Chapter 8: Praying with God

In Chapter 8 we take comfort from the fact that God himself joins with us in the endeavor of prayer. The Holy Spirit not only prays for us but also aids us in our own practice of prayer. Jesus also intercedes for us and has enabled us, through his death and resurrection, to approach God in his name. And the Father himself longs to hear and answer prayer.

Sermon accompanying chapter 8

Preached by Chris Band at Headington Baptist Church, Oxford on 7th February 2010
Download the study guide.

Questions

  1. Take a large sheet of paper, divide it into three columns headed ‘Father’, ‘Jesus’ & ‘Holy Spirit’ and then ask the group to fill in the ways in which each member of the Trinity assists us in prayer.
We’ll now explore the role of each member of the Trinity in turn, beginning with the Holy Spirit
  1. Read Romans 8:26-27. What is our stated weakness here? Do the group agree or identify with this? Given the importance of God’s will in prayer (see 1 John 5:14-15), what confidence does the Spirit’s role here give us?
  2. Read the paragraph beginning, “The way the Spirit prays for us …” [p.148]. What do the group understand the phrase ‘with groans that words cannot express’ to mean?
  3. How, according to Romans 8:15 & Galatians 4:6-7, does the Spirit help us to approach God in prayer? In the light of this, who is truly ‘qualified’ to pray the Lord’s Prayer? How would we describe the prayers of a non-Christian [see p.149]?
  4. In what ways does the Holy Spirit (the ‘Spirit of Revelation’ – Ephesians 1:17) reveal the Father’s will to us, thus enabling us to pray in line with that will? Ask the group to share stories of how the Holy Spirit has led them to pray in specific ways on occasion.
  5. What do Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25 & 1 John 2:1 teach us about the current ministry of Jesus for us? From where is this ministry exercised?
  6. On what basis, according to Hebrews 4:15-16, can we prayerfully approach God’s throne with boldness?
  7. Read an excerpt from Jesus’ ‘High Priestly Prayer’ (John 17:20b-23). What here are Jesus’ supreme priorities for prayer?
  8. Does it matter whether we address our prayers to the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit? What is the usual pattern for prayer in Scripture [p.154]?
  9. Read the story on pp.155-156, followed by Romans 8:31b-32. In what way has God categorically demonstrated his profound desire to hear and answer our prayer?