Christian Prayer  Study Guide  by Richard Wagner
Christian Prayer Study GuideVersion 1.0Copyright ©2003 by Digitalwalk.netChristian Prayer Study Guide is a companion to Ch...
Table of ContentsIntroduction ...............................................................................................
IntroductionThis study guide serves as a companion to Christian Prayer For Dummies and is intendedfor use either by groups...
1Prayer: What Is It?ReadChapters 1 and 2Dive Deep1.    What is prayer? Is it a simple or hard-to-understand concept?2.    ...
Just Do It    Commit to an understanding that prayer is simply communicating with God, an    extension of your relationshi...
2It’s All About The RelationshipReadChapter 3Dive Deep1.    According to Chapter 3, what is the single most important fact...
Just Do It    Confess your sin before God and receive His forgiveness.    If you’ve not already done so, accept Jesus into...
324/7 PrayerReadChapter 4Dive Deep1.    What is the feast/famine cycle of prayer? Have you experienced it in your life?2. ...
4.   Where is the best place for you to pray (i.e., your prayer closet)?Just Do It     Commit to a dedicated prayer time e...
4Dissecting Your PrayersReadChapters 5 and 6Dive Deep1.    Read Matthew 6:9-13. Why do you think Jesus put the Lord’s Pray...
3.   How is your forgiveness of others tied to your forgiveness from God? Are there     people you struggle with forgiving...
5Prayer Techniques, Part IReadChapters 7 and 8Dive Deep1.    Christian Prayer For Dummies describes two types of prayer: r...
Run The Extra MilePraying the ScripturesEvan HowardA Call to Spiritual ReformationD.A. CarsonPurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsL...
6Prayer Techniques, Part IIReadChapters 9, 10, and 11Dive Deep1.    How can journaling enhance your prayer life?2.    What...
Run The Extra MilePurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. LewisThe Power of Prayer and Fasti...
7RoadblocksReadChapter 12Dive Deep1.    What are the major “external” distractions to your prayer life? Are these distract...
Run The Extra MilePurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. Lewis18                           ...
8Praying With OthersReadChapter 13, 14, and 15Dive Deep1.    Why is family prayer important to a growing Christian family?...
Just Do It     Commit to regular family prayer time.     If you are married and your spouse is a Christian, begin to pray ...
9Bookends to PrayerReadChapters 16 and 17Dive Deep1.    What is the Que, Sera, Sera approach to prayer? Why is it faulty?2...
Get Personal1.   Have you been in a position like Abraham, Jesus, or Paul in which you prayed for     God’s will even thou...
10Lost PrayersReadChapter 18Dive Deep1.    Describe the “lost prayers” of Oswald Chambers, George Muller, Sammy Morris, an...
Run The Extra MileOswald Chambers: Abandoned To GodDavid McCaslandGeorge Muller: Man of Faith (Heroes of the Faith)Bonnie ...
11Hearing GodReadChapter 19Dive Deep1.    How has God communicated differently with people throughout history?2.    Why do...
Run The Extra MileHearing GodPeter Lord26                   Christian Prayer Study Guide
12Healing PrayerReadChapter 20Dive Deep1.    According to Chapter 20, does God care about physical healing?2.    Will God ...
Run The Extra MileThe Practice of Christian HealingRoy Lawrence28                                  Christian Prayer Study ...
13Praying in TonguesReadChapter 21Dive Deep1.    What is the difference between glossolalia and xenoglossia?2.    What is ...
