1. Prayer As Worship | 01/01/23
1. Prayer is accepting the Father’s invitation to come to Him purely because of what Jesus has done. Read Psalm 95:1-7. Start by praying, focusing simply on praising the Father for who He is.
2. What are some false ideas/expectations we can have about prayer that set us up for feelings of failure/discouragement?
a) So what is prayer actually?
3. Read how Jesus taught us not to talk to the Father, in Matthew 6:5-8. What do you learn about what our attitude should be as we pray?
4. Now read how Jesus taught us we should start our prayer in verse 9. Prayer, at its heart, is us acknowledging God’s authority over us. What are the implications of God having authority over you, your life, and everything in the world?
5. Prayer also acknowledges God’s sovereignty. How is sovereignty different from authority? Read Isaiah 14:24.
a) How does the fact that we are not in control affect the way we should pray?
6. What is God’s purpose in us having to wait on Him in prayer?
a) How do we balance persistence in prayer with submission to His will?
b) How do we wait well?
7. Understanding God is sovereign, what can we be expectant about as we pray?
8. What happens when we ask God to change us instead of asking Him to change our circumstances?
a) What difference does it make?
2. Prayer As Kingdom Partnership | 01/08/23
1. How is prayer an opportunity to partner with God?
2. In Matthew 6:9 Jesus tells us to pray “…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” So what is God’s Kingdom?
3. How can Eastpark be part of seeing God’s kingdom "come" here and now? What about you personally?
4. How does 'individualism' challenge kingdom values?
a) How does this impact the way we pray?
5. Refer to Matthew 28:19-20. What kind of things should we focus on (pray for) if we are praying for God’s kingdom and will to "come"?
6. Spend time worshipping God for His character, then focus on the big picture plan of His Kingdom BEFORE you present your needs to Him together.
3. Prayer As Petition | 01/15/23
1. Read Hebrews 4:15-16. How does this verse give us confidence to pray and ask things of God?
2. Read Genesis 18:23-26. Why do we sometimes try to bargain with God?
a) How does God’s sovereignty change the way we pray?
3. Read Luke 22:42. What kind of attitude is required for us to honestly pray “God’s will be done”?
a) How can we learn to see “No’s” from God the same way as we see His “Yes’s”?
4. Why do we struggle with so-called “unanswered prayer”?
a) What does this reveal about our motives?
b) How is this internal struggle part of God’s work in us?
5. What stops you from praying boldly?
a) What insight does that give you about your picture of yourself or God, and how does that compare with the truth?
4. Prayer As Confession | 01/22/23
1. Read Matthew 6:11. What are some examples of how confession and forgiveness have impacted you in your life?
2. How is our forgiveness dependent on our own forgiveness of others?
4. Read Galatians 6:7-8. What's the relationship between the natural law of sowing and reaping, and confession and forgiveness (why does complete confession/forgiveness not guarantee freedom from consequences)?
5. What are the reasons we might be reluctant to confess our sin? What does the Bible says about these excuses?
a) Why can we be confident that God is willing to forgive our sin?
b) What would you say to someone who’s still feeling guilty after confession?
5. Prayer As Spiritual Warfare | 01/29/23
1. Read Matthew 6:13. What does this mean? What was Jesus teaching us?
2. Think about a trial you've experienced. How was it also a temptation?
a) How are temptations also trials?
3. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7. What actually happened to Paul? Unpack the specific details of this event.
a) What does this tell us about how God works in our lives?
b) What insight does this possibly give to difficult times in your life?
4. What purposes might God have in our trials and temptations?
5. In what areas of your life is the enemy wearing you down so you are less than victorious?
6. In what area of your life do you feel most vulnerable to the enemy's attack?
a) How could James 1:14 relate to your feeling vulnerable?
7. When temptations come our way, how can the weapons found in Ephesians 6:11-17 help us fight through our battles and make a defense?