Study Guide: Travel Hazards

Sunday November 6, 2022 | Dan Kent, Paul Eddy, Shawna Boren

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

In this panel discussion, Paul Eddy, Dan Kent and Shawna Boren discuss various aspects of prayer, specifically about why prayer matters and how to grow in it.

Extended Summary:

This panel conversation addresses issues about prayer raised in the focus scripture. The questions include:

  1. Why does Jesus warn us not to give good things like pearls to dogs and pigs, when he tells us not to judge in the previous verses? Doesn’t this sound like Jesus is telling us to judge who the dogs and pigs are? Who are the “dogs and pigs?” And what are the “pearls” we aren’t supposed to give to them?
  2. In verses 7-11, we have these beautiful words of Jesus that seem to promise that the things we ask for in prayer will be given to us. And according to Jesus, the basis of this promise is the goodness of our heavenly Father who wants to give us good gifts. However, since God is smarter, more powerful and more loving than us, isn’t God going to do what’s best in every situation anyway, whether we pray or not? How can we stay passionate about praying for people and situations when it seems logical that God is going to do the best thing anyway?
  3. When we read this passage of scripture, it sounds like Jesus is promising that God will answer our prayers if we just keep asking, seeking and knocking. Why do some people ask, seek and knock – but they still don’t receive what they ask for?
  4. Does this mean that what Jesus says here is not entirely true? Is Jesus over-promising in this teaching about prayer?
  5. There is a common teaching about prayer in America today – often taught by certain television preachers – that says the only real variable determining whether a prayer is answered is our faith. How do people arrive at this perspective? And what is our view of this teaching here at Woodland?
  6. If the word-faith movement presents an unbalanced view, how should we think about the relationship of prayer and faith?

The hope of this conversation is to help people process what it means to pray and to provide encouragement and practical hope to press on in prayer, even when we feel like a prayer novice.

Reflection Questions: