We have just wrapped up a three part sermon series based on Romans 12. Our focus verse was Romans 12.12 in which we are urged to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” This verse is helpful in creating a frame for the way we look at life as followers of Jesus in this new year. A relationship with God deepened through prayer is the key for keeping our focus on Jesus during the the ups and downs of life. Use the guide below for worship and study in your household. Happy Worshiping!
Sing to God
Choose from the following videos or play a favorite worship song. If children are part of your worship this morning, involve them in selecting a favorite.
Lord, I Need You
Joy Is In Our hearts
Listen To the Lord (for kids)
I (Mark) have an old friend that I only get to see once every few years. In between those times we are notoriously awful at staying in touch. We have a rich history of friendship, we know each other well, but after long stretches without contact it takes a while to get back on track. After getting reacquainted, I begin to remember a forgotten part of who I am. Have you ever experienced a long pause in a relationship? Our relationship with God works in the same way. God longs for constant communication with us, a lifestyle of prayer. Being faithful in prayer doesn’t require perfection, it just requires persistence. If you’ve never really started a conversation with God, or if it’s been a long time, know that you can begin (again) today.
Study the Bible
Read Romans 12.12 aloud
- Describe your current prayer practice. Do you pray daily? Is is easy or difficult to pray regularly? What is the most powerful experience of prayer you’ve had?
Read Matthew 6.5-15
Most of us are leery of praying in public at all. A common explanation is that we don’t feel like we have the right words to pray. We think we can’t do it as well as some one else.
- What do Jesus’ words tell us about long-winded prayers that are meant to impress others? (vs. 5-8)
- What can we learn about the heart of an effective prayer from the example Jesus gave his followers? (vs. 9-15)
- Jacob summarized this with these words, “You don’t have to pray long. You don’t have to pray the right words. Just pray.” How do these words encourage you in your prayer life?
Praying for Results or Relationship?
- What are the 3 most common things you ask God for?
- It is clear that God wants us to ask for what we need. But is the end result of prayer about getting results from God, or growing in relationship with God?
- What are some ways that you can know you are growing in relationship with God?
The Right Time to Pray
“Prayer is a lifestyle that we as Jesus followers join in.”- Pastor Jacob
Read 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
- Reflect back on your current prayer practices. How can you move from having only set prayer times, to also incorporating prayer into every part of your life? What one thing can you do this week as an individual or family to be faithful in prayer?
God, we offer ourselves to you in the year 2016. We want to be transformed this year, for our sake and for the sake of the big things you want to do in the world. So help us to remain joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. Amen.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.