This forms the Grow Group notes for Ivy for this week.
I’ve talked today about two groups of people who get used by God to accomplish his purposes in the world. In the morning I talked about Caleb, an 85 year old OVERCOMER who took the mountain fortresses and took down the giants who were said to live there! The talk will be up on iTunes in the week - Do you see yourself as an overcomer, or overcome? A victim or a victor?
So how do we overcome? That was the subject of the second talk – God uses PRAYERS (i.e.., people who pray!)
Start your time together in prayer (naturally) asking God to move – supernaturally!
BIBLE: Read Luke 11:1-13
Notice; the disciples saw something different about how Jesus prayed. It wasn’t rote, it was relationship in action. And he got answers – miracles!
Discuss: is there anyone you know or know of whose prayer life is a great example to you?
It’s interesting that when they asked him, Jesus doesn’t say: Oh, I don’t need to teach you how to pray. Just talk to God. Easy peasy.’
No. Jesus says: ‘Okay, yes – you need to learn to pray like me – so I will teach you how to pray.’
The point of that is, you need to learn and can be taught how to pray. Which ALSO means if you’re not taught how to pray – you really might be praying incorrectly.
Question: Do you agree? Isn’t prayer just natural? Can’t we ‘just do it.’ Do we need to learn to pray? In what way?
Prayer is POWERFUL! I think when the angels see us pray and just talk about prayer in such a blasé way it must be for them like watching kids playing with dynamite, not knowing the power they have in their hands!
Q: Do you recognise how powerful prayer is? In what ways does it become commonplace for us?
Everything that God IS and HAS is available through prayer. Imagine that! God (the Creator of heaven and earth, the beginning and the end) has put everything you need to see at work in your life available to you – how? Through prayer. Prayer really is the most potent force in the universe, more powerful than the atomic bomb. But you have to know how to split the atom. Before that it’s just potential in Uranium, protons, neutrons and croutons. But now we’ve learned how to release that potential power. Imagine if we learned to release the power of GOD through prayer? Because it all goes back to Him. Who God is, and what he can do, is through prayer. And prayer is directly related to who you see God is, and what he can do.
So what’s going on in prayer? God is giving us delegated authority to exercise. Read Genesis 1:26-27. Then God said, “Let us make man (male and female is included there of course) in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Let who? Let THEM! God is saying, ‘Let them – (US) the people, humans, establish my reign on the Earth.’ How? By prayer. God set the parameters for his dominion and how it gets established. He wants the EARTH to be full of his glory, Isa 11:9 says ‘The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ How? Completely! It’s established and enforced through prayer.
These words spoken by the Creator of earth about how he’s going to operate on the Earth; ‘Let THEM have dominion over… the earth.’ He didn’t say ‘Let me, or Let us…’ He said – Let THEM. He wanted them to RELATE to him and SHARE his authority. Imagine a father handing the keys over to his son, saying ‘You drive…’ It’s like he handed the keys over. ‘You live in the house. You have the legal authority over what happens in it now.’
It’s been given to his people. Not to be just servants but sons and daughters, running the family business!
Question: How might you pray differently if you saw that you had the authority of God in that way?
Jesus’ friends said ‘Teach US to pray!’ Read what he says in reply, from the ESV which is probably most accurate here -
“When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
So… when you pray:
1) Remember WHO you’re talking to – God is your DAD. He loves you… and
2) Remember WHAT to pray. Ask for His kingdom to come into (INVADE!) your kingdom.
Because prayer is a human being inviting the God of heaven to interfere with human affairs. Prayer is you giving heaven earthly license to influence earth! Prayer is you (never more powerful than when on your knees) – inviting, invoking – influence on this planet from GOD’S kingdom into the United Kingdom. Into every kingdom. The kingdom of your work, your family, your street. There’s nothing our world needs more desperately today – in individuals, in businesses, churches and communities – than God’s saving, supernatural intervention.
Discuss: If Jesus has taught YOU anything in this little lesson – How might this change your view and practice of prayer?
Being honest – are your prayers day after day, pretty mundane… ‘Bless my food, my job – and my dog in Jesus’ name, Amen.’
Is there anything GREAT – anything that needs HEAVEN’S RESOURCES to move to see something accomplished?
Is there anything about your prayers – that you’re honouring God with – because ONLY HE could POSSIBLY ANSWER the magnitude of your request?
And is there anything you are so passionately concerned about that you refuse not to pray about it, you refuse to give up on it – you’re just knock, knock knocking on heaven’s door about it, till you see an answer? Is there anything that big going on in your life?
Share with one another, pray for one another – and pray TOGETHER for God’s Kingdom to COME and His will to be done in the kingdoms of your lives.