Small Group Curriculum

Praying in Faith

01.28.18 | 40 Days of Prayer


MATTHEW 6:9b

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.


PREPARATION

Jesus, the Master Teacher, teaches us to pray to God our Father, who loves us, hears us, and answers us. Through Him we have access to God the Father. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) [Emphasis added]. Because of your love relationship with the Father, your prayers have power.

Love is the first Powerful Prayer Principle, and it’s the foundation of prayer. From it all other principles flow; all prayer begins and ends with the Father’s love for you. Before your group meets, spend time with the Father. Ask Him to prepare your heart for your discussion and allow Him to reveal His truth to you.

MY PRAYERS THIS WEEK

What or who are you praying for this week?

How is God answering your prayers?

What is He revealing to you?

Truth in Life

I pray with faith that God can do anything.

How we see God determines how we pray. If we believe that God is big, we will pray big prayers. If we believe that God is small, we will pray small prayers. So, how we see God is important because it shows us the size of our faith. Jesus says that faith matters when we pray. Our faith moves the Father to act. Praying with confidence that God can do anything really does make a difference.

Q: How does someone with big faith pray? How does someone with small faith pray?

Q: Why does praying with faith make a difference?


week TWO

LEARNING FROM THE MASTER

Jesus first teaches His disciples how they should approach God—as Father. Next, He teaches them what the Father is like. Jesus tells us that the Father is “in heaven.” Jesus gives us the Father’s place (or position)—He is the Sovereign Ruler over His creation. All of life begins and ends with God. He brought the universe into being. He calls the sun out by morning and knows every star by name. Our finite minds cannot comprehend how truly majestic God is. Nothing is impossible for Him; He can do anything.

But the Father also knows His creation intimately. Later in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that God not only rules His creation, but He cares for it as well. He feeds the birds; He dresses the lilies in splendor (Matt. 6:26-30). The same God who “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand” (Isa. 40:12) knows your every thought—your fears, your desires, your concerns, your hopes.

Jesus also teaches His disciples that God is holy. To say “hallowed be your name” expresses a desire for God to be revered and worshiped for who He is. “Hallowed” is a way to say that God is “holy.”1 To be holy is to be set apart. And God is set apart from the world that He created because He is perfect in His character and actions.2 There simply is no one person or thing like God in all the universe.

Q: How does seeing God as sovereign affect the way you pray?

Q: Define “holy” in your own words.

POWERFUL PRAYER PRINCIPLE

The second Powerful Prayer Principle that Jesus teaches us is faith. The author of Hebrews tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. He goes on to say that “whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (11:6). Did you know that it brings God pleasure when you come to Him with your needs? But that’s not all. The Father rewards you when you come to Him in faith! If you want to feel the Father’s pleasure, come to Him with faith that believes He can do anything, and He will reward you.

Q: What does the fact that God rewards those who pray with faith tell you about Him?

CHANGED BY PRAYER

Praying to Praise

Jesus wants you to see the Father as holy. He is set apart and worthy of your worship. To make God’s name “hallowed” is to use your life as a way to show others what God is like. That means using every area of your life to bring God glory.3 The Apostle Paul tells us that, “whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). With every new day, you can bring God glory in countless ways. By how you treat your co-worker. By washing dishes. By the way you do your taxes.

You can bring God glory through your prayers. The power of your prayers doesn’t come from what you say or how you say it. The power comes from God, who is sovereign (all-powerful) and holy (good). The bigger your faith, the bigger your prayers will be. The more you believe that God can do anything, the more you will come to Him with even the smallest requests. Faith to believe God is like this changes the way you pray.

Q: Think of someone who lives to bring God glory. Describe them.

The Father’s Delight

Did you know that God delights in you when you come to Him in prayer? He is your Father. And like a good father, He wants to meet your needs. Because God is sovereign, He can do anything. Do you believe that He can do the impossible for you? Because God is holy, you can trust that how He answers your prayers will turn out for your good. Do you believe that God is good? That, as your Father, He will never do anything but work for your good?

God’s answers to your prayers may not be the ones you expect, and they may not come when you want them to. But God is holy and good, which means that He is trustworthy. He is your Father and He delights to answer your prayers. But He will always answer you in His own creative way and in His perfect timing, not yours.

Q: How does it make you feel that the Father delights in you when you come to Him in prayer?


PRAYING TOGETHER

Reflection & PRAYER

Take five minutes to complete the Reflection and Response section below. 

HOW IS GOD SPEAKING TO...  

YOUR HEART?
What is He teaching you?  

YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
In what ways is He reshaping how you see Him? How you see yourself?  

YOUR ACTIONS?
What is He calling you (or your group) to do?  

Prayer Prompt

Split up into groups of 2-3 people and pray for the following:

Pray for the impossible. What impossible things are you asking God to do?

Pray for faith. Where do you want God to give you more faith?

Pray in faith. What truth about God do you need to declare?


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ENDNOTES:
1. “The verb hallowed means ‘to sanctify, make holy.’ Because the grammatic form here is unknown in English, we tend to take this line in Jesus’ prayer as a statement of fact, when, in fact, it is a request. Jesus was teaching us to make the request, ‘Lord, may your name be sancti ed.’ Why should we pray to God that he would sanctify his own name? Probably as a reminder to ourselves to live a life that advertises a holy God.” Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 81.
2. On the holiness of God, A.W. Tozer writes, “Holy is the way God is. To be holy He does not conform to a standard. He is that standard. He is absolutely holy with an in nite, incomprehensible fullness of purity that is incapable of being other than it is. Because He is holy, His attributes are holy; that is, whatever we think of as belonging to God must be thought of as holy.” A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God, Their Meaning in the Christian Life (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2009), 116.
3. To glorify God is to give Him “weighty importance and shining majesty that accompany [His] presence” (Chad Brand et al., eds., “Glory,” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary [Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003], 655.). You bring God glory when you praise Him and recognize His importance in your life and the weight your relationship with Him carries with you.