This study is based on the above passage and you may find it helpful to listen to the accompanying sermon: Three Steps…
- Take a few minutes to recap on what has been going on since Mark 7:1.
- Discuss the healing of the blind man: what was unusual, what was similar to other healings, as well as the man being healed what was going on here?
- What do you know about Caesarea Philippi and the journey?
- Why do you think the disciples got the right answer about who Jesus is, and what was wrong about their ideas as to what that would mean for Him (and them)?
- Discuss Peter’s response to Jesus talking about the cross – what might we learn?
- There are three steps to following Jesus – discuss the difficulties we face in following them and how we can encourage, challenge and help each other along in our following Him together.
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
To pray these verses is a big ask. Why do I suggest that…? Simply because when we pray “May your Kingdom come” we must be ready to add, ‘and start with me – do whatever it takes Lord to have me submit completely to your will for my life, that I might be living the life You will have me live, as an obedient subject in Your kingdom, ready to willingly take my place where You put me to work for Your kingdom’.
Jesus says to us – pray like this! Are we able, will we trust Him and accept His answer? You see when we pray this prayer with sincerity we are saying, Lord I know You have called me; I know that calls is to ‘carry my cross’, I know that call is to offer You back my life knowing that it will (one way or another) be lost for the sake of living and sharing the gospel, and so I know that in praying this prayer I must be ready to accept Your call to self denial.
Have we properly grasped the demands of this prayer, have we understood it? If we are serious about our faith, we will pray this prayer with a seriousness, willingness and expectancy that the Lord will use us for His glory in His way…
Children’s Prayer Activity
I wonder how you pray? Do you have your eyes shut? Have you tried jumping or sitting or laying or running or standing on one leg?
You can pray at anytime in any position – see how many different ways you can pray today!
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Isn’t this a great question? I wonder which disciple it was who asked…
Yes a great question followed by a famous answer. An answer which provides Jesus’ framework to help us with prayer. But there is something in this request and answer that we can easily sidestep, or overlook – both the question and the answer make an assumption that we will pray. You see The disciples are eager to pray (“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”) and Jesus is eager to help them, as we find out if we read on (Luke 11:2-11).
A regular question in churches today is “how can I get better a praying?” It’s a great question and rightly Pastors across the world will turn up many passages of scripture to encourage us, to lead us, to remind us and be examples to us. God has provided all of this, but, as with all of the Bible, to profit from what we read we need at have hearts that are eager to understand, and get busy with what we learn – in short, the way to learn about prayer is to pray – do just what this disciple did, ask Jesus and be willing to respond to the answer.
Here are a few more pointers about prayer:
- Remember that ike everything we do well in our lives, we need to practice prayer.
- Use the framework set by Jesus for a start, or find one of the psalms that fits the need and pray it relating it to your circumstances.
- Make prayer a habit every day.
- Find a time and a space where you can focus.
- Expect to find prayer rewarding.
- Expect to find prayer hard work at times.
- Expect to God to respond, and watch out for those answers.
- Expect to be challenged by God.
- Expect to be Encouraged by God.
Direct communication with the Living God! Why wouldn’t we want to pray?
Children’s Prayer Activity
Adoring God – When you’re saying your prayers to day think of as many things as possible you really love and thank God for them, and remember too to tell God how much you love Him 🙂
“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Christian people ARE filled by The Holy Spirit of God; we are filled for many different purposes, and to fulfil many different needs.
Some of those needs will be personal, in that we have our needs met and our lives changed, bit by bit, as He works in our lives to sanctify us (that is to make us more and more like Christ). But here we also see that as He comes to live in our hearts we will, as a matter of course, become His witnesses; we will become people who have His grace, compassion, wisdom, and power to share that Gospel truth. Yes, to share that truth where we are and wherever He will lead us, even to “the ends of the earth”!
Today then, let us welcome afresh the truth of these words and the impact of them on our lives, and let us give ourselves over to His filling, and as we do so recommit ourselves where we are, and also recommit ourselves in prayer for others where they are, be it in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria or to the ends of the earth…
Children’s Prayer Activity
Today use a ball inside or outside. Each time you catch or kick it remember that without the air inside it wouldn’t work well, and that unless we have God in our hearts we don’t work well either!
This study is based on Mark 4:35-41 and the sermon The Teacher Tests Us
- What is the setting of this passage, i.e. what has been going on during the day before we get to the ‘that evening’ in our passage?
- Did Jesus know that there would be a storm? If so, why did He tell His disciples to sail into it?
- How do we know whether our circumstances are as a result of, spiritual attack, our own disobedience or our obedience?
- Why does Jesus test us, and what should we expect to learn through that testing?
- take a look at our verses of the year and compare them to this passage. How might our following the encouragements of those verses enable us to support one another and be supported in the storms that come our way?
- Spend some time lifting up the work and life of God’s Church at New Connexions in prayer.
A study based on Mark 3:1-15 and based on this sermon: Stretch Out In Faith
- What was it about Jesus that really annoyed the Pharisees? Who were the Herodians and why would they be an unlikely ally for the Pharisees?
- What did Jesus ask the man with the crippled hand to do? What must we learn from this?
- In the sermon we spoke a lot about how we might have surplus baggage. What was meant by surplus baggage and how might it drag us down? How can we help each other deal with it?
- Discuss whether we have the authority to drive out demons…
- Why is it important for disciples to be willing to leave everything and spend time with Jesus? How might this be a challenge for us?
Every now and then, in this crazy society we live, I think we need reminding of this:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
A study based on the sermon: Called to bring the roof down!
- In verse 1 it says Jesus came home, but Jesus home was in Nazareth; why does Mark say this?
- Verse 2: What was Jesus preaching to the people? What should we preach to people and what happens if we preach something different?
- Verses 3&4: discuss the faith these men had and the effect their faith had on the different people around i.e. the paralysed man, Jesus, the four friends, the religious leaders, others in the house.
- How should this impact our own faith and our own approach to bringing people to Jesus?
- Verse 5: Jesus forgives the man’s sin – what does that mean?
- Verses 6-12: Jesus proves His authority, what do His words and actions prove? How should that impact our lives?
A Study on Mark 1:21-45 based on the sermon: Authority!
- Imagine the scene in the in the Synagogue as Jesus joins the regular crowd. What was different about the way He taught?
- Discuss Demons, being possessed and what that means. Are Christians possessed? Discuss your answers.
- Why don’t we hear of people being possessed today?
- We see Jesus healing many people. Does He still heal today? If so why isn’t everyone healed?
- Talk through the lepers request, Jesus response and the Lepers response to being healed.
A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!
- Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
- What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
- The passage doesn’t talk about us doing what we want or getting what we want but focuses on other brothers and sisters in our church, why is that and what difference should that make to the way we relate to each other as a church?
- Sometimes we get restless as individuals and decide that we want something else, maybe a different style or more going on, a bigger church or a smaller church. Why is acting on what we want almost certainly the wrong thing? (if there are any brave characters in the group they might share about past occasions when they have left churches for personal preference rather than because they were called for a purpose);
- How can we motivate, encourage, and provoke (in a positive way) one another? And how might we demotivate, discourage and provoke (in a negative way) one another?
- Should we expect Christ’s return soon?