Let’s be honest – sometimes prayer feels like a joy and sometimes it feels like a chore. Sometimes it seems fresh and inspired; other times, it’s as mindless as reciting the pledge of allegiance to open school. When we think about the reality of hell though, our prayer life should become focused, urgent and Spirit-led.
Jude 20:21 [ESV] “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
In order to be a beacon of light to point others to God’s salvation, your spirit and body need to be aligned with God. That happens when you pray.
- When Jude says “praying in the Holy Spirit,” do you think he means speaking in unknown languages, or having your known-language prayer directed by the Spirit? Or is it both?
- What are a few places in your life where your spirit and human nature get out of alignment with God’s way? Give some examples of how your effectiveness as a witness would be different with more spiritual strength in those areas.
2 Corinthians 10:4 [NASB95] “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. ”
We’re not fighting physical fortresses, but strongholds in the minds of the spiritually lost that make it hard for them to receive the good news of salvation. They’re called “fortresses” for a reason – they won’t go down with half-hearted, lip-service prayer. If we intend to do battle, we need to pray like warriors!
- What are some examples of spiritual fortresses in the minds of the spiritually lost around you?
- Think of the most firmly-entrenched Republican or Democrat you know. Could their political views be changed by a social media post? How about a well thought-out, persuasive argument? Probably not. Now, imagine that level of mental fortress in a spiritually lost person in your life. How should that shape your prayers for them? What specifically should you ask God to do?
3. Prayer Focus
Take some time to ask God fervently to align your spirit with His, and to tear down spiritual fortresses in the minds of the spiritually lost people in your life. Be specific, use their names, pray in the Spirit, and don’t be in a hurry!
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
Are You Smarter Than An Ant?
1. Power Verse
Matthew 6:33 “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
What’s Up: “My Money Is God’s Money, So I Will Use It WELL!”
This week, we continue our series called, “Living Large”. In this series, we are learning how to handle our money and possessions God’s way.
I want you to imagine that the local bank is giving out $100 bills to everyone wearing a ball cap who shows up at the bank on Monday at noon.
- What would happen if you showed up on Sunday instead of Monday?
- What would happen if you showed up at the right time, but didn’t have on a ball cap?
- What would happen if you showed up at the right time wearing a cowboy hat?
- What if you got really excited about what the bank was doing and told everybody you knew about it, but forgot to go to the bank yourself?
- Whose fault would it be if you didn’t get the $100?
Malachi 3:8-10 “Will a mere human being dare to steal from God? But you rob me! “You ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “By holding back your offerings. You also steal from me when you do not bring me a tenth of everything you produce. So you are under my curse. In fact, your whole nation is under my curse. That is because you are robbing me. Bring the entire tenth to the storerooms in my temple. Then there will be plenty of food. Test me this way,” says the Lord. “Then you will see that I will throw open the windows of heaven. I will pour out so many blessings that you will not have enough room to store them.”
- What does God expect us to do with the money we receive?
- How much do we pay when we tithe? For example, if you had $10, how much would you tithe on it?
- Why do you think God asks us to tithe? Does He need the money?
4. Prayer Focus
God asks us to tithe, so we learn to trust Him instead of our money. When we obey Him by tithing, we position ourselves to be blessed in the future. Spend time thanking God for the money He’s given to you and your children and asking Him to help you trust Him enough to always pay your tithe.