Closer – Part Two

This week in our series titled CLOSER, we are going to look at drawing closer to God through prayer.

You see, prayer is about a person. It’s about having a conversation with God. Now, how much you Talk to someone shows how Close you are to them. Just think about it … how you talk to some random person that sits next to you in class is much different from how you talk to your BFF.

So, if you want to know how CLOSE you are to God, then look at your prayer life! Maybe you hardly pray because it’s awkward, difficult, or you don’t know how … that’s OK! We are all growing and learning.

Instead of talking about prayer, this week we are going to explore some prayer exercises together. We will actually put prayer into practice and then discuss any growth in our closeness to God.

Discussion Questions

  1. For you, what is the biggest challenge to prayer?
  2. In which of the prayer exercises did you find the most insight? Why do you think that one was significant?
  3. Which of the prayer exercises might you be willing to incorporate more often into your regular payer time?

Closer – Part One

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  – James 4:8

Today, we are starting our new three-week series, CLOSER. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking first at how to get CLOSER to God through Bible study (reading God’s Word), Bible meditation (thinking about God’s Word), and prayer (talking to God).

This week, we are kicking off our CLOSER series by looking at getting closer to God through Bible study.

Discussion Questions

  • In your own words, how is the Bible different from every other book?
  • What did you learn about the Bible tonight that may have surprised you?
  • What is the number one thing that holds you back from studying the Bible? Is there anything you have learned tonight which can help?

Can I Ask That? – Part Four

We’ve been examining your questions in our series, “Can I Ask That?” This week we are looking at your questions about sin. Specifically: Is it wrong to keep sinning if we know that God is going to forgive us?

Interestingly, Paul discusses this exact question in his letter to the Christians in Rome. Paul writes about the power of sin, not just about a sin. Sin is more than the sum of human misdeeds. Sin for Paul is a force to be reckoned with, a force set against humanity and God alike.

Sin takes advantage of the person and compels one to actions contrary to one’s best understandings and intentions. This week, we will discuss the influence sin has in our lives.

Discussion Questions

  1. In your own words, what is the difference between a sin and the power of sin?
  2. Where do you see the power of sin still at work in our culture?
  3. How have you experienced God’s grace in the midst of sin?
  4. How can we extend God’s grace to each other as we struggle with sin this week?

Can I Ask That? – Part Three

In this series, we are answering some of your most in-depth questions about God, faith, and being a Christian.

This week we are looking at the question: Why is it hard to trust God?

Here’s a reality that can be a little scary: often in life, God asks us to trust him, to follow what he asks us to do, even though we can’t see him. God might ask us to do things like forgive someone or make a new friend or volunteer with something at church. It can be scary because it never seems to ask us to do things that are inside our comfort zone.

As flawed humans, we are tempted to make excuses or try to find a way out. But God promises us that if we are called to step out in faith, we will not have to do it alone. God promises to be with us through every trial and challenge.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you fear most about trusting God? Maybe it’s looking foolish or being wrong or stepping outside of your comfort zone?
  2. How does it feel to know that God promises to be with you? Does it make trusting him easier? Does it make excuses harder?
  3. Where is God asking you to trust Him right now, and how can you respond faithfully?
  4. Take a moment to imagine how God could use your trust to help the people around you. What could God use you for?

 

Can I Ask That – Part Two

You’re lying in bed in the middle of the night thinking about your problems. After worrying and fretting, you decide it might be time to pray about it. You start to pray silently and then out loud.

But it feels like you are just throwing words at the ceiling and feeling them bounce back at you. It seems like no one is listening. It seems like no one cares.

And no matter how many nights you spend like this, throwing words at the ceiling, it seems like nothing is changing.

This week we will ask tough questions about prayer. Specifically, what happens when I pray?

Discussions Questions

  • Think about the time you spent in prayer. What is it like? what makes it different from other conversations you have with people?
  • Have you ever had a prayer answered in a way you were not expecting? What was that like? 
  • Usually, we come to God with an agenda, a list of things we want him to do. What would it be like if instead, we came to God with an open heart asking what we can do?
  • How is God calling you to change your prayer habits?