What activity most makes you feel in the zone or flow? That is, what most easily draws you fully into the present moment? Why?
This Sunday, Pastor Scott explored the topic of prayer to begin The Art Of, our new series on what it looks like to practice several key aspects of spirituality.
First, reflect on your understanding of prayer.
How were you taught to pray as a kid? How does that compare to how you practice prayer now?
What do you think is the purpose of prayer? Has this changed over the course of your life?
Next, read Matthew 6:5-15. Here, Jesus teaches his disciples about how he expects them to envision & practice prayer as a discipline.
How does this teaching reflect & further inform the themes that Pastor Scott laid out?
What does Jesus affirm & prohibit when it comes to prayer in this passage? What does this reveal about what he perceives to be the purpose of prayer?
What images or ideas appear within the prayer that he provides for his disciples? What might this reveal about the purpose of prayer in our lives?
Close by reflecting on your engagement with prayer right now.
Does your prayer life in this season reflect the themes & purposes that Jesus envisions for the practice? If not, how can you adjust it to further produce the transformation that Christ calls us to?
How can you recommit yourself to prayer as a daily, lifelong practice of transformation over the course of this next season?
Coming Out of the Hole
Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s teaching might speak into your daily life. In particular, consider the key themes that Pastor Scott called us to consider when it comes to prayer.
- Prayer is lifelong exercise (like breathing) that neither requires eloquence nor specific, one-size-fits-all formulas.
- Prayer should be focused more on listening to God than talking at God.
- Prayer is a daily acknowledgement of God’s presence in our lives.
- Prayer is fundamentally grounded in a belief that God hears & cares about our petitions & concerns.
- Prayer is intended to be a practice that’s primarily meant to transform us (individually & corporately) as we do it (as opposed to our circumstances or others).
Use these themes to reflect on your current practice of daily prayer. Is there anything that you might need to adopt or change in light of them & your group’s dialogue?
Consider trying to pray in a new posture, place, format, or orientation over the course of this series to see if that produces any change.
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Matthew by Stanley Hauerwas
Christ & Culture by Stanley Hauerwas
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Peculiar People by Henry Clapp
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, November 12th: Join us next Sunday for week 2 of our new series The Art Of!
* Please see mye3.org for details.