prayer

1 Samuel 1 - The God of Our Asking

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. God is the one who is attributed as closing Hannah’s womb in 1 Sam 1:4–5, and yet, He did this in order to work His sovereign power in human weakness to accomplish His good purposes—for Hannah, and also for the rest of Israel (and ultimately to the world). How might this understanding that God uses human weakness and sorrow for His glorious purposes help a Christian in the midst of trials?
     
  4. What keeps you from pouring your heart out to God more in prayer? Would you be willing for God to do anything in your life in order to increase your neediness to come before Him in prayer? 
     
  5. Read 1 Samuel 1:12-18. How did the assumptions Eli made about Hannah’s actions reveal his own spiritual condition? Are there assumptions you’re quick to make about other believers? Do those assumptions reveal areas in your own life where spiritual growth is needed?
     
  6. God used someone who was weak in the world’s eyes to accomplish His purposes in bearing the prophet Samuel who would raise up king David (who foreshadowed the blessing of King Jesus). Where else in scripture has God worked in nearly impossible situations through weak people in order to accomplish His purposes? How does your own weakness qualify you for being used by God? (See 1 Cor 1:26–31)

Ephesians 1:15-23 - That You May Know

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Ephesians 1:15-23. In verse 15 Paul gives thanks for the Ephesians’ love toward all the saints. Are other people able to thank the Lord for your love toward all the saints? What are some ways you show love to all of the saints? What are some ways you could love other believers better?
     
  3. What is the difference between the kind of knowledge Paul prays about in verses 17-18 and the kind of knowledge in Matthew 7:21-23? (See also John 10:14-15,27)
     
  4. Consider that Christ, who has immeasurable power described in verses 19-21, is given as head over all things to the church in verse 22. How does this impact the way you view the church?
     
  5. Read Paul’s other prayers, found in Ephesians 3:16-20, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9b-12. What are some insights these passages reveal about prayer? How should these passages affect your own prayers?

James 5:13-20 - Prayer: The Enduring Evidence of Faith

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:13-20. Notice James’ emphasis on prayer and confession. Do you ever confess of your sins? In what ways could it be improved?
     
  3. Before studying this passage, what statement did you most agree with: sickness is always the result of personal sin, sickness is never the result of personal sin, or sickness is sometimes the result of personal sin? What statement do you agree with now, and why? And how might James 5:15; 1 Cor. 11:30; and John 9:1–3 factor into your thinking?
     
  4. How do you usually respond if someone “falls off the radar” due to sin and stops gathering with our church? Read James 5:19–20; how should this passage inform your actions if people do this?
     
  5. If someone asks you to pray for them to be healed, is it ever appropriate in light of James 5:16 to ask that person if there might be any unconfessed sin in their life that is contributing to their physical sickness? If you asked for prayer for healing and someone asked you this question, how would you respond? How should you respond?
     
  6. As we conclude our study in James, take time to review the book and discuss what truths have been most impactful for you. Read Romans 12:9-13 and note themes in James that are echoed in Romans.
     
  7. Take time to pray for one another in your community group.

1 Samuel 2:1-10 - “Not By Might Shall a Man Prevail”: Glorying in the God of the Underdog

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read 1 Samuel 2:1-10. What is the focus of Hannah’s prayer? What themes do you see throughout her prayer?
     
  3. Hannah endured mocking and sorrow “year by year” (1:7) because “The Lord had closed her womb” (1:5–6). And yet, God did this to bring Hannah to a place of exulting in Him. How have you seen God’s sovereignty over your suffering, and how has God used your pain to bring you closer to him (Rom 8:28)?
     
  4. What attributes or characteristics of the Lord does Hannah mention in her prayer? Which attributes of the Lord are most meaningful to you? 
     
  5. What are some ways that this passage is similar to what we’ve been reading in James over the past several weeks? (See James 1:9-11, 4:6-10, 4:13-16, etc.)
     
  6. Take time to pray in your community group, praising God for who He is by focusing on His specific attributes.