Learning to Pray

Session One     Session Two     Session Three

Prayer fuels everything we do. It’s how we relate intimately with our heavenly Father; it’s how we pour out our gratitude to Him. Prayer is how we express our complete dependence on God for everything in our lives.


SESSION ONE

ENGAGE WITH SCRIPTURE

Read Ephesians 3:14-21 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

DISCUSSION

Now take time to share together when you felt like you needed to pray for a need or about a challenge. What was the situation? What encouraged (or prevented) you from praying? What happened?


SESSION TWO

SCENARIO:

How would you help a friend facing a life crisis (for example, a major disappointment or health problem)? How would you understand that “our God is able” to find a way forward even in the middle of what they’re experiencing?

ENGAGE WITH SCRIPTURE

We’re going to take some time to look at what else the Bible says about prayer – about the confidence we can have when we pray, about the hope prayer can help us have in our lives, and about God’s attitude to prayer.

Read Luke 18.1-8 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

How can you apply what you’ve learnt to your own life?

FURTHER STUDY (OPTIONAL)

If you want to take this further, work through the next two passages:

Read Acts 4.23-30 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

Read Philippians 1:3-11 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.


SESSION THREE

After living in Kabul, Afghanistan and Amsterdam, Holland for more than 20 years, Floyd McClung felt that he was most fruitful in life doing three things: making disciples, training leaders, and planting churches. So in 1994, Floyd and his wife Sally launched a leadership training program now called All Nations, an interdenominational Christian, non-profit alliance of missional communities, ministries and members. All Nations dreams about igniting movements for Christ, as they serve the poor and share the good news.

Right at the core of everything he does is a passion for prayer.

Take some time to talk about what stands out to you as important or significant, or that’s really meaningful to you in what Floyd says. What was Floyd’s main point? What experiences of your own come to mind as Floyd talks? Were some of his insights helpful for you?

ENGAGE WITH SCRIPTURE

Read Matthew 6:9-13 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

DISCUSSION

The verses that we just looked at describe the very first time Jesus ever talked about prayer to those He called to be His full-time followers. It’s important to realize that what Jesus gave them (and us!) was not just a formula prayer that we’re meant to memorize and whip out every time we need something. We know this because of what Jesus had just been saying and because nothing about prayer for Jesus was ever mechanical or formulaic. In fact, He actually touched on this prayer another time (you can find it in Luke 11:2-4).

The point is not to memorize a prayer – the point is to “pray like this”. Jesus gives us the critical elements and order – and a model – so that prayer might become something different to what we’ve experienced before.

This prayer, as taught by Jesus, actually contains six parts. When you learn to pray its segments this way, they can help you find the discipline to “stay on track” when you’re praying and to align your life with God’s will for you.

Take time to discuss the significant themes in each line of Jesus’ prayer. Work together to develop a prayer outline based on Jesus’ model for learning to pray. Use it as the basis for a time of prayer together.


PROJECTS

Learning and growth happen through action. We learn as we pray. So here is a small project to help you engage with prayer.

Based on what you’ve discovered here, we’re going to take our understanding of God’s character and attitude to prayer even further. There are a few different ways you can take your next step. Take some time to talk through the options together and work out a meaningful way to take what you’re learning further.

  1. Write down or research a simple prayer plan or outline that you can follow throughout the next month.
  2. Design a night of prayer for your Life Group, family or friends.
  3. Keep a prayer journal on what you’re learning about prayer. It might include what you feel the Lord is speaking to you about and how God is answering your prayers. Be sure to take time to share your findings with a trusted friend.
  4. Design a project that helps you put into practice what you are learning about prayer right now.
  5. Commit to a project you set for yourself that draws on some of what you’ve been exposed to here.