A Praying Life: Discussion #10
Pre-reading questions for you and your journal:
- Many of us are familiar with Jesus’ promises in John 14:13-14, 15:7, 16 and 16:23-24, and, where He invites us to ask for anything in His Name and promises that He will do it. Question: How have you understood these passages in the past? Have you grappled with them, or mostly shrugged and said, “It doesn’t seem to be so”? Detail your past interactions, or your past grappling, with this passage.
- What is the most dramatic answer to prayer that you’ve experienced? Tell the story in your journal. (Tell us, if you want to, by hitting the “comment” link above.)
After (or during) your read:
- On page 132, there’s a diagram with two ditches (as delineated by James 4:2-3) which are “Not Asking” and “Asking Selfishly.” Which of these two ditches do you most often fall into when faced with needs or desires. What thoughts underlie your tendencies?
- Can you give an example in your current daily circumstances where you might begin to ask more boldly while remaining submitted to God’s ultimate choices for your life? Share with us!
- Miller writes, “All of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Gospels can be summarized with one word: ask. His greatest concern is that our failure or reluctance to ask keeps us distant from God” (134). Can you relate? Does your reluctance to ask keep you distant from your loving Heavenly Father? Why?
- Miller then writes, in the same paragraph, “But that is not the only reason he [Jesus] tell us to ask anything. God wants to give us good gifts. He loves to give.” Do you see God as eager to give you good gifts? Do you find yourself slipping into “I have to earn it” or “I don’t deserve it” or “He is my Master more than His is my Father”? Delve into your heart: what do you really feel about God’s willingness to give good gifts to you specifically? And then, what are the thoughts that lead you in this direction?
- “I find that the closer my prayers are to the heart of God, the more powerfully and quickly they are answered” (137). Miller talks about reviewing his prayer cards. Looking back in order to gain courage and fortitude for the days ahead is a great blessing! If you feel discouraged with your homeschooling (or any other area of life) can I encourage you to look backwards for a quiet time or two? Take some time to journal prayers and their answers. Better yet, start a Gratitude Journal today, and begin to make regular entries for answered prayers and other mercies for which you are grateful. Your faith will be built, and you’ll have it as an excellent resource for encouragement when you get down again in months or years to come.
- When encouraging us to abide in Jesus, our Vine, Miller writes, “Start asking. Don’t just ask for spiritual things or ‘good’ things. Tell God what you want. Before you can abide, the real you has to meet the real God. Ask anything” (138). OK: this is where the rubber meets the road. The prayers need to be real, and they need to be concrete, so that you will know that Father has answered you. Please take Jesus at His word: He wants to bless you. And, if you can, please let us know how it goes!
Below are links that will help you navigate the discussions easier. (You can also use the Archives section of this blog.)
Discussion #9 for this book.
Discussion #11 for this book.