooked just like his dad was.

Monday, May 4 was “Star Wars Day.”  (Get it?  “May the 4th be with you.”) So, naturally, we rewatched Star Wars, Episode IV: A NEW HOPE again together. Afterward, we talked about how Disney has recently bought the franchise, and will be releasing a new series of sequels beginning later this year. We watched the new trailer, talked about what this will mean for the Star Wars saga, and used Google to investigate the rumors surrounding the other upcoming spinoff movies (Starting with “Rogue One” in 2016).

You could say we are devoted to Star Wars.

The word “devoted” means “profound dedication,” or “earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.

What kinds of things do we devote ourselves to?  Why?

On Sunday, we looked at how the author of Hebrews described Jesus’ devotion…

Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
-Hebrews 5:7 ESV

What did we say was the one critical difference of Jesus’ prayer life?  He prayed with ____?

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
-Colossians 4:2 NLT

What would that kind of devotion in prayer look like for us?

Dr. Luke describes how the early church was devoted to prayer… See if these verses are a good description of the church today?

All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Acts 1:14 ESV

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Acts 2:42 ESV

“We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
-the apostles, Acts 6:4 ESV

Why do you, or why don’t you think believers pray like that today?

Paul, in his famous sermon in Athens, gives us a little hint here, I think… In describing God, he says this:

He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.
-Acts 17:25 NLT

Paul, and the early church clearly believed that God “satisfied every need.”  Do we?  Is it possible that part of our lack of devotion to prayer is that we don’t really believe that he can satisfy our needs?  Maybe we are devoted to other things because we think those things are better at satisfying our needs.  What do you think?

Tim Keller, describing Paul, says that “He does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself.”

Could it be that we are looking to be satisfied by things, rather than by God Himself?

How can we cultivate a passion for prayer in our own lives?

At “Secret Church,” David Platt described how he used to hate seafood before he was married.  It was never something he had acquired a taste for.  But his wife’s family loved seafood, and ate it every chance they could get, so David had to learn to eat seafood.  Now, he says he loves seafood.  Can our prayer life be like this?

On Sunday, I challenged us to “pray the first half” every day this week… Are we doing that?  Maybe we should practice that tonight.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12 ESV

 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
-Ephesians 6:18 NLT

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
-Matthew 6:9-10 ESV

By the way, if you haven’t seen it already, here’s the new trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Return of the Geezers!

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