(Message 7) "I'm too busy to pray... God will never listen to someone like me... God doesn't answer prayer... prayer is awkward..." We have a lot of reasons not to pray, but are they legit? Join us as we listen to Jesus' perspective on prayer, ditch our excuses, and become a renegade prayer. #GCRenegade

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Philippians 4:4-9

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Go around the room and share one or two sentences for your high and low for the day/week. Have your facilitator open in prayer for your group's discussion and for God to work out the details of everyone's highs and lows.
  • Share a time when you persistently asked your parents for something (if you can remember) or when your children persisted in asking you for something and it caused them/you to change your mind.
  • Troy gave us 4 reasons why people might not have a consistent prayer life. At this time in your life, to which reason can you relate the most and why?

Start thinking and sharing.  Ask a question to get your group thinking and to create openness.

  • Read the parable Jesus told in Luke 18:1-8.  Discuss this passage by answering the following questions:
    • Who are the characters involved?
    • What is the issue?
    • What was the resolution and why?
  • Read Hebrews 4:16. Recall times when you came boldly to God in prayer.
    • Did He answer immediately?
    • Did He answer the way you thought He should?
    • Did He go about things in a completely different way?
    • In retrospect, do you trust Him and love Him more even if His way and/or the outcome weren't what you prayed for?

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Definition of prayer: Talking to God.  It's really that simple!  God did give us some specifics on how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13.   Encourage each other to use the plan of "ACTS" that Troy shared.  Challenge each other to practice it consistently throughout the week by using the prayer chart attached.  Try to write at least one thing in each box daily.  Discuss how the Plan worked for you at your next meeting.
  • Commit to applying ACTS to areas of your life where you believe there is some kind of injustice (something lacking, illness, need, desire, or something only God can do).

Start praying.  Be bold and pray with power.

  • Read John 16:24. Pray for each other to persistently pray throughout the week. Pray through your group's prayer journal.

Start digging. For further study.

  • Via the great article  "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Friend in Need (Persistent Neighbor)?" discuss the parable in Luke 11:5-10.
  • Philippians 4:4-9 tells us to present our requests to God and His peace will guard our hearts. Where on a scale of 1-10 (1 being you never worry and 10 being you worry about everything) would you rate yourself?  Discuss and encourage each other by studying verse by verse through Philippians 4:4-9.

Reasons we don’t pray:

  1. Too busy
  2. Guilt
  3. Doubt
  4. It’s awkward

 

Persistent prayer changes us.

 

A.C.T.S.:

Adoration
Confession
Thanksgiving
Supplication

Speaker

Troy Knight

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