6/8/22 • Take A Knee • Week 1

Take a Knee is a 2-week study on the Lord's Prayer. We will learn about the Lord’s prayer and will be challenged to pray this prayer for 30 days. Each of the the major components of the prayer will be explored: “Our Father,” “Hallowed be thy name,” “thy kingdom come,” “daily bread,” forgiveness, and temptation.

Discussion Questions:
Teaching Focus: Students will discuss the importance of spiritual disciplines and how to apply them to their lives, focusing on prayer.

For the next two weeks, we’re going to be focusing on prayer as a spiritual discipline. We’ll discuss what spiritual disciplines are, why they’re important, and the importance of prayer. In large group, we’ll be focusing on aspects of the Lord’s Prayer. Our hope is that these two focuses will go hand in hand. This week, we’ll primarily focus on spiritual disciplines, following up with prayer as a discipline next week.

What’s an area of life where you’ve grown in the last year? (height, athletics, studies, being able to do a back flip, etc.)

  • What would it look like if we grew in our relationships with Jesus, in our spiritual lives?
  • Can you think of any obstacles that might get in the way of our growth? (Some examples: pain, change is uncomfortable, friends, pride, laziness/apathy, love of the world)

Ask: What do you think of when you hear the word “discipline”?
(Help: The dictionary describes discipline as: “Activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training; practice.”)

Ask: What are spiritual disciplines? What do you think it means to practice spiritual disciplines? And why should we practice them?
(Help: Spiritual disciplines are practices that are found in Scripture, which encourage us to grow spiritually. These are habits of devotion that have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times. We practice them to grow spiritually. The only way to grow spiritually is by focusing and concentrating on God. Disciplines help us to focus so that it becomes second nature)

Read: 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 and 1 Timothy 4:7–8

Say: Paul relates training for godliness to training for a race. There’s no way a person can just show up to a track meet and run the 100-yard dash or the mile, expecting to do well without training first.

In the same way, we strive to grow closer to Christ and to become more like Him. This is a process that lasts our entire lives. Spiritual disciplines help us to grow better. Our muscles become stronger when we work out at the gym, and we become stronger in our faith when we discipline our spiritual lives.

Some truths of spiritual disciplines are:
  • There are both personal and congregational spiritual disciplines. Some we practice alone, like prayer, meditation, and fasting. Others we do as a church, like singing, corporate prayer, and celebration.
  • Spiritual disciplines are activities, not attitudes. These are things we practice and do, not character qualities. We read the Bible, pray, fast, serve, worship, etc. The goal of practicing is so that we become like Jesus. We discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness.

Think back through that list we talked about that can hinder us from growing spiritually. Now that we’ve talked through spiritual disciplines a bit, what are ways we can combat our list? [discuss]

Say: Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27 that he disciplines his body to keep it under control. In the same way, we can discipline our spiritual lives to keep our hearts under control.
How can we do this? We practice. There are several disciplines that we could practice to grow spiritually: meditation, prayer, fasting, studying Scripture, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. (These are just a few taken from Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline.)

We’re going to start with prayer. We will talk more about prayer next week. It is one of the easiest disciplines to start applying to your life, but also one of the most powerful.

In Romans 8:26, Paul says this:

“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Prayer goes straight to the heart of God. And in the process, it connects us more and more with Him. It strengthens your relationship with God. If you never communicate with your friends, how do you actually have a relationship? It’s the same with God.

  • Why do you think it’s important to pray?
  • How can you begin to incorporate prayer into your everyday life?
  • How can we help each other, as a small group, grow spiritually and hold each other accountable to be more disciplined?

  • Start to recognize how much or how little you pray throughout your day. Begin your day with prayer, and pray before you go to bed each night this week. If it helps, start a prayer journal and write your prayers to God. 
  • Think through how you are growing spiritually. What ways can you be more self-disciplined? And then hold each other accountable as a group?

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