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Prayer Study Guide

  1. 1. Christian Prayer Study Guide by Richard Wagner
  2. 2. Christian Prayer Study GuideVersion 1.0Copyright ©2003 by Digitalwalk.netChristian Prayer Study Guide is a companion to Christian Prayer For Dummies®, published by Wiley Publishing,Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana. The Christian Prayer Study Guide is published by Digitalwalk.net and RichardWagnerImportant: This study guide may be freely distributed in electronic or print format without notification.Trademarks: Wiley and For Dummies are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wiley Publishing.LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: WHILE THE PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR HAVE USED THEIR BESTEFFORTS IN PREPARING THIS BOOK, THEY MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THEACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIEDWARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIESCONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUR SITUATION. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH APROFESSIONAL WHERE APPROPRIATE. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSSOF PROFIT OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL,CONSEQUENTIAL, OR OTHER DAMAGES.For information on Christian Prayer For Dummies®, please visit the Dummies web site athttp://www.dummies.com.For updates to this study guide, visit http://www.digitalwalk.net/prayerdummy.For any comments, corrections, errors, or suggestions, please email Richard Wagner at rich@digitalwalk.net.2 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroduction .................................................................................................................................................................41. Prayer: What Is It? .....................................................................................................................................................52. It’s All About The Relationship ...................................................................................................................................73. 24/7 Prayer ...............................................................................................................................................................94. Dissecting Your Prayers............................................................................................................................................115. Prayer Techniques, Part I .........................................................................................................................................136. Prayer Techniques, Part II ........................................................................................................................................157. Roadblocks..............................................................................................................................................................178. Praying With Others ................................................................................................................................................199. Bookends to Prayer .................................................................................................................................................2110. Lost Prayers...........................................................................................................................................................2311. Hearing God ..........................................................................................................................................................2512. Healing Prayer.......................................................................................................................................................2713. Praying in Tongues ................................................................................................................................................29
  4. 4. IntroductionThis study guide serves as a companion to Christian Prayer For Dummies and is intendedfor use either by groups or individuals. The goal of this guide is to foster discussion andpersonal reflection on the key points made in the book and help you apply theseteachings to your prayer life.This guide is ideally suited for group discussion and can be used as part of a home groupor Bible Study. In addition, since the guide is divided into thirteen chapters, you cancover the entire book within a Sunday School quarter.You can also use the guide as a personal study tool as you seek to make prayer the “x-factor” in your Christian walk.Each of the study chapters follow a common format and include the following sections: Read. This opening section lists the chapters from Christian Prayer For Dummies that you should read in conjunction with this study guide chapter. Dive Deep. This section provides