Week 5 – SEEK: Perseverance in Prayer – Dealing with Disappointments
Sunday, February 5th @ 4 pm or Wednesday, February 8th @ 7 pm
“Abba, father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible of you.
Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36
A prayer and reflection guide for individuals and Life Groups
“Abba, father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible of you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36
WATCH VIDEO: Click here
- What did you find most helpful in the video?
- What questions did the video raise for you?
- Share an unanswered prayer that you have experienced.
- In the video, Peter attributes unanswered prayer to three potential causes:
- God’s world (the laws of nature and logic)
- God’s will (he knows best)
- God’s war (spiritual resistance to the will of God)
With the benefit of hindsight, would you now attribute your unanswered
prayer to God’s world, God’s will or God’s war?
Pray in Twos and Threes: Pray especially about areas of personal disappointment or on-going need. It may be helpful to split men and women to encourage greater honesty.
Pray Together: If there is time, bring the group back together and ask them to sit comfortably with open hands, imagining that they are holding their particular need out to God.
Pray Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane slowly, inviting people to adopt a different posture for each line as follows:
Abba Father …’ [place hand on heart and remember God is with you in this and he cares].
Everything is possible for you’ [clench fists and invite people to take a moment to thank God for his power and the unquenchable hope we have in prayer].
Take this cup from me’ [open hands again to God, and invite people very simply, childishly to ask God to take the problem away/or sort it out].
Yet not my will but yours.’ [Lift hands to shoulder height in a position of surrender and give people time to express costly trust and faithfulness towards God].
Read through the following case studies and reflect/discuss:
CASE STUDY A: CRY BABY
A newborn baby screamed and cried night after night until her parents thought they would go crazy. They prayed desperately that she would stop crying just long enough to let them get some sleep, but their prayers made no notable difference. If anything, praying seemed to make the crying worse and eventually they made a decision to stop asking God for help altogether.
Jim and Molly’s crying baby is now a happy, well-adjusted young adult and her parents are dedicated members of their local church. Yet in an honest discussion one evening, Jim opened up about the long-term impact of that simple unanswered prayer on his relationship with God. He admitted that he no longer expects God to answer his most personal prayer requests. So for twenty years he has only prayed for others, almost never for himself. He and Molly still expect the Father to do miracles for other people, just not for them. As Jim finished speaking there was an awkward silence in the room. How would you respond?
CASE STUDY B: THE HEALING OF A HEADACHE
At your house group meeting you have a bad headache and because no one has an aspirin someone rather self-consciously offers to pray. The group gathers around and joins in, and you feel a little awkward. You also notice that one of the newer people, Sarah, is hanging back. At the end of the evening someone asks how your head is and you realize you’re feeling fine. ‘Wow, I guess I was healed!’ you say and everyone starts grinning and saying things like ‘Cool’ and ‘Praise the Lord’.
Sarah, the new girl, rushes out of the room and you find her in the kitchen in tears. It turns out that when she was twelve her five-year-old brother had died of leukemia. She describes desperate childhood prayers and chemotherapy and how her mother was never around because she seemed to be at the hospital. Every night Sarah had knelt by her bed and prayed with every fibre of her being for the life of her brother, but he had died leaving a gaping chasm of loss inside. ‘Why?’ she asks, ‘would God heal your headache and let my brother die? It all seems so arbitrary.’ Sarah needs love but she also needs real, intelligent answers. What might you say to her?
Read: Pete Greig, God on Mute
Watch: I Will Trust You by Lauren Daigle
Read: Tracia Rhodes, Intimate Intercession