This week's Bible study is adapted from the YOU curriculum.
Bible Passages: Luke 11:1-4,9-10
Discussion Questions: Why is prayer important? If God were to forgive you to the extent that you have forgiven the person who has hurt you the most, how forgiven would you feel?
Food for Thought:
Can you guess what these people have in common: Milton Hershey, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison? Besides eventually becoming famous, they were persistent. Had they given up, the world might not have experienced Hershey's chocolate, Apple computers or even electric light.
The book of Luke emphasizes prayer. Jesus prayed often and for long periods of time. Jesus prayed at His baptism (Lk. 3:21). He frequently withdrew to places where He could be alone for prayer (Lk. 5:16). He was on a mountain praying when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John (Lk. 9:28-29).
On the occasion recorded in Luke 11, Jesus had again withdrawn from the crowds that constantly pressed Him to spend time in prayer. Upon His return, an unnamed disciple asked Him to teach them how to pray. In Jesus' day disciples of rabbis often asked for instruction about specific practices. The disciples were motivated to learn how to pray by both Jesus' example and that of John the Baptist.
People make a lot of assumptions about prayer. Some think it is something they just know how to do. Others expect God to answer their prayers the way they want, when they want. But prayer is much more than this. Prayer is real communication with God. It is our lifeline to God.
Just as Jesus taught His disciples about prayer, believers today need to learn how to pray and need to pray regularly. The Lord's Prayer is an example of the kind of prayer God honors. As you talk with God, be challenged to focus on a different part of the Lord's Prayer each day.
Day 1: Reflect on what it means for God to be your Father.
Day 2: Honor God for who He is and what He is doing in your life (even in adversity).
Day 3: Praise God for providing for your needs, not your wants.
Day 4: Focus on forgiveness. Where do you need to accept it and offer it?
Day 5: Claim God's strength in overcoming a temptation.
Day 6: Worship God's presence, power, and holiness.
The elements of God's kingdom, our provision, the need for forgiveness, and dealing with temptation are parts of the believer's daily experience. It is often during these times that people become situational pray-ers. When they face a crisis or have a big need, they remember to pray. But, believers are to be persistent pray-ers. Jesus indicated that such prayer would be in accordance with God's will. The assurance Jesus gave that "everyone who asks receives" (v. 10) does not mean that every prayer is answered as we desire. Rather, it means that if we persist in prayer, our prayers eventually will be answered according to God's will for us. Bold persistence pays off! God delights in responding generously to our persistent prayers.
Intentionally focused on African American, urban and multicultural believers, YOU is biblically based with culturally relevant and affirming lessons to help people connect, grow, serve and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated, all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.
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