John 5:31-3531“If I testify about myself, my testimony is notvalid. 32There is another who testifies in myfavor, and I know that his testimony about meis valid.33“You have sent to John and he has testified tothe truth. 34Not that I accept human testimony;but I mention it that you may be saved. 35Johnwas a lamp that burned and gave light, andyou chose for a time to enjoy his light.
John 5:36-3836“I have testimony weightier than that of John.For the very work that the Father has givenme to finish, and which I am doing, testifiesthat the Father has sent me. 37And the Fatherwho sent me has himself testified concerningme. You have never heard his voice nor seenhis form, 38nor does his word dwell in you, foryou do not believe the one he sent.
John 5:39-4239You diligently study the Scriptures because youthink that by them you possess eternal life.These are the Scriptures that testify about me,40yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41“I do not accept praise from men, 42but I knowyou. I know that you do not have the love ofGod in your hearts.
John 5:43-4443I have come in my Father’s name, and you donot accept me; but if someone else comes inhis own name, you will accept him. 44How canyou believe if you accept praise from oneanother, yet make no effort to obtain thepraise that comes from the only God?”
How this Scripture passage relatesto listening prayer:This Scripture passage teaches us that it ispossible to be a diligent student of theScriptures and still miss God. These religiousleaders missed God because they could nothear God’s voice. If they had been able tohear God’s voice, they would have known thatJesus was the Messiah that the Scriptures hadprophesied about.
How this passage relates to listeningprayerThe reasons Jesus gave for why they could nothear from God were that they did not have thelove of God in their hearts and that they caredmore about what people thought than whatGod thought.
How does what you believe aboutJesus impact listening to God?“You have never heard his voice nor seen hisform, nor does his word dwell in you, for youdo not believe the one he sent.”John 5:37-38
Is something more than being intellectuallygifted needed to really know God?“You diligently study the Scriptures becauseyou think that by them you possess eternallife. These are the Scriptures that testify aboutme, yet you refuse to come to me to havelife.”John 5:39
Are there other factors that impactListening Prayer?“I do not accept praise from men, but I knowyou. I know that you do not have the love ofGod in your hearts. How can you believe ifyou accept praise from one another, yet makeno effort to obtain the praise that comes fromthe only God?”John 5:41-42, 44
Discussion Questions: What is the role of the mind in growing closerto God? Have you ever experienced your ability toreason and to think as being a tremendousasset in helping you draw closer to God?Have you ever considered that your intellectmay have limited your desire to draw close toGod?
Discussion questions: Has your desire to pursue a personalrelationship with God ever been influencednegatively by what other people will think ifyou pursued this relationship with all of yourheart? Is it possible that you have missed Godat times because of this concern?
Heart Barrier To Listening PrayerThat This Session Addresses: Caring more about what people think, ratherthan what God thinks
Prayer Time: Tell the Lord that you want to care more aboutwhat He thinks rather than what other peoplethink. Spend time being quiet before the Lord.
I Corinthians 13:1-21If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,but have not love, I am only a resoundinggong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the giftof prophecy and can fathom all mysteries andall knowledge, and if I have a faith that canmove mountains, but have not love, I amnothing.
I Corinthians 13:3-63If I give all I possess to the poor and surrendermy body to the flames, but have not love, Igain nothing.4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, itdoes not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, itis not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, itkeeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does notdelight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
I Corinthians 13:7-107It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there areprophecies, they will cease; where there aretongues, they will be stilled; where there isknowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know inpart and we prophesy in part, 10but whenperfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
I Corinthians 13:11-1211When I was a child, I talked like a child, Ithought like a child, I reasoned like a child.When I became a man, I put childish waysbehind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflectionas in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,even as I am fully known.
I Corinthians 13:1313And now these three remain: faith, hopeand love. But the greatest of these islove.
How does this passage relate tolistening prayer?This passage highlights the fact that when Goddoes deep spiritual things in our lives that thefruit of this will be greater love for Him andfor people. If drawing close to God throughexperiencing listening prayer makes usprideful toward others than something isterribly wrong. Our motivation for learning tolisten to God according to 1 Corinthians 13 isto help us be more loving.
How does this passage relate tolistening prayer?This passage of Scripture helps us to make surethat our motivation to hear His voice is pure.This passage is meant to serve as a correctiveand to get us back on track so that we willdraw attention to God rather than to ourselveswith whatever the Lord does through us inexperiencing listening prayer.
