Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Context (From the Mind Session Page)
Read the following
(http://www.nbcnews.com/news/religion/power-prayer-what-happens-your-brain-when-you-pray-n273956) and ask:
- All of us have stories of prayers that were answered miraculously, and just as many that were not answered as we expected. What are some common ideas about what might make the difference in a prayer that was granted or not granted? For instance, did a person not pray with “enough faith?” Did some unconfessed sin make the difference?
- What is it about prayer that can change the way we think and feel?
- While people are divided on how prayer directly benefits us, what affect do you think prayer has on our understanding of God and our relationship with God and why?
Content (From the Current Session Page)
Read aloud James 5:13-20 then play the Bible Background Video
Then ask questions like these:
- What does this scripture claim about the “power” of prayer?
- The video says that “one of the biggest ways that transformation happens is through prayer is humility in prayer.” In what way is humility part of prayer as you experience it?
- Another idea from the video is that “when we pray for someone else, we are forced to see them as God sees them.” What does praying for someone else mean for you?
- What do you think happens when you pray for people who have hurt you or enemies?
- What situations do you think are most suitable for prayer and why?
Closure (from the Media Session page)
Play Rain and Truck movie clip and ask:
- In what ways might we need God to snap us out of our bad decisions in life especially regarding prayer?
- How can we learn to pray from God’s perspective instead of always insisting on prayers that specifically fit our own desires?
- In what ways can we be a positive witness to people whose faith is challenged due to their lack of understanding or disappointment with a response to prayer?
- How might we learn to move past praying as individual righteous persons and toward praying as a righteous community?
Close with a time of prayer that stresses community and the desire to see God’s will done, regardless of our individual wishes.