Chris Papazis

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Too Busy Not To Pray


Too-Busy-Title4

“God does nothing on earth, save in answer to believing prayer.” ~John Wesley

Hectic. Stressful. Crazy. These are adjectives used to describe the life many of us find ourselves living here in the early part of the 21st century. Along with this hectic, stressful, craziness, many people are expressing a void in their lives – it comes in the form of a heart cry. It might be a pang of loneliness, or just a basic desire to connect with others – do life with others. In this same void resides a desire to connect with God as well.

Last night at RockChurch, we launched what we are calling the RC Connect Group – basically, we’re conducting small groups in a sanctuary setting. Our desire is that this will become a place where that need to feel connected will be met.

If you are in the Central Illinois area you are welcome to join us. The study we started last night is called Too Busy Not To Pray.  It’s a four week video study based on the classic book by Bill Hybels. As I walked around the room and listened to these groups go through the questions I was excited to hear people sharing their stories and their struggles.

People talked about prayer. People prayed for each other. Connection happened. Community happened. I LOVED it and I believe God did too!

If you couldn’t make it last night, don’t let that stop you next week. We will do it again this Thursday. Doors open at 6 and if you have children, childcare is provided for a donation (To bless the workers who are volunteering their time).
Here’s a copy of the handout and the Scripture verses we went over to get you up to speed. You can also purchase the book and study guide at retailers like amazon.com if you like, but it’s definitely not required.

Hope to see you there!
God Bless,
Pastor Chris

 

RC Connect Group – Too Busy Not To Pray Session I – Why Pray?

Starter Question

What is a humorous prayer request you’ve made along the way? Did things pan out the way you hoped they would? Share your thoughts with your group.

Video Related Questions

  1. Bill cited many results that prayer has yielded throughout history, including that it has changed attitudes and changed circumstances, delivered wisdom and delivered peace, and more. What are a few simple, practical things that you have seen prayer do first hand?
  1. The first time Bill experienced prayer was in the church of his youth. Thinking back on your own spiritual history, what was your first experience with prayer like, and where did it occur? How did that early experience shape your understanding of prayer and of God?
  1. When Bill shared the different phases of his prayer life he divided it by seasons. One season was marked by disillusionment. When he was a camp counsellor the word he used to describe it was exhilaration. Another season would be described with the word prayerlessness. What are some words that describe some of your seasons of prayer? What word would describe the season of prayer you are now in?
  1. Give your thoughts on the following statement: “When we work, we But when we pray, God works.”
  1. Have you ever experienced a season of prayerlessness? Share 2 words that describe how you feel during those times
  1. What situations, frustrations, or questions do you suppose typically cause people who love God to stop communicating with him through prayer?
  1. Philippians 4: 6 says to not “be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (emphasis added). Given that most everyone has experienced ups and downs, highs and lows, and ebbs and flows to his or her prayer life, do you think it’s actually possible to live this way? Why or why not?
  1. (Use the Scripture list for this question) For Bill, the solution to reconnecting with God after a time of prayerlessness was doing a deep dive into Scriptures dealing with the topic of prayer. Both in the video and in chapter 1 of the book, he cites several of the verses he found impactful. Considering the season of prayer you’re currently in, which of those promises are most meaningful to you? Why?
  1. Bill mentioned that one of his key takeaways from his deep dive into Scripture was discovering that God has a “basic inclination toward kindness.” What does it look like to be inclined toward kindness? Does this description mesh with your view of God? Explain why or why not to your group.
  1. Bill explained that his goal in studying prayer more than two decades ago was not merely agreeing with the doctrine of God’s omnipotence, but rather owning it. What would shift in your attitude or actions if you were to “own” the idea that God really is able to hear you and that he really is powerful enough to help you when you reach out?

 

RC Connect Group – Too Busy Not To Pray Session I – Why Pray? (Scriptures)

 

Psalm 145:18 (NIV)

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;

blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 40:1 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

he turned to me and heard my cry.

Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?


2 Comments

  1. Donna G. says:

    First of all, I hate that I missed coming last night, but I called into work which was a great opportunity since they have been scheduling me short like 14-20 hours a week. But I have to share a humorous prayer request I have made more than once. I am a nurse so sorry if this is too much for some. I have prayed over toilets asking that it not get clogged and overflow. It has always worked! Regarding prayer life, I always thought prayers would only be answered if I used the “right words” like pastors, etc. used. I have found that is not true. Whatever we are praying God knows our hearts and what we are trying to ask for. I also love the concept of the Holy Spirit intervening to help translate my cries for help when I have no words. Also I find it helpful to pray aloud, then my mind doesn’t wander because I am concentrated on what I am trying to say.

    Liked by 1 person

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