Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer

Yesterday (Thursday) evening I attended the weekly meeting of our church’s Life group hosted by Roland and Sherry Loder. Five attended, and we studied Jesus’ teaching on prayer.

We spent the first half of our study time discussing the following questions:

Opening
What standard prayer(s) did you recite as a child?

Matthew 6:5-8
In Matthew 6:1-18 Jesus warns his disciples against hypocrisy (pretending to be what one isn’t) in giving to the needy, in prayer, and in fasting.
1. How does their hypocrisy affect the way that hypocrites pray?
2. How does it affect their reward?

Matthew 6:9-13
As you know, this prayer is generally called The Lord’s Prayer. Luke 11:1-4 records a shorter version of it which Jesus gave on another occasion in response to one of his disciples asking him to teach them how to pray.
1. What concerns related to God come first?
2. What personal concerns follow?
3. How are forgiveness and prayer related? See also Matthew 6:14-15.

Luke 11:5-13
Jesus records Jesus as following his teaching of the Lord’s Prayer with a parable (11:5-8) and some comments (11:9-13) on prayer. The comments are also recorded in Matthew 6:7-11.
1. What does the parable in Luke 11:5-8 teach about prayer?
2. How does Luke 11:9-13 relate to the parable?

We spent the other half of our study time discussing the REFLECT questions on Luke 11:1-13 in The NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988, page 1357). I had permission from Serendipity House, Inc., to provide copies of the questions to the group. However I don’t have permission to copy them here and so am not doing so. Sorry. I heartily recommend both the book and the set of questions to readers of this post.

Next week our Life group will hold its last meeting of the 2013-14 church year, a social, and the group may not resume meetings in the fall. Thus this may be the last weekly Friday post at Open Theism.

Open Theism contains four earlier articles on prayer: “Open Theism Encourages Prayer,” March 23, 2013 (part of my opening series of articles on open theism); “Prayer,” May 17, 2013 (part of our Life group study of Ephesians 6:10-20); “Prayer,” December 10, 2013 (part of my current series of reports on my family’s reading of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology in our daily Bible reading); and “Prayer in Daniel,” May 9, 2014 (part of our Life group study of prayer).

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