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Bible Study: Why should I pray?

Date posted: 23/10/14

1. Aim of study

To understand the right motivation to pray and to act upon it in prayer.

2. Get ready

Be honest – when was the last time you prayed?

What do you think prayer is?

Let’s get straight into the action today and read James 1:5-8 and 4:1-3. What do you think James is pushing these Christians to pray for themselves?

3. Get set

When we talk about the Pray section of Pray Play Say we usually talk about praying for friends who are not Christians. In this study we are going to look at what we should pray for ourselves in order to have ‘faith in action.’

Prayer = talking to God

Part 1 

Read James 1:5-8

What do you think James means when he uses the word wisdom?

Does God always give wisdom to the one who asks for it? Explain why (v6-7)

Who does James use the picture of a ‘wave of the sea’ for? What does this picture describe?

Sum up Part 1 for a friend who asks you how you should pray.

Part 2

Read James 4:1-3

In these verses it seems like there are some Christians who are fighting and squabbling amongst themselves.

What causes these fights and squabbles?

What could be done to prevent this fighting?

Like the Christians that James writes to, when it comes to friends, we all have things that we struggle with. 

Take some time out to rank the following common four struggles in order of which ones you struggle with the most (1) to the least (4).

- Jealous of friends possessions
- Jealous of friends sporting ability
- Jealous of how good your Christian friends are
- Jealous of the way your friends look

Use verse 3 to describe how prayers that ask God for things will be answered by Him.

How would you advise these Christians to live out their ‘faith in action’ in this area? What word do you think is key to getting it right?

How might Luke 10v27-28 help you answer?

4. Timeout

James pushes these Christians to ask God for His wisdom which will be freely given. God’s wisdom is to be able to make decisions about life that please God and to grow in maturity as a Christian. There seems to be only two ways in which this wisdom will not be received:

1) If a person doesn’t believe
2) If wisdom is asked for with the wrong motives

5. Go, go, go

Make a prayer diary for each week based upon two areas:

1) Yourself: wisdom, faith and right motives
2) For friends who are Christians and friends who are not Christians

Write down a few things that you should pray for in each area.

When do you find it hard to believe that God will answer your prayers?

God always answers our prayers. If we don’t get the answer we’re looking for it doesn’t mean that God hasn’t answered it, it means that God answers in His way and He knows best. His answer will always be “yes” or “no” or “not yet – be patient”.

6. Pray

Pray now that God would help you to:

- pray believing
- pray with the right motives
- get His wisdom for making good life decisions

Pray for your 3 friends in whatever stage they are at when it comes to believing in God. Pray that God would one-day move in their hearts and give them new birth.

7. Top Tip Summary

If you pray believing that God will answer and pray with the right motivation; you’re living out ‘faith in action’.

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