Discussion Questions: In your opinion, is love for God and love forpeople really all that important as it relates tohearing from God? Are you a natural show off? Is it possible thatseeking attention for yourself rather drawingattention to God may be an issue in yourspiritual walk?
Discussion Questions: Are you competitive to the point where itmight carry over into your spiritual walk? When you hear all of this does it feel likecondemnation to you or does it help yourefocus and get back on track?
Heart barriers that this sectionaddresses: The desire to be better than other people The desire to steal God’s glory for yourself The crippling effect of the absence of love inour hearts
Prayer Time: Express your desire for His love to fill yourheart toward Him and toward people. Repent of any ways that you are trying tobring glory to yourself rather than to the Lord. Spend time in silence and let the Lord loveyou.
Is It Really All That Important To BelieveThat God Raised Jesus From The Dead?That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus isLord,” and believe in your heart that Godraised him from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 10:9
How does believing in the resurrection ofJesus relate to listening prayer?And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is inyou, your body is dead because of sin, yetyour spirit is alive because of righteousness.And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus fromthe dead is living in you, he who raised Christfrom the dead will also give life to yourmortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives inyou.
How does believing in the resurrection ofJesus relate to listening prayer?Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—butit is not to the sinful nature, to live accordingto it. For if you live according to the sinfulnature, you will die; but if by the Spirit youput to death the misdeeds of the body, youwill live, because those who are led by theSpirit of God are sons of God.Romans 8:9b-14
Acts 2:22-2322“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazarethwas a man accredited by God to you bymiracles, wonders and signs, which God didamong you through him, as you yourselvesknow. 23This man was handed over to you byGods set purpose and foreknowledge; andyou, with the help of wicked men, put him todeath by nailing him to the cross.”
Acts 2:24-2524“But God raised him from the dead, freeing himfrom the agony of death, because it wasimpossible for death to keep its hold on him.25David said about him:I saw the Lord always before me.Because he is at my right hand,I will not be shaken.
Acts 2:26-28 26Therefore my heart is glad and my tonguerejoices;my body also will live in hope,27because you will not abandon me to thegrave,nor will you let your Holy One see decay.28You have made known to me the paths oflife;you will fill me with joy in your presence.
Acts 2:29-31Brothers, I can tell you confidently that thepatriarch David died and was buried, and histomb is here to this day. But he was a prophetand knew that God had promised him on oaththat he would place one of his descendants onhis throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spokeof the resurrection of the Christ, that he wasnot abandoned to the grave, nor did his bodysee decay.
Acts 2:32-3532God has raised this Jesus to life, and we areall witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the righthand of God, he has received from the Fatherthe promised Holy Spirit and has poured outwhat you now see and hear. 34For David didnot ascend to heaven, and yet he said,“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord:Sit at my right hand35until I make your enemiesa footstool for your feet.”
Acts 2:36-3836"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this:God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified,both Lord and Christ."37When the people heard this, they were cut tothe heart and said to Peter and the otherapostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for theforgiveness of your sins. And you will receivethe gift of the Holy Spirit.
Is Jesus the Lord, a Liar, a Lunatic,or a legend?
Discussion Questions: Has anyone in the group ever undertaken aserious study about whether the resurrectionof Jesus was historical or merely a legend? Have you ever struggled with doubt aboutwhether God raised Jesus from the dead? Areyou struggling now?
Discussion Questions: How did this upfront presentation on thenecessity of the resurrection come acrossto you? Did you feel challenged toexplore the resurrection of Jesus further ordid you feel like the views in thispresentation were narrow minded?
Discussion Questions: Do you agree that God raising Jesus from the dead isthe most important prerequisite to hearing from God? If someone didn’t presently believe in theresurrection of Jesus and was here today, do youthink that they would feel excited to begin their studyto see whether the resurrection of Jesus reallyhappened or do you feel like they might considerdiscontinuing seeking God in this way?
And Thomas said to Jesus,“My Lord and my God.”
Heart barriers that this sectionaddresses: Not believing that God raised Jesus from thedead Wanting to believe that God raised Jesus fromthe dead but feeling overwhelmed by doubtabout whether the resurrection actuallyhappened
Prayer time: If there are doubts in your life, ask for theLord to lead you into faith. Ask the Lord to lead you to people orresources where your intellect and your faithcan connect. If you have doubt but want to believe youmight pray, “Lord I believe, help thou myunbelief.”
Prayer time: Spend some time telling the Lord that youtrust Him and express gratitude that Heraised Jesus from the dead. Be still in God’s presence and listen.