questions that dive into the heart of the teachings of Christian Prayer For Dummies and related Bible readings. Get Personal. Run for cover! This section moves beyond general discussion and guides towards a reflection on how the teachings covered relate to your own life. Just Do It. Study and reflection don’t mean much if you don’t apply it to your life. This section challenges you to make a commitment to apply specific teachings of the chapter to your Christian walk. Run The Extra Mile. If you are an avid reader like me, you probably love exploring topics further in great Christian books. With that in mind, most chapters provide a list of suggested books related to the discussion.This study guide will be updated periodically. For updates, please visithttp://www.digitalwalk.net/prayerdummy.4 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  5. 5. 1Prayer: What Is It?ReadChapters 1 and 2Dive Deep1. What is prayer? Is it a simple or hard-to-understand concept?2. How did peoples approach towards prayer change through the ages – from the Patriarchs, to the Prophets, and finally to the New Testament church?3. God uses your prayers to change circumstances, but He also uses them to change you. Describe the interrelationship between the two.4. If God is all-powerful, why does He want us to pray to Him? How does He use our prayers?5. How do the stories discussed in Chapter 1 illustrate that prayer is the “x-factor” in a Christian’s life?6. What are the “Five Bes” discussed in Chapter 1? Why are they so crucial to an effective prayer life?7. What are six excuses not to pray? How would you respond to these excuses?Get Personal1. What has been your experience with prayer? Are you satisfied with your prayer life? Why or why not?2. Have you ever experienced a situation in your life in which your earnest prayer was the x-factor, changing circumstances on a dime? If so, describe what happened.3. Have you struggled with any of the misconceptions of prayer that are discussed in Chapter 2? If so, have you overcome this struggle?Christian Prayer Study Guide 5
  6. 6. Just Do It Commit to an understanding that prayer is simply communicating with God, an extension of your relationship with the Lord. It is not a technique, routine, or tradition.Run The Extra MileHudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of ChinaJanet Benge, Geoff BengeGeorge Muller: Man of Faith (Heroes of the Faith)Bonnie Carman HarveyPurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. LewisThe Screwtape LettersC.S. Lewis6 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  7. 7. 2It’s All About The RelationshipReadChapter 3Dive Deep1. According to Chapter 3, what is the single most important factor to an effective prayer life?2. What is sin? How does sin impact your prayer life?3. Why cant God simply overlook sin?4. What does repentance mean?5. Does God hear all prayers? Why or why not? What are some Scripture references to back up your answer?6. How does a person’s view of God impact his or her prayer life?7. Read the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15. How does this parable give an insight into the way God sees us? What is surprising about the fathers response in the Prodigal Son?8. What are some of the different names that we call God? Describe how these names can impact our relationship with Him?9. Read Gal. 4:6-7. What does the terms “Abba, Father” mean? Why is it significant?10. Describe the role of each member of the Trinity in prayer.Get Personal1. How has sin impacted your relationship with the Lord?2. What is your relationship with your earthly father? Has it impacted the way you view your heavenly Father?3. Do you feel free to call out to God saying “Abba, Father”? Why or why not?Christian Prayer Study Guide 7
  8. 8. Just Do It Confess your sin before God and receive His forgiveness. If you’ve not already done so, accept Jesus into your heart, allowing Him to become your Lord and savior. Commit to an intimate “Abba, Father” relationship with the Lord.Run The Extra MileMere ChristianityC.S. LewisWhat’s So Amazing About Grace?Philip YanceyLoving GodCharles ColsonFinding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15Kenneth BaileyNote: Due to the total number of questions, you may wish to consider doing this segmentin two separate sessions.8 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  9. 9. 324/7 PrayerReadChapter 4Dive Deep1. What is the feast/famine cycle of prayer? Have you experienced it in your life?2. Read 1 Thes. 5:17. What does “pray without ceasing” mean?3. Why is a dedicated prayer time so vital to a growing relationship with God?4. Consistent prayer on weekends is a struggle for many. Why? How can one combat this problem?5. How would you respond to the statement: “But I don’t have time to pray.”?6. How long should you pray at a sitting?7. What are prayer deserts? What are some of the struggles a Christian faces during them?Get Personal1. Do you identify with the “tight spot” prayer discussed in the introduction to the chapter?2. Do you currently have a dedicated prayer time each day? How consistent are you?3. On the chart below, plot your energy level in a given day. What does this tell you about what might be the best time of day to have a dedicated prayer time? What are some advantages and disadvantages to prayer at that time of day?Christian Prayer Study Guide 9
