Small Group Discussion Guide
-Ask, Seek, Knock-
In your opinion, why is there a gap between a meaningful prayer life and people’s everyday experience?
1. Read Luke 11:1
- Why do you think Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray?
2. Read Matthew 7:7-11
- Why should we expect that prayers will be answered?
- Why do you think Jesus doesn’t include any qualifiers (who can pray to God, what they can pray for, etc.) in this passage?
- What word pictures does Jesus use to help us have confidence in prayer?
3. Discuss each of the barriers to prayer (below). Talk about why they are barriers and how you would answer someone who uses this objection to dismiss prayer.
- ‘I’m Good’ (I don’t need anything from God right now.)
- ‘God Knows’ (He already knows what I need, so why ask?)
- ‘I doubt it’ (It’s probably not going to help.)
- ‘I distrust’ (I struggle trusting that God cares about me.)
- ‘I’m too busy’ (Other things are more important.)
4. Martin Luther once said: ‘To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.’ Read Ephesians 6:18; I Thessalonians 5:18. The Bible seems to assume that Christians will depend on prayer as lifestyle. Why do you think we don’t do that and how does that weaken our spiritual life?
5. Read Matthew 17:19-20; James 1:6-8. Why is faith so important in our prayer life?
6. Tim Keller once said: ‘God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything He knows.’ Why are ‘unanswered’ prayers sometimes a blessing?
7. James 4:2 says: ‘You do not have because you do not ask God.’ How often do you think that is true in your own life?
Make a commitment for this next week to spend meaningful time in prayer each morning, and to strive to consciously invite God into every moment of your day-to-day life. Ask God for all sorts of things - big and small. Then evaluate if it made a difference at the end of the week.