Pray First: “A Lifestyle of Prayer” (Week 2)
Speaker: Daniel Erasmus
Worship: Listen to “The Goodness of God” by Bethel during group worship or your personal devotional time. Reflect on the lyrics that describe how faithful and good our God is. That He is both Father and Friend to us, He never leaves us, even through the tough times, those dark nights, He is with us. There’s nothing we can do to fully repay Him for what He does, all we can do is to praise Him with every breath that we have, giving Him thanks and the Glory always.
Check-In: Allow the members to share what their prayer time looked like this past week. What measures have they put in place to ensure that they introduce “Pray First” into their daily life? Positively affirm all answers – prayer does not come naturally to all. Remember to show grace by listening with humility, and with no shaming.
Bible Readings: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Luke 18:1; John 15:4-5; Daniel 6:10; Luke 11:1-2; Mark 1:35; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 4:15-16; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:14; Psalm 103:8-13; John 14:16-17
Preparation and Discussion for Group Time:
By praying first, we are putting our trust in God to make a way for us, not by our own strength, but by the power of God at work in our lives. Yet, there are certain situations that we feel we need to take control of ourselves. We feel we can fix things ourselves. With this series, we as a church want to create a new habit of “PRAY FIRST” in every circumstance.
John 14 Jesus clearly states that we will do GREATER things. By making prayer our first response, it helps us to live our lives as God intended it, supernaturally. In this week’s message, Ps Daniel shared four habits that can help us make prayer part of our daily life:
- The Priority of Prayer – Ps Daniel strongly encouraged us to schedule an appointment with God. Like making an appointment with a friend, family or for a work meeting, birthday, or any other celebration. Is prayer a priority in your life? Is it no.1? Discuss what you need to re-arrange to ensure you maintain your appointment with God? (Daniel 6:10)
- The Place of Prayer – In scripture we see Jesus choosing a specific place to pray (Garden of Gethsemane). When we choose a place to pray, it becomes part of our lifestyle, a routine, a habit. Do you currently have a place set aside for prayer? If not, can you think of a specific place that could become your sacred spot, a place where you can do business with God? (Mark 1:35)
- The Plan of Prayer – There are times when you need to pray spontaneously, but to remain focussed and fully engaged in prayer, we need a plan. There are various resources available to assist you with this. Below is a link that’ll take you to a page filled with options. Share in the group if you’re currently using a plan and what it is. (Luke 11:1-2)
- The Persons of Prayer – The Persons meaning the Trinity. Each Person in the Trinity has a different role. Connecting with each of them individually will bring new meaning to your relationship with them. The way we view God determines the way we approach God.
To make prayer a lifestyle, we need to have the correct view of God. Consider the following below as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 13:14 (Also known as the Benediction). Share with the group how you see the Trinity and what part they play in your daily life and what needs to shift for there to be a greater/deeper connection with each of them.
- JESUS – He is our mediator, carries our prayers to God. Jesus paid for our sin so we can be connected to God. This is the AMAZING GRACE of Jesus. (Romans 8:34)
- FATHER – This is God’s favourite name. When we call on Him, He wants to help us. He is waiting to give us what we need. He delights in giving us good things. This is the EXTRAVAGANT LOVE of the FATHER. If we have this view of God, it will determine how we’ll approach Him in prayer. (Ephesians 3:14; Psalm 103:8-13)
- HOLY SPIRIT – This Person of the Trinity is probably the one most people struggle with. He is our Helper, Advocate, He accompanies us in our daily life. He counsels us, guides us and speaks into our heart, and He convicts us when we need to repent. This is the INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP of the HOLY SPIRIT. (John 14:16-17)
Check out and Prayer:
As you check out, go around the group and allow each member to share what goal they’re setting for this week to make prayer part of their lifestyle. Also remind the group that we are to continue praying for those individuals whom we’ll be inviting to one of the Easter services. Please take note of the service times over Easter weekend, you can find it on the website.
Prayer: Pray the BENEDICTION together as you close in prayer. 2 Cor 13:14 “May the Amazing Grace of Jesus Christ, the Extravagant Love of the Father and the Intimate Friendship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever”.
For personal study check out the PRAY FIRST resources on the website. You can download the PDF. Take time to invest in your own discipleship journey to grow deeper in your love for God and others.
For upcoming next steps in your discipleship journey; like Baptism or serving. Sign up online at Church Center/ the website.
*Resources from Chris Hodges, Church of the Highlands – Pray First.