The Prayer of Strength | Trial | Harvey Drake

The Prayer of Strength | Trial

Matthew 6:7-13

Harvey Drake

Review: Last week, how did the grace given to you help you to forgive others?  

Introduction: Jesus was skeptical of prayer.  So much of what passes for prayer amounts to nothing more than what he called “heaping up empty phrases” (Matthew 6:7).  And if that’s all it is, maybe that’s why we are skeptical too and why we struggle to do it; it hardly feels worth the time.  In an era of do-it-yourself spirituality, what does Jesus have to teach us about effective prayer?  Maybe if we understood it as he did, we would do it as he did.  Because although he was skeptical, he also had deep conviction.  We read “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

We continue our study of prayer with the phrase, “And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one” (NRSV).  Our prayer now turns to asking for protection.  Jesus is our strength between the ages.  Consider what this means when we face the trials of our life. 

Pray: Lord, teach us to pray. Help us to respond to the love relationship that you have called us. Amen.

Read: Matthew 6:7-13

Discussion:

  1.  What does this passage say about the existence of evil as an outside force?
  2.  What does it say about our ability to have a ‘relationship’ with evil?
  3. How does our relationship with the Father effect our potential relationship with evil?

    How would a relationship with evil effect our relationship with the Father?
  4. On what basis, (what are the reasons), is it reasonable for us to ask God for protection from evil?
  5. This is not the only place evil is discussed in the New Testament.
    How do the following passages express a consistent theology regarding evil?
    John 17:15; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 2:9; 1John 5:18.

  6. How does this passage, along with the last two passages we looked at, help you see your relationship with the Father as a constant back and forth relationship rather than a one-time transaction?

Application:  This week look to God to provide strength to face opposition that confronts you and your actions as you seek to be agents bringing God’s kingdom on earth.  

Pray: Lord, thank you that you have overcome all evil.  Help us to seek strength from you, to walk with you, to live into the grace and strength of your covenant love.  Amen.

 

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