  10. 10. 4. Where is the best place for you to pray (i.e., your prayer closet)?Just Do It Commit to a dedicated prayer time each day. (Take the 21-Day Prayer Adventure if you’ve never done this before.)Run The Extra MileMy Utmost for His HighestOswald ChambersOrdering Your Private WorldGeorge MacDonald10 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  11. 11. 4Dissecting Your PrayersReadChapters 5 and 6Dive Deep1. Read Matthew 6:9-13. Why do you think Jesus put the Lord’s Prayer in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount?2. Is the Lord’s Prayer a model or a prayer we should memorize? Or is it both?3. What danger is exposed because of the popularity of the Lord’s Prayer?4. Read the Lord’s Prayer through line by line, studying the verses as you go. What jumps out at you when you read it in this manner?5. What is the “building block” approach to the Lord’s Prayer? Why is it helpful to gaining a better understanding of the Lord’s Prayer?6. Describe the five main components of prayer detailed in Chapter 6.7. Why is adoration difficult for us?8. Does the call to adore God indicate that He’s conceited? Why or why not?9. What is the difference between confession and admitting a sin?10. What is the difference between thanksgiving and adoration? Why should both be distinct parts of your prayer life?11. Read Col 4:12-13. How does this give us insight into the nature of intercessory prayer?Get Personal1. What practical steps can you take to better adore God?2. How does the Lord’s Prayer give you encouragement to pray for your physical needs?Christian Prayer Study Guide 11
  12. 12. 3. How is your forgiveness of others tied to your forgiveness from God? Are there people you struggle with forgiving?Just Do It When you read the Lord’s Prayer, make certain that you concentrate on the full meaning of the words. Incorporate adoration, confession, thanksgiving, intercessory prayer, and petitionary prayer to your daily prayers. (See ACTS method in Chapter 7 as a practical way to do this.) If you struggle with forgiving another, pray about this situation and ask God to change your heart.Run The Extra MilePurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. Lewis12 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  13. 13. 5Prayer Techniques, Part IReadChapters 7 and 8Dive Deep1. Christian Prayer For Dummies describes two types of prayer: ready-made (written) and do-it-yourself (free) prayers. What are the strengths and weaknesses to these prayer approaches?2. Can you combine the free and written approaches to prayer or are they mutually exclusive? Would there be any benefit doing so?3. Is the Bible relevant to us today? Why or why not?4. What does “praying the Scriptures” mean? Why is Scripture so vital to your prayer life?5. How can the Psalms be incorporated into your prayers?Get Personal1. Has your experience and background been with free or written prayers?2. Do you use a specific prayer method (such as ACTS)? Why or why not?3. Chapter 8 lists ten “best prayers” in the Bible. Name one of your favorite prayer(s) in Scripture and explain why it means so much to you.Just Do It Prayerfully read a Psalm each day as part of your dedicated prayer time. Consider using the ACTS method as part of your prayer time.Christian Prayer Study Guide 13
  14. 14. Run The Extra MilePraying the ScripturesEvan HowardA Call to Spiritual ReformationD.A. CarsonPurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. Lewis14 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  15. 15. 6Prayer Techniques, Part IIReadChapters 9, 10, and 11Dive Deep1. How can journaling enhance your prayer life?2. What is fasting? Why do it?3. What are some qualities of a “good fast”? Of a “bad fast”?4. What should you do during a fast?5. Should you ever tell others about your fast?6. How can singing be used to enhance your prayer life?7. What is Christian meditation? What are its strengths and potential problems?8. What are prayer aids? Why are they used? What are the potential pitfalls to using prayer aids?Get Personal1. Have you ever journaled before? If so, what has been your experience? If not, what has prevented you?2. Do you ever fast? How often? How has it impacted your prayer life?3. Do you agree or disagree on the usage of physical prayer aids, such as prayer beads or icons?Just Do It Buy a notebook and commit yourself to giving journaling a try. Fast a day every other week for two months and then reflect on how it impacted your prayer life during that time.Christian Prayer Study Guide 15
