Goal:  To Have Everyone Pray Each Day – Preferably in the Morning

Jesus Prayed Before Engaging in Activity (Luke 5:15-16)

  1. The news about him spread. The crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
  2. Jesus felt he had to stay connected to his Father over and above ministry. Jesus prayed because he wanted to be dependent/obedient to his Father. Jesus felt that activity before or w/o prayer would leave him disconnected from his Father.
  3. Jesus wanted his Father to influence his decisions. He said, “By myself I can do nothing; . . . . I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:30).

Jesus Prayed Before Making Large Decisions

  1. “Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray. He spent the night praying. When morning came, he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them, whom he called Apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).
  2. Jesus wanted/felt the need to seek his Father’s will before choosing the Apostles.

Be Faithful in Prayer

  1. Paul said, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom 12:12)
  2. These two examples from the life of Jesus confirm the value/need for prayer.
  3. Prayer will:
    1. Draw us closer to Jesus
    2. Change us – Build Godly instincts in our minds and hearts which will:
      1. Help/show us how to relate and love people
      2. Increase the peace in our lives
      3. Help us make better decisions
      4. Be invaluable if we want to be transformed (Romans 12:2)
      5. Inspire us to share the Gospel
  4.  Our “old self” is opposed to prayer. So, discipline is critical. Willpower needed!
  5. Why in the Morning? Because our prayer will carryover into our day.

Discussion Questions

1. Why do you think Jesus often withdrew to pray before ministry or for large decisions?

  • Did Jesus need to pray? (See I. A. and II. A. from page 1)
  • What benefit do you think Jesus received when he went off to pray?

2. How is your prayer life right now?

  • When you wake up, what is the first thing you do?
  • How often do you slip into the demands of the day and miss prayer?
  • What kind of fruit is your prayer life producing?
    • Do you feel you are being transformed into Christ (Romans 12:2)
    • Are you more kind, loving, patient; more able to resist some sin area?
  • Can you make a promise to get your prayer time in each day? In the morning?

3. How can we help each other to make prayer a top priority?

  • Come up with some suggestions. (Examples below)
    • Small Group Accountability
    • Couples/Family Prayer
    • Read a chapter form Scripture each day
    • Use a chart to record your prayer each day
  • Try to be practical.

4. Give some examples – When was your prayer most powerful; anointed; blessed; fruitful; transforming; encouraging; inspirational; etc.?

5. Based on Luke 6:12-16, how can we improve our significant decision-making?

  • How many of us analyze the situation weigh the options, maybe consult a spouse, expert, or friend, then decide – but without prayer?
  • Are there any decisions you’re making now that you should bring to the Lord?
  • Where does it say in Scripture to “draw Straws” in making decisions?

Being Formed

Being Formed

Romans 12:1–2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


  • We are being formed, shaped, molded by the Lord
    • Images of potter’s clay (Isa 64:8; Jer 18:6)
    • In the context of covenant – the church is God’s covenant community, meant to be his holy people, set apart for him, formed in the image of Christ
  • We believe we’re called to a community way of life
    • From the preface of our community’s covenant: “In Christ, God has made a covenant with us, a covenant that we joyfully enter into through faith and baptism. The Lord has called us to express this covenant in a special way. He has joined us together and has given us a particular call and mission.”
      • Giving our lives whole-heartedly to Jesus, praying, living in the light, growing in ongoing conversion, honoring and supporting one another, forming our minds with the Scriptures and studying our teachings, being a witness for Christian unity, being on mission
    • Being formed isn’t easy (history of Israel, the church, and our own lives bear witness)
      • It’s a struggle for the rubber of our covenant commitments to meet the road of our daily lives
        • Not to mention, it’s easy to forget the talks (and the covenant points) – everyone struggles with this, not just us
      • At the same time, the Spirit is powerful

2 Proposals

  • Our blank Tuesday
    • We have a blank Tuesday on our calendar, after the Lord’s Day celebration
    • Communities are like artists who see a blank canvas (“imagine the possibilities!”)
    • Could use this Tuesday night to gather, have short time of prayer, have teaching on a specific aspect of the covenant à then break into discussion groups
      • The discussion groups
        • Younger men, older men, younger women, older women
        • A chance to share about our lives: victories and struggles – to inspire one another and call one another on; to strategize together about living out the covenant
  • An alternate proposal
    • To use a current Tuesday for the formation teaching (not use up the blank Tuesday)
    • To use our small groups to discuss the teaching
  • Pros & Cons for discussion on Tuesday
    • It would ensure that the discussion happens (not necessarily the application when we go home)
    • That blank canvas is filled with color!
  • Pros & Cons for discussing in our small groups & not at PM
    • Not everyone is in a small group, and small groups don’t always meet consistently
    • They’re generally better for sharing (fewer distractions + more time)

Test Drive

  • We’ll give the Tuesday discussion a shot on Tuesday, Feb 18th so we can all get a better idea, a taste. Then we’ll decide.

Impartation (Praying over one another)

  • Been reading through Deut. “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him” (Deut 34:9).
  • Time and time again, the Holy Spirit empowers people in the Scriptures through prayer and the laying on of hands
    • We’re going to do that right now. What are you asking from the Lord? Remember Jesus to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”.
      • Bleeding woman pushed thru the crowd – let’s press in, not just tonight but during the week with our intercessions
    • I’m hungry for the gift of prophecy.
    • Let’s pray over one another.


  • Parish Giving lapse, I’ll contact you with specific info
  • New website, here it is – thespiritofchrist.org
    • If you have pics, send to me, trying to build out the website
  • PM next week @ Brittos
  • Elmcroft Nursing home on Sat, Feb 22
  • Lord’s Day Feb 29th, leap day