• Matt Beaney

#351 - WHEN YOU PRAY (17/5/21)

Updated: May 17


On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. This week we began looking at Jesus’ teaching regarding prayer.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:5)

The Bible is saturated with prayer. The New Testament is like a prophet calling us back to our most important work. Prayer reminds us of where God is - on the throne. Prayer puts us where we should be - in submission and fruitfulness.


Jesus is assuming that Christians (disciples) will pray. A disciple is someone who is learning to be like Jesus - and Jesus prayed!


Prayer is to be an act and a lifestyle. It’s dedicated time alone with the Father. Prayer is also a lifestyle as we pray with our Christian family and throughout the day.


Lord, teach us to pray

Perhaps our most important prayer, and the prayer that is most needed in our desperate days, is what Luke records just prior to Jesus’ teaching on The Lord’s Prayer,

‘One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”’ (Luke 11:1)

Prayer is the most powerful practice that we can get hold of because prayer links us to our Heavenly Father who is Almighty! The devil will do all that he can to distract and dissuade you from making the time to pray.


RESPONSE

When do you pray? Where and at what time? Make a plan. Without a plan it probably won’t happen. Terry Virgo said,

‘Although it’s sad to regard prayer only as a duty. Don’t wait until you feel “moved” to pray. You might drift. Plan to pray. He’s always there even when you don’t feel like it.’

Get started, keep it simple, be consistent and you will develop.

Are you asking Jesus to teach you to pray? He wants to teach you!




COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - PRAY LIKE GOD IS YOUR FATHER

Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

What is the happiest moment that you can remember about your parents?


Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. This week we began looking at Jesus’ teaching regarding prayer.


Please read Matthew 6:5-8


This parallels what we looked at last week about wealth from Matthew 6:1-4. Likewise, we are to pray to our Father, but not for a show.


1. When you pray

Jesus expects His disciples to pray. If we are to do this, we must believe that it's important. Secondly, we must make a plan; it's important that we plan when and where we will make time to be alone with God each day.


2. Pray to the Father

Effective prayer is mindful of the identity of God as Father. Without this, our prayers can go bad; we can come to believe that we must use many words and perform well if we are to get God to listen and act.

Our confidence in prayer is that Jesus has given us His perfect righteousness and adopted us into the family of God.


3. Your Father knows your needs

Finally, we are told that our Father already knows our needs. We come to one who loves us and is willing to do what's best for us.

This also means that we are to listen to the Father - principally as we read scripture - to hear what He tells us that we need. When God reveals His will and promises in scripture, we are then to pray the promises and according to His will.


Discussion questions

1. What did God speak to you about from Sunday's message?

2. Why is it helpful to address God as Father and what does this mean?

3. When and where do you pray?

4. Jesus reveals His promises in scripture so that we can trust and pray them. Do you have examples of doing this?


Serving, Investing and inviting

1) Have you got any encouraging stories of serving, investing and inviting that you'd like to share?

2) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

2) How are you planning to serve invest and invite?




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