  16. 16. Run The Extra MilePurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. LewisThe Power of Prayer and Fasting: 10 Secrets of Spiritual StrengthRonnie W. Floyd, Bill Bright16 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  17. 17. 7RoadblocksReadChapter 12Dive Deep1. What are the major “external” distractions to your prayer life? Are these distractions bad in and of themselves? If not, how could they be potentially harmful to your prayer life?2. How can serving God become a barrier to a Christian’s prayer life?3. What are the major “mental” roadblocks to prayer?4. What are the key “emotional” roadblocks? Why are emotional roadblocks sometimes the hardest to overcome?Get Personal1. What roadblocks do you struggle with in your prayer life? What specific ways can you overcome these?2. In the Mary and Martha story, do you identify most with Mary or Martha?Just Do It Identify the major roadblocks to your prayer life and ask God for deliverance. Share with others the struggles you face in your prayer life.Christian Prayer Study Guide 17
  18. 18. Run The Extra MilePurpose in PrayerE.M. BoundsLetters to Malcolm: Chiefly on PrayerC.S. Lewis18 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  19. 19. 8Praying With OthersReadChapter 13, 14, and 15Dive Deep1. Why is family prayer important to a growing Christian family?2. What are the major barriers to family prayer?3. What are some practical steps you can take to teach your child to pray?4. What is a “blessing”? What is its significance?5. Why is prayer important to a marriage? What are some of the obstacles that couples face praying together?6. Is being in a small group vital to one’s Christian walk? Why or why not?7. What is accountability? How can being in an accountability group help your prayer life?8. What are some of the potential pitfalls of small group prayer?9. Chapter 15 describes five tiers of prayer. How is prayer different in each of these levels? Why?10. What is the most important aspect of praying in public?Get Personal1. Does your family pray regularly together? If so, when?2. If you are married, do you and your spouse pray together regularly?3. Have you been involved in a small group? What has been your experience?Christian Prayer Study Guide 19
  20. 20. Just Do It Commit to regular family prayer time. If you are married and your spouse is a Christian, begin to pray each day with your spouse. If you are not involved with a small group or accountability group, prayerfully consider joining one.Run The Extra MileThe BlessingGary Smalley, John T. TrentWhat Happens When Women PrayEvelyn ChristensonThe Power of a Praying WifeStormie Omartian20 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  21. 21. 9Bookends to PrayerReadChapters 16 and 17Dive Deep1. What is the Que, Sera, Sera approach to prayer? Why is it faulty?2. According to Chapter 16, what are four ways that humans think differently from God?3. Can you ever know God’s will? What are six practical ways to better get to know it?4. Describe the struggles that Abraham, Jesus, and Paul had with praying for God’s will to be done in their lives. How did they respond to the difficulty?5. Why is it important to pray for God’s will?6. What is the difference between God’s permissive will and His deliberate will?7. Chapter 17 provides a fictional journal of Ned’s. Describe the many traps that Ned gets into in his journal entries.8. Read John 14:14. What does praying “in Jesus’ name” mean?9. Read John 15:7. This passage sounds like God is giving us a blank check. Is it? Why or why not?10. Read Mark 11:24. What is relationship between faith and answered prayer? How is this verse often taken out of context? What is a Biblical response to that false line of reasoning?11. If you have enough faith, will always God bless you materially? Give Scripture verses to back up your answer.12. Read James 4:3. What does this passage tell us about the motivation we should have in our prayers?13. On first take, “thy will be done” and “ask and it shall be given” seem like contradictory teachings. Are they? Why or why not?Christian Prayer Study Guide 21
  22. 22. Get Personal1. Have you been in a position like Abraham, Jesus, or Paul in which you prayed for God’s will even though that seemed to be something you didn’t want to do? If so, looking back, were you glad you did? Why or why not?2. How confident are you that you know God’s will for your life at this point in time?3. Have you experienced the promises of prayer as outlaid in Chapter 17?Just Do It Surrender your life to the Lord, praying that His will be carried out in your life. Focus on knowing His will and then asking for anything that you believe to be inside of it.Run The Extra MileIn the Footsteps of JesusBruce MarchianoCost of DiscipleshipDietrich BonhoefferNote: Due to the total number of questions, you may wish to consider doing this segmentin two separate sessions.22 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  23. 23. 