Briefly share a “Let’s Pray” experience you’ve had during the weeks of this study.
Isaiah 56:7 (NIV®)
“My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
God leads us on some paths that are difficult. Prayer is not only about comfort and convenience. Prayer is necessary to bring transformation to our lives. As we are transformed, God is able to respond to us in more significant ways.
I. The Opportunity of Prayer
Acts 16:25 (NIV®)
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
1. Paul and Silas were beaten and put in prison for talking about Jesus and helping people in Jesus’ name. Describe a time when you felt put down or discriminated against for your faith, and your response.
2. Read Acts 16: 25-34. How many lives were changed right away because Paul and Silas prayed? What do you imagine the long-term effects were?
Jonah 2:1-2 (NIV®)
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.”
3. Jonah disobeyed God and ended up in the belly of a fish. Then he prayed for help, and God rescued him. Tell about a time when you did not follow God’s direction and things did not go well, but you were delivered after you prayed for His help.
4. In what areas (home, work, kids, strangers) are you most comfortable praying?
5. Loving God will not keep all of the bad things from our lives, but He has promised to walk through them with us. Describe a time when a situation drove you to pray in a way that you never had before, and what changed as a result.
II. Praying for Our Nation
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV®)
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
We have a Biblical assignment to pray for our nation. Let’s develop the discipline of praying for our nation more than we complain about it. We should not be reluctant to take prayer into the “public square.” If we leave prayer out of our public life, we leave God out of the public discussion. We are God’s ambassadors to this generation. Prayer enables us to extend our faith into our whole life without criticizing others; it is a request for God’s involvement.
6. In this passage we are told our primary assignment as believers meeting together in fellowship. What is it?
7. What is our first agenda item when we pray? And what is the goal or end result of that prayer?
8. What do we forfeit when we don’t pray for leaders here and around the world?
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV®)
“You are the salt of the earth . . . you are the light of the world.”
9. What are salt and light used for? What does Jesus mean when He says that we are “salt” and “light”?
10. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” How does this define our rights as people of faith in America?
Let’s Pray Together!
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. I boldly proclaim you are my rock and my redeemer, my hope in You alone. Amen.
(taken from Psalm 77)
Scripture quotations marked NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.