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Interactions: Prayer (Interactions Small Group Series)

Interactions: Prayer (Interactions Small Group Series)

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It's time to make time for God.

The Creator of the universe wants to have a dynamic relationship with you. The key is prayer. Authentic, courageous, direct communication with God.

Each session in Prayer will give you a new window of insight. You'll receive courage to lift "dangerous prayers" with a confident heart. You'll discover how to handle the disappointment of unanswered prayer. And you'll be moved to a depth of honesty in prayer that will surprise you. If you long for a spiritual life that is deep, fruitful, and profoundly real, these studies will help you draw heart to heart with God.

Interactions - a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study; it's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ.



- Publisher PrayerCopyright 1997 by Willow Creek AssociationRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530ISBN-10: 0-310-26600-9ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26600-6All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New InternationalVersion. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission ofZondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or anyother-except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Interior design by Rick Devon and Michelle EspinozaPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1S E S S I O N 1P R A Y E RT H E B I G P I C T U R EI want to begin this small group session by asking you to playa word association game. You don''t have to say anything outloud at this point, simply think about what your first responseis when you hear the word prayer. What comes to your mindwhen you hear this word?I suspect some people think of guilt. You might feel you don''tpray enough. Maybe you used to pray more than you do now,but you''ve become too busy. You have broken out of all thepatterns that used to serve you so well, and you feel guilty fornot keeping them up.Maybe what comes to your mind is being frustrated. Youhave been praying diligently and it seems like nothing happens.You cry out, but all you get is silence. You lift your voiceto God and you feel as if it falls on deaf ears.Possibly the word that comes to your mind is apathetic. Youare willing to sit in this group and listen, but you don''t haveany real strong feelings about prayer. Maybe you tried prayerin the past and it left you cold. Now you don''t really care awhole lot about it.Or maybe the word prayer brings to mind being fearful. Youdon''t really know how to pray. You are terrified about thepossibility that someone in a group like this might ask you topray out loud. The very thought causes your throat to get dryand your hands to get sweaty. You feel like your words areclumsy while everyone else prays so naturally.It has been my experience over the years that whenever I aska group of people how they feel about prayer, there is alwaysa wide range of responses. Some are very positive and otherscan be quite negative. However, in most cases the topic ofprayer does evoke some kind of response.THE PRIVILEGEOF PRAYERA W I D E A N G L E V I E W1. What kinds of visual images come to your mind whenyou hear the word prayer?A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I TRead Luke 18:1-8Read Snapshot "A Contrast, Not a Comparison"2. If this story is read as a comparison, what do you learnabout:- God (how He feels about us)A CONTRAST, NOT A COMPARISONJesus told the story of the widow and the judge in order to motivate people to pray. Often people readthis story as a comparison: The woman represents us and the judge represents God. I don''t think thisis an accurate interpretation. At the end of the story Jesus says something that tips us off to what thestory is really about. He says, "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry outto him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, andquickly" (Luke 18:7-8a). This is a tip-off to the fact that this story is not a comparison; rather, it is a brilliantly devised,cleverly communicated study in contrast.Jesus was saying that we are not like the widow. As a matter of fact, we are totally unlike, maybe even the opposite ofthe widow. She was forgotten, abandoned, disconnected, and had no access to the judge. We, on the other hand, are inthe family of God if we are in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are sons and daughters of God. We have beenadopted into His family through Christ. We have a favored position before God.In

- Publisher

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About "Interactions: Prayer (Interactions Small Group Series)"

It's time to make time for God.

The Creator of the universe wants to have a dynamic relationship with you. The key is prayer. Authentic, courageous, direct communication with God.

Each session in Prayer will give you a new window of insight. You'll receive courage to lift "dangerous prayers" with a confident heart. You'll discover how to handle the disappointment of unanswered prayer. And you'll be moved to a depth of honesty in prayer that will surprise you. If you long for a spiritual life that is deep, fruitful, and profoundly real, these studies will help you draw heart to heart with God.

Interactions - a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study; it's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ.


