Sermon Based Small Groups

The Heart of Prayer – Part 4 – God’s Answers

By March 3, 2018 No Comments

Sermon Based Group Homework

For the message on March 4, 2018
Passage: Mark 14:32-42

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

1. As a child, how did you respond when your parents told you “no”? Did you sulk quietly, scream loudly, cry hysterically, argue persistently, or other?

2. Is prayer more about changing God’s mind or is it more about changing ours? Explain.

3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?

LET’S GO DEEPER

1. This Sunday Mike explained there are times when we will make inappropriate prayer requests without even realizing it. Why do you think Jesus denied the following three requests of Him?

Matthew 17:1-8 (ESV)
1  And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2  And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3  And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4  And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5  He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6  When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7  But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8  And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Matthew 20:20-23 (ESV)
20  Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21  And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22  Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23  He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

Luke 9:51-56 (ESV)
51  When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52  And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53  But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54  And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55  But he turned and rebuked them. 56  And they went on to another village.

  • Has you prayer life ever struggled because God didn’t answer your prayers the way you wanted?
  • Can you name some inappropriate prayer requests you have made, even unintentionally?

2. Because we live in such an “instant” society, we don’t often handle delays very well. This is true in our prayer lives as well. One of the most noted delays in Jesus’ ministry concerned the death of Lazarus. What lessons can be learned about God’s delays from Jesus’ encounter with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in John 11:1-45?

John 11:1-45 (ESV)
1  Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3  So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4  But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6  So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7  Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8  The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10  But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11  After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12  The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13  Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14  Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15  and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16  So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17  Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18  Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19  and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20  So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24  Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27  She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” 28  When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29  And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31  When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32  Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34  And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35  Jesus wept. 36  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” 38  Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40  Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41  So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45  Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,

 

  • What are some reasons why God might delay a prayer request? 
  • How does our living in an “instant” society affect our prayer lives?

3. Mike mentioned several reasons related to our spiritual maturity for why God may not give us what we want, when we want it.  What reasons for unanswered prayers can you find in the following verses that relate to being right when we pray?

James 1:5-8 (ESV)
5  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Proverbs 21:13 (ESV)
13  Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

James 4:3 (ESV)
3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)
7  Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Isaiah 64:7 (ESV)
7  There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

1 John 3:22 (ESV)
22  and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

 

  • God not only examines our prayers but He also examines the pray-er. Do you think it’s possible to divorce our living from our praying to our Father?
  • How might James 5:16 affect the way you enter into the presence of God for prayer?
    • James 5:16 (ESV) – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

TAKE IT HOME

1. Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, is there one thing you’d especially like to remember or change this week concerning prayer?

2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?

Prayer Requests:

Sundays: 9:30 & 11:00AM