This Bible study focuses on a passage in the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament.
Stories that Make You Think:
To understand that our Father in heaven loves us as his children. He desires for us to seek him and bring our needs and problems to him. He will care for us and give of himself to us when we look for him.
What is the word for prayer in your language? What does the word mean?
Do people in your culture pray? When? What’s the purpose of praying? Who do they pray to?
Jesus prayed. At times, in difficult circumstances (choosing his group of twelve close followers; facing death on the next day), he would go apart by himself and pray all night. Jesus’ followers asked him to teach them to pray. He gave them a model prayer and told them an interesting story to indicate how we ought to come to God in our prayers. We are going to discuss the model prayer and the story in our discussion tonight.
Reading the Passage:
Have the group read each section before you discuss it. Read the passage silently at first. Then have someone read it aloud. Discuss any words that might be unfamiliar to the group.
Luke 11:1-4 – The Model Prayer
1. Jesus’ disciples want to learn how to pray and ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. What do you think motivates them to do this?
2. Jesus teaches them a model prayer. Notice that Go d is addressed as Father in the prayer. What is the role of the father in your culture? How do children interact with their fathers? What are the implications of calling God Father?
3. What type of concerns are expressed first in the prayer? What do you think it means to pray for God’s kingdom to come? It is implied by the prayer that God is a King as well as a Father. What are the implications of calling God King?
4. How are the concerns expressed in the last half of the prayer different than those expressed in the first half?
5. Jesus tells us to ask God for the food that we need. What does this imply about God’s interest in our most basic needs?
6. Jesus asks us to pray for forgiveness for our sins. He could have said, ask God for help in living a good life. Why do you think he asks us to pray for forgiveness instead of suggesting that we pray for help from God in living good lives? Do you think it matters to God how we live? What are the implications of the idea that we need to pray for forgiveness? What is the implied condition for receiving forgiveness?
7. Jesus asks us to pray that we not encounter hard testing. What do you think hard testing means? Why avoid it?
8. What do you think is the purpose of Jesus’ prayer? Is it intended to be a prayer to memorize and recite, or a model of the kind of concerns we need to be talking about to our Father in heaven?
Luke 12:16-21 – The Story
1. In the story, what is Jesus saying about wealth and the pursuit of wealth? At the end of the story, God calls the rich man a fool. Why do you think God considers the man to be a fool? What do you think God would have considered to be wise behavior for the rich man?
1. Jesus says a man’s true life is not made of the things that he owns. What do you think are the important things in a person’s life? Jesus talks about being rich toward God or rich from God’s point of view. What do you think it means to be rich toward God? How will a person who is seeking God’s riches live differently than a person who is working hard to accumulate money and things?
2. Why do you think Jesus told this story? What did he want to accomplish by telling it? What type of people need to hear this story?
3. If Jesus were commenting on our lifestyle today, what do you think he might say?
4. What are the priorities in your life right now? Where are your riches? How would you like to be remembered?
Ask for any final comments or questions from the group. Close with a prayer asking God to help us to recognize what is truly important in life.
*note: some questions were taken from Serendipity New Testament for Groups by Zondervan (InterVarsity Press)