10Lost PrayersReadChapter 18Dive Deep1. Describe the “lost prayers” of Oswald Chambers, George Muller, Sammy Morris, and Rachel. What do the long-term results from these prayers tell us about our prayers?2. What is a “lost prayer”? Can a prayer ever truly be lost?3. What are three promises that God gives to Christians concerning prayer?4. Why does God sometimes wait to answer prayers?5. How does the Lord use uncertainty in a Christian’s life?6. What should you do if you are struggling with a lost prayer?Get Personal1. Chapter 18 discusses the “lost prayers” of Oswald Chambers, George Muller, Sammy Morris, and Rachel. Who do you most relate to?2. Have you ever had a “lost prayer” in which it seemed like God forgot about? How did it impact your faith?3. How do you deal with uncertainty in your life? Does it cause you to cling to the security of the world? Or to the security of the Lord?Just Do It When you struggle with a prayer that has not been answered, immerse yourself in the Bible to better know God’s character and His love for you. Commit yourself to trusting the Lord no matter what circumstances look like at any given point in time.Christian Prayer Study Guide 23
  24. 24. Run The Extra MileOswald Chambers: Abandoned To GodDavid McCaslandGeorge Muller: Man of Faith (Heroes of the Faith)Bonnie Carman HarveyDisappointment with GodPhilip YanceyReaching for the Invisible GodPhilip Yancey24 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  25. 25. 11Hearing GodReadChapter 19Dive Deep1. How has God communicated differently with people throughout history?2. Why do you think God prefers to “keep quiet” rather than visibly manifesting Himself?3. Why is knowing God’s Word an important part of learning to listen to God?4. Why is the tone of God’s voice is a good indictor of its authenticity?5. How can you test what you hear?6. What are some false voices that can confuse us?Get Personal1. Is there a moment in your life in which the voice of God was crystal clear to you? Explain.2. Have you or someone you know ever been temporarily misguided by a false voice?3. What are some practical steps you can take in your life to ensure you are open to hearing God?Just Do It Immerse yourself in the Bible to build up your knowledge of God and how He speaks to us today. Commit yourself to a quiet prayer time to be receptive to hearing God’s voice when you pray.Christian Prayer Study Guide 25
  26. 26. Run The Extra MileHearing GodPeter Lord26 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  27. 27. 12Healing PrayerReadChapter 20Dive Deep1. According to Chapter 20, does God care about physical healing?2. Will God always heal based on a prayer of healing?3. What reminder does C.S. Lewis give us concerning the temporal nature of physical healing? How does this put healing into a proper perspective?4. What is the relationship between our faith and an answered prayer for physical healing?5. Is healing prayer best done privately? Why or why not?Get Personal1. Have you or someone you know been healed physically? Explain.2. Alternatively, have you ever prayed for physical healing and God did not answer your prayer in the manner you had hoped?3. Since God does not always choose to heal, what should be your attitude towards Him during those times?Just Do It Commit to praying for physical healing of others and yourself during times of sickness. Be open to God’s answer whether He chooses to heal or not. Always remember that God designed you and I for eternity, not for this earthly life. Therefore, reaffirm to yourself that there are greater things to come than physical health in this earthly life.Christian Prayer Study Guide 27
  28. 28. Run The Extra MileThe Practice of Christian HealingRoy Lawrence28 Christian Prayer Study Guide
  29. 29. 13Praying in TonguesReadChapter 21Dive Deep1. What is the difference between glossolalia and xenoglossia?2. What is the purpose of speaking in tongues?3. Read each of the following Biblical occurrences of tongues: Acts 2:1-13, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 11:15-18, and Acts 19:1-7. How did the Lord use tongues-speaking in each of these situations?4. How central a role is tongues-speaking in the context of the entire Bible?5. Is tongues-speaking valid today? Use Scripture to back up your answer.6. Is tongues-speaking a sign of maturity?7. What is a Biblically balanced approach to the issue of tongues-speaking?8. What should the Church never forget concerning speaking in tongues?Get Personal1. Have you ever spoke in tongues or been in a charismatic church? Did the situation bring you closer to God?2. Is tongues-speaking a priority for you? Should it be for all Christians?Just Do It Whether you speak in tongues or not, keep the issue in context and don’t give it more attention that is warranted. Remember that this issue should not distract the Church from what’s most important.Christian Prayer Study Guide 29

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