BEFORE YOU GATHER
- If this is one of your first group meetings, familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Spend some time in prayer before your group gathers.
- To prepare for discussion, CLICK HERE for a few facilitation tips and/or CLICK HERE to review and remind your group of the Group Agreement.
- As a leader you always have the option to use some or all the questions and/or write your own questions.
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this weekend’s message, here are a few suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
- Thank God for the specific ways He has listened to your prayers and answered them in ways you expected or in ways that were unexpected.
- Pray that as a Community Group your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong; That the hunger for prayer and God’s Word would make it's home in your hearts.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Which character trait of God would you like to understand in a more personal way?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week we will explore the power of prayer.
“To pray is to walk in the full light of God, and to say simply,
without holding back,
‘I am human and you are God.’" - Henri Nouwen
Open your Bibles together and ask a few people to read the following:
- Read Psalm 36:5-7 - What comes to your mind when you think about the vastness of the universe and the love God has for people? How does that influence your prayer for yourself and for others?
- Read Psalm 46:10 - How is your current rhythm of life disconnecting you from being still with God? What small change would draw you into the stillness of being present with God? How might being still with God and hearing from Him impact your family, friends, and co-workers?
- Share a time when God answered a prayer in such a specific way and it left you awe stricken.
- Share a time God answered a prayer in a unexpected way. How did that impact you?
- When looking at a current snapshot of your life, what personal pursuits have got in the way of prayer? What could be a necessary step towards a renewed prayer life be?
- Read John 15:5-8 - British theologian and author John Baillie prayed:
“Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin;
Let me use disappointment as material for patience;
Let me use success as material for thankfulness;
Let me use trouble as material for perseverance;
Let me use danger as material for courage;
Let me use reproach as material for long suffering;
Let me use praise as material for humility;
Let me use pleasures as material for temperance;
Let me use pain as material for endurance."
Which of these speaks to your soul and why? Which of these might be a struggle to pray for? Do you truly believe that God will hear your prayers? Which of these have you prayed for recently?
Closing Prayer: (5-15 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here are a few suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
- Spend time praying that as believers we will develop a deeper hunger for prayer; for the church, community, families, and for one another.
- Partner up and pray about a person or an issue that God has placed on your heart.
CHALLENGE IDEAS FOR THE WEEK
- Pray Ephesians 3:14-21 everyday for continued spiritual growth this week.
- Start a prayer journal. Take time everyday this week to write out your prayers. Keep a watchful eye for ways that God answers your prayers and note them.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP