CELL NOTES 19/5/08
What has been your best and worst experience of prayer?
Let’s start at the very beginning
Reading; Matthew 6 : 5 – 15
1) Beginning of a series on the Lord’s Prayer. Found in Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount, and in Luke in response to a request to be taught to pray.
2) How do you react to prayer, and when do you do so? The Lord ’s Prayer is there to help, more as a pattern, than words to be recited.
3) It starts with the Father
i) Jesus lived in relationship with the Father
ii) He encouraged us to do the same (e.g. John 20 : 17)
iii) He only did what he saw the Father doing – as should we ( John 5 : 19)
4) It was a huge change for a Jew to see God in such intimate terms.
5) Our understanding of the fatherhood of God will be coloured by our own experience of an earthly father.
6) He is, though the ideal – as demonstrated in the Prodigal Son, and Mat 3 : 17
7) The Bible speaks of Him guiding, warning, giving joy, teaching, being merciful etc.etc.
8) He wants a relationship with a loving Father to be the defining relationship in our lives, especially in the face of fear and sin – committed by us and to us.
9) As the Father is in heaven, so that is where we will have a home.
10) But as we live as His children on earth, we are to live so that others honour (hallow) His name.
QUESTIONS OF APPLICATION
1) How doe you relate to God as Father? Is it right to say this is coloured by your experience of human fatherhood?
2) In the group, share what your personal pattern of prayer is, and what you might aspire to.
Also share your feelings about praying in a group.
3) If not covered in the ice breaker, when have you been most excited or encouraged about prayer, and when most disappointed or dejected?
4) What occupies you most in prayer - praise, confession, petition, reflection, or something else?