To be like Jesus
God commands us to pray:
- “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 (NIV)
- “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” – Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
- “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful, and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
- “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone …” – Timothy 2:1 (NIV)
- “Pray continually” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)
To be like Jesus:
- Matthew 14:23 NKJV And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
- Mark 1:35 NKJV Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
- Luke 5:16 NKJV So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
- Luke 6:12 NKJV Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
- Luke 18:1 NKJV Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
Blessings that come through prayer:
Last week: We gain strength from God.
- Reason two: To feel ___________________________.
- If you were to attach a feeling or emotion to the year 2020, what would it be? ______________________
God’s antidote to fear, worry, uncertainty: Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Break it down:
- Do not be anxious about ______________________…”
- Anything means ____________________________!
- Now, Paul didn’t just say: “Do not be anxious about anything,” he said: “but in _____________________, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- The antidote to worry for the believer isn’t mere optimism or a positive mental attitude; it’s _____________.
- He didn’t just say “pray and petition God,” he said to do it with “_________________________________.”
1 Peter 5:7 NKJV casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Not: you carry half and let God have half. Not you carry 8% and forget the other 92%. No. Cast it all to him.
- The promise: “And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Psalm 4:8 NKJV I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
- Proverbs 18:10 NKJV The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
- Why pray? A better question, why ___________________?
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- If someone asked you why prayer is an essential part of your walk with Christ, how would you answer? Why did Jesus pray so often, and so consistently? If Jesus needed such consistent prayer, what does that tell you about yourself?
- When Pew Research surveys American’s and Christians about prayer, they ask: “How often do you pray?” They offer the following responses:
- At least daily
- Don’t know
If you were surveyed and gave an honest answer, which of these would you circle? In what ways do you believe you most need to grow in your prayer life?
- What are the things that make you anxious, worried, concerned, fearful, stressed, or insecure? How do these things affect your life, your mood, and your decisions? How do you believe your life could be different if you consistently followed Paul (Philippians 4:6-7) and Peter’s (I Peter 5:7) instruction?
- What is the difference between concern and pro-activity in our problems, and worry? How is Paul’s teaching different from the familiar mantra, “don’t worry, be happy?” In what ways might somebody use QUESTIONS & EXERCISES For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group Series: the teachings of Jesus and the apostles on prayer and worry as an excuse to neglect to be proactive about problems in their lives?
- Paul describes the “peace of God that transcends understanding.” Although it’s impossible to understand fully or put such in words if asked to describe this peace to another, what would you say? Why is this peace so necessary for a healthy spiritual life?