- Publisher

PrayerCopyright 1997 by Willow Creek AssociationRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530ISBN-10: 0-310-26600-9ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26600-6All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New InternationalVersion. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission ofZondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or anyother-except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Interior design by Rick Devon and Michelle EspinozaPrinted in the United States of America05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1S E S S I O N 1P R A Y E RT H E B I G P I C T U R EI want to begin this small group session by asking you to playa word association game. You don''t have to say anything outloud at this point, simply think about what your first responseis when you hear the word prayer. What comes to your mindwhen you hear this word?I suspect some people think of guilt. You might feel you don''tpray enough. Maybe you used to pray more than you do now,but you''ve become too busy. You have broken out of all thepatterns that used to serve you so well, and you feel guilty fornot keeping them up.Maybe what comes to your mind is being frustrated. Youhave been praying diligently and it seems like nothing happens.You cry out, but all you get is silence. You lift your voiceto God and you feel as if it falls on deaf ears.Possibly the word that comes to your mind is apathetic. Youare willing to sit in this group and listen, but you don''t haveany real strong feelings about prayer. Maybe you tried prayerin the past and it left you cold. Now you don''t really care awhole lot about it.Or maybe the word prayer brings to mind being fearful. Youdon''t really know how to pray. You are terrified about thepossibility that someone in a group like this might ask you topray out loud. The very thought causes your throat to get dryand your hands to get sweaty. You feel like your words areclumsy while everyone else prays so naturally.It has been my experience over the years that whenever I aska group of people how they feel about prayer, there is alwaysa wide range of responses. Some are very positive and otherscan be quite negative. However, in most cases the topic ofprayer does evoke some kind of response.THE PRIVILEGEOF PRAYERA W I D E A N G L E V I E W1. What kinds of visual images come to your mind whenyou hear the word prayer?A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I TRead Luke 18:1-8Read Snapshot "A Contrast, Not a Comparison"2. If this story is read as a comparison, what do you learnabout:- God (how He feels about us)A CONTRAST, NOT A COMPARISONJesus told the story of the widow and the judge in order to motivate people to pray. Often people readthis story as a comparison: The woman represents us and the judge represents God. I don''t think thisis an accurate interpretation. At the end of the story Jesus says something that tips us off to what thestory is really about. He says, "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry outto him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, andquickly" (Luke 18:7-8a). This is a tip-off to the fact that this story is not a comparison; rather, it is a brilliantly devised,cleverly communicated study in contrast.Jesus was saying that we are not like the widow. As a matter of fact, we are totally unlike, maybe even the opposite ofthe widow. She was forgotten, abandoned, disconnected, and had no access to the judge. We, on the other hand, are inthe family of God if we are in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are sons and daughters of God. We have beenadopted into His family through Christ. We have a favored position before God.In
- Publisher

Meet the Authors

Kevin Harney

Kevin G. Harney is the Teaching Pastor and Evangelism Champion at Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana and Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, MI. He is also on the Teaching Team of the campus ministry at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He is author of Leadership from the Inside Out: Examining the Inner Life of a Healthy Church Leader; Seismic Shifts, the little changes that make a BIG difference in your life; John: An Intimate Look at the Saviour; Ephesians: Bringing Heaven to Earth, and co-author of the Willow Creek Interactions series, the Willow Creek New Community series, the Old Testament Challenge series, and Finding a Church You Can Love and Loving the Church You've Found.

Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, one of the largest and most influential churches in North America, and the chairman of the board for Willow Creek Association. He convened The Global Leadership Summit in 1995, following a God-given prompting to help raise and develop the spiritual gift of leadership for the local church.

Both visionary and passionate about seeing every local church reach its full God-given potential, he speaks around the world on strategic issues related to leadership, evangelism, and church growth. An exceptional communicator, he is a best-selling author of more than 20 books on personal evangelism, marriage and especially on the subject of Christian leadership, including Just Walk Across the Room, Courageous Leadership and the newly released, The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God and Having the Guts to Respond.

Bill received a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Deerfield, IL. He and his wife, Lynne, have two adult children and one grandson.

Table Of Contents

  • Contents
  • Interactions...
  • Introduction: Opening Your Heart To God ...9
  • Session 1
  • The Privilege Of Prayer...11
  • Session 2
  • How To Pray Authentically...17
  • Session 3
  • Dangerous Prayers...23
  • Session 4
  • The Mystery Of Unanswered Prayer...29
  • Session 5
  • Painfully Honest Prayers...35
  • Session 6
  • The Lord's Prayer...41
  • Leader's Notes...47

Excerpt

Excerpt from: Interactions: Prayer (Interactions Small Group Series)

