The Good Life: The Habit of Prayer and Rest Study Guide

Last week, Pastor Doug shared the importance of building spiritual habits to grow in our faith and explored the habit of Scripture engagement—reading, studying, meditating on, and memorizing the Bible. This week, we continued our look at these habits that shape our lives and faith as Pastor Doug dove into prayer and rest. We learned about the importance of calendaring rhythms of rest and prayer and why we must find our prayer closet (and what that means).

In this week’s group study, Pastor Chris expands on the topic of prayer.

 

THIS WEEK’S STUDY GUIDE RESOURCE

Below, you’ll find some key questions to reflect on and consider in your group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, some action points for the week, and a look ahead. 

Ice Breaker: Who is your go-to sounding board—the person you call, text, or get coffee with to talk about life, problems, decisions, and more? Why do you enjoy talking with them?

Getting the Conversation Going: As Pastor Chris explained, just as it’s vital for us to take the time to listen to what God is saying to us through His Word, it’s equally as important for us to take the time to talk to God through prayer.

Discussion Question 1: What comes to mind when you hear the word prayer? Share what your experience with prayer has been—good, bad, inconsistent, non-existent, etc.

Key Definition: In the most basic terms possible, prayer is talking to God—it’s a conversation between you and God. But as one Christian author said, “Prayer, for the Christian, is not merely talking to God, but responding to the One who has initiated toward us. He has spoken first. This is not a conversation we start, but a relationship into which we’ve been drawn. His voice breaks the silence.”

“Prayer is a privilege.”

In prayer, we’re speaking to the One who has spoken to us through creation itself (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1–4)—the One who has spoken grace (2 Corinthians 12:9), peace (Psalm 46:10), and love (John 3:16) over us, the One who has spoken words of truth and life (John 6:68; John 10:10), and the One who has shown us the way (John 14:6). In light of this, prayer is thus a response, a reflex to the grace He gives us. 

Understanding Prayer

Prayer is a two-way relational lifeline that is made available to us through the person and work of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. There is power in prayer! In prayer, we co-labor with God to see His Kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven as we seek His will, His purposes, and His plans. In prayer, things change—people change, relationships are restored, sickness is healed, provision is made, strongholds are broken!

“To pray is to change.”

Discussion Question 2: The greatest change we see brought about by prayer happens in us. Prayer is not trying to get God to submit to our will, but about being molded to His. How has prayer changed you? How has it shaped your faith and relationship with the Lord?

Discussion Question 3: Pastor Chris shared a few objections and discouragements people often have towards prayer. Can you relate to any of them? What steps have you taken/can you take to overcome these and create a healthy rhythm of hearing from God (study) and speaking to Him (prayer)?

“Take advantage of the privilege and power that is available to us in prayer. If you do, you will experience the good life!”

Continuing the Conversation: As we just learned, prayer is something we have to learn to do. Consider how Jesus’ hand-picked disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.

This Week: Practice praying! Start incorporating some of the tips Pastor Chris mentioned, such as prayer lists, prayer cards, and downloading a prayer app. Start with a few cards and then build up your deck. Carry them with you this week.

Pray It Out: Share prayer requests in your group. Write down the requests of your group members, spend time praying over these requests, and keep praying individually over them throughout the week.


“THE GOOD LIFE” DEVOTIONAL READING PLAN

In this 20-day devotional, we explore four key spiritual habits that allow us to experience a greater intimacy with the Lord, grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, build deeper relationships with other believers, and get the most out of this life. To subscribe, click here.


A LOOK AHEAD

This weekend, we’ll continue with part three of this special series on the key spiritual habits that can shape your life and faith. In this message, Pastor Chris will share about the habit of community. Learn why doing life together with other believers is not only beneficial to your soul, but also essential for your spiritual growth.


 

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About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.