28/07/2019: Teach us to Pray

CALL TO WORSHIP:    Psalm 145:17-21

 

17 Our Lord, everything you do
    is kind and thoughtful,
18  and you are near to everyone
    whose prayers are sincere.
19 You satisfy the desires
    of all your worshipers,
    and you come to save them
    when they ask for help.
20 You take care of everyone
    who loves you,
    but you destroy the wicked.

21 I will praise you, Lord,
    and everyone will respect
    your holy name forever.

 

SCRIPTURE READING:            Luke 11:1-13 (CEV)

 

Prayer

1 When Jesus had finished praying, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray,

just as John taught his followers to pray.” So Jesus told them, “Pray in this way:

‘Father, help us to honour your name.

Come and set up your kingdom.

Give us each day the food we need.

Forgive our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us.

And keep us from being tempted.’”

Then Jesus went on to say:

Suppose one of you goes to a friend in the middle of the night and says,

“Let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine has dropped in, and I don’t have a

thing for him to eat.” And suppose your friend answers, “Don’t bother me! The door is

bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something.”

He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get

up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on

asking.

So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be

opened for you. 10 Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the

door will be opened for everyone who knocks. 11 Which one of you fathers would give your

hungry child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 12 Which one of you would give your child a

scorpion if the child asked for an egg? 13 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good

gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to

anyone who asks.

 

 

 

Questions:

  1. How did you learn to pray? ________________________________________________________________________
  2. In our reading (Lk 11:1) the disciple asked Jesus – “Lord, teach us to pray.” What do you think the reasons were for this request? ________________________________________________________________________
  3. Do you think the disciples already knew how to pray, before they asked Jesus this question? ________________________________________________________________________
  4. When we look at Jesus, we should understand that his intention is…?
  5. What do you think of the statement – “Prayer is natural, it is part of who we are?” ________________________________________________________________________
  6. To help us understand Jesus’ points on “Ask, search, knock” we also need to remember, for the Jewish person in his day, hospitality is…? ________________________________________________________________________
  7. When it comes to prayer there is only one promise that Jesus makes here (see vs.13). What Jesus promises us in answer to our prayers is ________________________________________________________________________
  8. When we pray to the Father without fear or compromise – “God will never fail to give us God’s own, abundant, indwelling and overflowing self as the Answer we actually need. When we contend in prayer, God will not withhold God’s loving, consoling, healing, transforming, and empowering Spirit from us. When it comes to no-holds-barred, absolutely self-giving generosity, God’s answer to all of our prayers will always be Yes” [Debi Thomas] What do you think? ________________________________________________________________________

Quote to think about: “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays” [Søren Kierkegaard].

 

  1. Do you sometimes get frustrated with prayer because “you want something from God” rather than to accept prayer as a moment to be “filled with God”? ________________________________________________________________________

Quote to think about: “Prayer brings God and me together” [Phillip Yancey]

NOTES:

___________________________________________________________________________

References:

. Bible readings from: Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

. Debi Thomas: https://www.journeywithjesus.net/lectionary-essays/current-essay

. “Prayer, does it make any difference”: Yancey: Hodder: 2006: pg.136-145

Have a blessed and prayer filled week,

Rev. Tim

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