Rhythms: Prayer & Meditation

Life Group Discussion Questions

January 20, 2019

Start this week off by taking a little bit of time to review the Shared Experiences from Week 2. What have people started to notice as they’ve opened their Bibles? Anything new and exciting? Anything God has reminded you of that came at the perfect time? As a reminder, continue to encourage one another to partake in one of the Shared Experiences for further spiritual growth.

Prayer pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some Christians scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional tug at the rope; but the ones who truly connect with heaven are those who grasp the rope boldly and pull continuously, with all their might. – Charles Spurgeon

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. – Martin Luther

We must come to grips with the fact that to be like Jesus we must pray. – Dallas Willard

Get the Conversation Started

Q: What misconceptions about prayer have affected your ability to engage?

Q: What truths about prayer have encouraged you to pray?

Q: In your previous experiences, what has shaped your understanding of prayer? Is there anyone that really helped you learn how to pray?

Q: Tim Keller states in his book, Prayer, “I can think of nothing great that is also easy. Prayer must be, then, one of the hardest things in the world. To admit that prayer is very hard, however, can be encouraging. If you struggle greatly in this, you are not alone.” Do you share in Keller’s sentiment about prayer?

The Expectation to Pray

Take turns reading the following passages one at a time:

Matthew 6:5
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:7
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Matthew 6:9
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

Luke 11:9
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Luke 18:1
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Q: Jesus, who full is of authority and love, expects his people to pray. Considering Jesus’ instruction above, does it make you want to become more persistent in prayer knowing that Jesus expects it of us?

Q: Why is it that you think Jesus expects us to pray?

Read & Discuss: Colossians 4:2 & 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Praying without ceasing is not a task to perform but an invitation to constant companionship with God. Paul is teaching us that prayer is not a duty, it is a privilege and an expression of life.

Q: How would you currently describe your prayer life?

Q: How would you like your prayer life to be different?

Q: In reading the Bible, we see prayer consistently appears. It impacts important events, interweaving with God’s sovereign plan in history. The Bible refers to prayer or expresses a prayer in 61 of its 66 books. There are 650 prayers listed within the Bible, approximately 450 of them have a recorded answer. Does that impact your view on “praying without ceasing”?

A Time of Prayer
For this week as a group, it would be a big swing and miss if we spent all this time talking about prayer and not actually doing it. Much like many of us make the decision to eat healthier and go to the gym this new year, talking about it is one thing, doing it is another. We have put together a Prayer Guide with a few potential resources on leading your group through prayer this week. Please spend 15-25 minutes together as a group praying with one another.

Note: this is not a time to listen to endless prayer requests. Spend more time talking to God, than to one another.

As you wrap up, take a few moments to go over the Shared Experience for this week (these are also available at summitview.net/rhythms and also available on the Summit View app.) How can we as a group encourage one another in one of these this week?

Kyle Wetzler
Pastor of Spiritual Formation
Summit View Church
(360) 260-8300 ext. 1520