How does prayer work?
Why do some prayers get answered and others don’t?
BEFORE YOU GATHER
- 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.
- 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 week’s message, here’s some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
Spend some time in quiet reflection, listening or bringing personal prayers to God. Have two people in the group then pray that we would be encouraged and refreshed as we hear about how our why questions are able to turn to what questions.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
How would you explain prayer in your own words?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week we will explore how prayer works, why some prayers get answered and others don’t; all the while navigating our honest why and what questions that come in the midst.
Why? - Natural Reaction, Validates
What? - Intentional Action, Heals
Open your Bibles together and have three people read Romans 8:26-28, Philippians 4:6-7, and Luke 11:9-13.
Which of these scriptures speak to you from your experiences with prayer? From childhood and/or the present? Positive and/or negative?
- When you pray, do you leave time for God's response? Do you begin by talking or listening?
- What prayer practices in your life have helped you to connect with God? Are there any things you would like to improve on?
- Is there a current unanswered prayer in your life that you are willing to share with the group? How has that experience affected your faith walk? Is there a prayer that God answered in another way that you are grateful for how He responded?
- There is a shift in our hearts when we move from asking “Why God?” questions to “What are you doing, God?” questions. Are there steps you can take toward “What” prayers in your life?
- Knowing that Jesus can relate to our prayers, can you sense that God has a plan in motion for you too? How does this change your perspective in difficult situations?
Closing Prayer: (5-15 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
Specifically pray as a group and ask God to reveal more of WHAT He is doing through your unanswered prayers this week.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK
Read Revelation 21:4-5 this week that reminds us of the end of the story. Ask God “What do you want me to learn from this?” as you bring your prayers to him.
Commit to praying for one particular person in your group every day of this week, helping to share the weight of their prayers they have been giving to God on their own.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP
- (Book Resource) Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, by Philip Yancey
- (Book Resource) Prayer: God on Mute:Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayers. By Pete Grieg
- (Book Resource) Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, by Richard Foster