S E S S I O N 1 P R A Y E R T H E B I G P I C T U R E I want to begin this small group session by asking you to play a word association game. You don't have to say anything out loud at this point, simply think about what your first response is when you hear the word prayer. What comes to your mind when you hear this word? I suspect some people think of guilt. You might feel you don't pray enough. Maybe you used to pray more than you do now, but you've become too busy. You have broken out of all the patterns that used to serve you so well, and you feel guilty for not keeping them up. Maybe what comes to your mind is being frustrated. You have been praying diligently and it seems like nothing happens. You cry out, but all you get is silence. You lift your voice to God and you feel as if it falls on deaf ears. Possibly the word that comes to your mind is apathetic. You are willing to sit in this group and listen, but you don't have any real strong feelings about prayer. Maybe you tried prayer in the past and it left you cold. Now you don't really care a whole lot about it. Or maybe the word prayer brings to mind being fearful. You don't really know how to pray. You are terrified about the possibility that someone in a group like this might ask you to pray out loud. The very thought causes your throat to get dry and your hands to get sweaty. You feel like your words are clumsy while everyone else prays so naturally. It has been my experience over the years that whenever I ask a group of people how they feel about prayer, there is always a wide range of responses. Some are very positive and others can be quite negative. However, in most cases the topic of prayer does evoke some kind of response. THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER A W I D E A N G L E V I E W 1. What kinds of visual images come to your mind when you hear the word prayer? A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I T Read Luke 18:1--8 Read Snapshot 'A Contrast, Not a Comparison' 2. If this story is read as a comparison, what do you learn about: * God (how He feels about us) A CONTRAST, NOT A COMPARISON Jesus told the story of the widow and the judge in order to motivate people to pray. Often people read this story as a comparison: The woman represents us and the judge represents God. I don't think this is an accurate interpretation. At the end of the story Jesus says something that tips us off to what the story is really about. He says, 'And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly' (Luke 18:7--8a). This is a tip-off to the fact that this story is not a comparison; rather, it is a brilliantly devised, cleverly communicated study in contrast. Jesus was saying that we are not like the widow. As a matter of fact, we are totally unlike, maybe even the opposite of the widow. She was forgotten, abandoned, disconnected, and had no access to the judge. We, on the other hand, are in the family of God if we are in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are sons and daughters of God. We have been adopted into His family through Christ. We have a favored position before God. In the same way, God is nothing like the judge. He is not stoic, uncaring, seated behind some intimidating bench. He is not heartless and disconnected. He is not moved to act because He is sick and tired of our nagging. Instead, He loves His people and is deeply concerned about them. We matter to Him, and He wants to answer our prayers. * Us (as people approaching God in prayer) * The reason God answers prayer 3. If this story is read as a contrast, what do you learn about: * God (how He feels about us) * Us (as people approaching God in prayer) * The reason God answers prayer S H A R P E N I N G T H E F O C U S Read Snapshot 'A Direct Line' 4. How does it make you feel when you realize that you have a direct line of communication to the throne room of God? If this is true, what keeps us from 'dialing in' more often? Read Snapshot 'The Heart of God' A DIRECT LINE I remember something my dad arranged for me and the rest of the kids in our family while we were growing up. My father was a very successful, eccentric, and adventurous businessman who traveled all over the world. There were a lot of people fighting for his time. When you called his office, you had to go through the switchboard and a couple of secretaries before you were able to talk with him. But he arranged to have a private line right on his desk and gave out that number to each of his children. He would often say to us, 'Now kids, call me at work, because I would love to hear from you anytime.' My dad died almost twenty years ago, but I can still give you the phone number to that private line. I will take that number to my grave, because I used it hundreds of times. Every time I called I would say, 'Are you busy, Dad?' 'No, no,' he would say, 'I'm not busy. Thanks for calling me, Billy. What's on your mind?' Having that direct access communicated value to me. Over the years I have learned that I have this same kind of access to my heavenly Father. He treats me as a favored son, and He is never too busy to talk with me. As a matter of fact, He is always glad when I dial in! THE HEART OF GOD In the story recorded in Luke 18, Jesus described the crooked judge as unrighteous, unfair, disrespectful, uncaring, preoccupied, and totally disinterested in the needs of the widow. Why do you think Jesus went to such great pains to describe the judge? Because He wanted us to know that our heavenly Father is totally unlike that character. Our God is righteous, holy, responsive, tenderhearted, sympathetic, and kind. We don't have to wrench a blessing from the white knuckles of a tightfisted God. From cover to cover the Bible teaches that God is giving, encouraging, nurturing, and empowering. He loves to bestow good things on His children. 5. God is deeply interested in you. He cares about every detail of your life. How have you experienced the care of God in some of the 'little' areas of your life? 6. How has God proved His ability to provide for you in the 'big' areas of life? 7. If the story of the widow and the judge is a study in contrasts, how might this impact your prayer life? 8. What is one need you are lifting to God in prayer at this time in your life? What is one joy for which you are thanking Him? P U T T I N G Y O U R S E L F I N T H E P I C T U R E USING THE DIRECT LINE God has given us a direct line to His throne room. He wants to hear about our joys, victories, and successes as well as about our burdens, concerns, fears, and needs. Through Jesus Christ we can approach Him in prayer at any time. Sadly, we often fail to dial in. Set aside a specific amount of time to talk with God each day. (It might be only a few minutes.) Then establish a set time to connect with God. It could be early in the morning, over your lunch hour, or in the evening. Commit to dialing in and talking with God every day until your group meets again.

Customer Reviews For "Interactions: Prayer (Interactions Small Group Series)"

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Great short study
4 stars By Raj, Jan 26 2018
I would recommend this study over others on Prayer. Simple, methodical, insightful and practical, Hybels always delivers!
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Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 232988
  • Product Code 0310266009
  • EAN 9780310266006
  • UPC 025986266004
  • Pages 80
  • Department Ministry
  • Category Studies
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Zondervan
  • Publication Date Jul 2005
  • Sales Rank #18466
  • Dimensions 228 x 152 x 6 mm
  • Weight 0.158kg

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