This week’s study is based on the sermon Might you be suffering from IF…itis? and Mark 9:1-29.
- What was going on before the “Jesus went on to say” in verse1?
- What did it mean Jesus was transformed? What was the point of it?
- Moses and Elijah turn up… Why?
- What’s with the talking cloud?
- What was the problem with the boy in verse 17?
- Would the boy have been free of the demon if these disciples had prayed about it?
- What’s the only way to never be disappointed in yourself?
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 🙂
A study on Mark 4:1-20 based on the sermon Sowing the seed of love…
- Read the first two verses and discuss how you imagine the scene as Jesus is teaching;
- Read the rest of the passage. Why might people not understand the parable?
- discuss each of the 4 soil/soul types.
- How ought we apply this passage to our own lives?
- Spend some time in prayer, seeking the Lord’s leading in our life as a church and His protection, wisdom, boldness and compassion as we’re obedient to Him.
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.
If you missed the sermon, here’s the link: Don’t Mend Your Nets!
Reading Mark 1:1-20.
- What do we know about Mark, who was he, why was he writing and who to, when was he writing?
- What was John the Baptist doing and why? Discuss what it must have been like to have been around with him?
- Why was Jesus baptised? Discussed what happened when He was.
- Mark hardly mentions the temptations, but He mentions enough to tell us the important facts – what are they and what difference does it make to our understanding of Jesus?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus, and what might be stopping us from following Him more obediently (what kind of nets might we be mending?)
A study based on Acts 12:1-11
If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: Powerful Prayers & Powerful Answers
- Read the passage and as you work your way through it, stop at after each new character is introduced and discuss what the group know about them;
- Peter slept, talk through how you might feel in a comparative situation and also why was Peter able to sleep? What can we learn form this and how can we apply it to our lives today?
- Discus verse 8 and consider how the miraculous is almost always missed with the practical when Go intervenes in our lives;
- Going back to verse 5, we read that the people prayed earnestly, what might that kind of prayer be like?
- Discuss as a group how you can practically help each other to be encouraged and helped to develop in your personal prayer lives and also be more engaged in the church’s collective prayer life.