Prayer: Intimacy Takes Time (Mark 1-4)

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Preacher: Pastor Ray

A good heart is someone who has no agenda other than just being with Jesus.

Discussion Questions

Read Mark 1.
– What’s the significance of God saying that Jesus is His beloved Son and that He is well pleased with Him before Jesus did anything?
– Do you believe that God loves you, period? Not for what you do, but simply because of who you are?
– Do you find it odd that after Jesus was baptized, Jesus didn’t start ministering right away, but instead He retreated for 40 days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness? What is God trying to teach us through this?
– Do you agree that God’s ways and thoughts are often higher than our ways and thoughts?
– Do you find yourself being impatient at present regarding various concerns and questioning God’s timing?
– Think back to a time when God asked you to wait. What did you learn through this?

Intimacy cannot be rushed. It takes time to build true friendships.
– Have you ever thought of prayer as a time to grow in your friendship with the Lord?
– If Jesus Himself submitted to 40 days of prayer and fasting, and if Jesus had to be tested, and if Jesus had to learn how to kill the voice of flesh and live by the Spirit, and He is the Son of God, how much more you and I? Have you gone through periods like this?

Read Mark 1:35.
– Jesus did a lot of ministry, but what was the source of His power?

Read Mark 2.
– The critics of Jesus are beginning to surface. What are they criticizing and what were they totally ignoring?
– These people are very knowledgeable, yet completely loveless. Do you see these tendencies in your heart? If so, ask the Lord to purge them from your heart.

Read Mark 3.
– Jesus normally ministered to the crowds, but in this chapter, we find Jesus fleeing from a crowd. How did Jesus know whether to stay or to flee?
– What lesson is the Lord teaching us through this incident?
– Have you ever had a time when God told you not to do something that seemed like a good idea initially (i.e. ministering to someone, starting a ministry, serving)?

Read Mark 3:13-15.
– What have these disciples been called to?
– What is the essence of discipleship?
– What is one definition of prayer?

Jesus poured into 12 men.
– How do you assess Jesus’ strategy and investment of His time?
– Doesn’t this seem like a waste of Jesus’ talent and potential?
– What does this decision to invest in 12 men teach us about the nature of friendship?

Read Mark 4:1-12.
– This sermon was not easy to understand. Why did the best communicator who ever lived speak in parables and metaphors?
– Read Mark 4:10. Notice that the disciples and the few stragglers who hung around were just as confused as the crowd. What separates the disciples and the stragglers? How is this a portrait of prayer?
– What does it mean to lead with your heart and then your head? What happens when the order is reversed?
– Read Mark 4:11-12. Jesus unlocks the secret of the kingdom of God to those who humbly came to Him. Have you had moments when God revealed secrets and gave you understanding suddenly during prayer time?

Read Mark 4:13-20. Jesus proves that He indeed is a great communicator.
– Ask the Lord to search your heart and soften it and believe that He will expose and remove the rocks and the thorns.
– A good heart is someone who has no agenda other than just being with Jesus – do you agree or disagree?

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