J. Hudson Taylor once said, "When we work, we work. When we pray, God works." A quick glance at the news and a walk around our neighborhoods is usually enough to help us see that we need God! During these forty days of prayer we are focusing in on praising God, repenting for our self-directed lives, asking Him to move in our city, and yielding our plans and lives to his plan and power!
APRIL 28--When it comes to prayer, we often focus primarily on the words that are coming out of our mouths. But Jesus teaches us that prayer is also a matter of the heart...in other words, the posture of our heart is incredible important in our prayers. This is why it is necessary for us to embrace the need to yield in our prayers, to recognize that our interests and agenda don't always match up with God's heart. But what does yielding in prayer actually look like?
- When you think about the way you pray, the words you say, etc...where did you learn how it do it?
- Who has influenced your life in the area of prayer?
- What do you think "prayer" might have been like for Adam and Eve in the Garden, before sin entered the story?
- Where in your life do you most struggle with the idea of "yielding" in prayer?
- How do you feel when it feels like God says "no"? Do you see it is a rejection or something else?
- What is an effective way you've found in your life to help you hear the voice and direction of God?
APRIL 21--The Bible is full of encouragement that as believers, we should be bold in asking God to move in our lives and in our cities. Jesus makes it clear that God wants us to ask Him and that we should expect Him to answer us! But so many times, we feel burned or let down by times where we haven't seen this "work". So how is it then that we can continue to approach God boldly and ask Him for big things?
- Can you think of a time where God answered a prayer in seemingly dramatic fashion? What was that like for you?
- Think about a time where you prayed for something that didn't happen? How have you tried to explain this to yourself or others?
- How often do you ask questions of God? Have you ever felt like you got answers?
- What's been your experience with the "Lord's Prayer" as a part of your faith tradition?
- How do you think your view/beliefs about God affect how you ask in prayer?
APRIL 14--Our lives are literally filled with opportunities to be drawn away from God. When we bite on those temptations, we start walking out a journey that moves us where we never wanted to be. God has given us a way to respond to those moments that brings life!
- What are some things capturing your interest that might have a hook in them?
- What keeps you from wanting to turn and run to Jesus?
- What is your process for assuring a successful change of direction?
- Who is joining you through the life of repentance?
APRIL 7--Few things give us a better picture of the condition of our hearts than our ability (or inability) to praise God. In praise we see into our hearts and have our eyes lifted off ourselves and onto God. It is from that place that the power of God shows up and opens the door for transformation all around us!
- What does the mirror of praise reveal in your heart?
- Can you identify any areas where God wants you to focus on praising Him?
- Where is the power of God showing up around you?
- What pathways is God opening up for you to cross bridges to others or to bring people back to Him?