THE BIG IDEA:
Prayer is talking to God and helps us grow in our relationship with him.
Because of lack of understanding, worry, or failure to take the time, we miss out on the benefits and joys of prayer.
Take time alone with God to talk with him, listen to him, and learn to trust him in a deeper way.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: Prayer is talking to God and listening to his answer.
- EXPERIENCE: The great joy and privilege of communicating with God through prayer.
- RESPONSE: Make prayer and reliance on God a regular part of our lives.
TIPS AND IDEAS
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leader like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
Shayla’s stomach is tied up in knots. Her dad is sick and has been out of work for the past several months. She has a big project due next week. And she’s wondering if she’ll be invited to the party next week. To top it off, it seems like her little brother is always nagging her and giving her a hard time. Sometimes it feels like a mountain of stress is weighing on her heart. One of her friends said she should pray and give her problems to God, but she doesn’t know how she would begin to do that. In what ways can you relate to Shayla’s experience?
*1. Read Philippians 4:6-7. What does God tell us to do in verse 6? What does he say not to do?
He says we should bring our requests about every issue to God through prayer and with thanksgiving. He tells us to not be anxious about anything.
2. Why do you think God tells us not to be anxious about anything?
Allow the group to discuss. God loves us, cares for us, and is bigger than any of my problems. He wants us to bring our concerns to him so that he can do something about them. Anxiety is essentially talking to yourself about your problems, and that doesn’t solve anything.
*3. Why do you think God wants us to pray about everything, not just “big” things? Allow the group to discuss. He loves us, cares about all the details of our lives, and wants to show his love and care in every part of our lives, whether big or small.
4. Why do you think God wants us to offer our prayers with thanksgiving?
Allow the group to discuss. Thanking God declares that he’s good and in control of all our situations, even the hard and painful ones.
*5. What does God promise as we say “no” to anxiety and come to him about everything in prayer with thanksgiving?
He promises that his supernatural peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
6. Read Luke 5:15-16. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, why do you think he often took time to pray?
Allow the group to discuss. Jesus had an eternal relationship with God, and prayer cultivated that relationship.
7. How is prayer like talking on the phone or texting with a friend? How is it different?
Allow the group to discuss. They might say how it is similar that you can do it anytime and that God wants to talk to us, but different in that God doesn’t seem to talk back in the same way, and that God is more holy and we might want to treat him more like a king than a buddy.
*8. It is amazing to be able to talk to the God of the universe whenever we want, so why is prayer sometimes hard to do? Is it worth it?
Allow the group to discuss. Prayer is well worth it. The God of the universe loves me and wants to answer my prayers.
9. What’s the biggest thing happening in your life right now that you need to stop worrying about about and bring to God with prayer and thanksgiving?
Allow the group to discuss.
10. Writing your prayers down is a great way to remember what to pray for and to see how God has answered your prayers over time. Start a prayer list right now. Write down three things you want to start praying for this week, then gather together as a group and pray.
Give your students some time to write down some prayer requests. If the group is uncomfortable with this, you could lead them through it. At the end, pray together. You can find some creative ideas for group prayer in our IDEA BOX section at thrivestudies.com/prayer-leader
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.