HOMECHURCH GUIDE


Sanctuary Church

Week of October 10

The Path of Prayer (faith pt 2)


OPENING

  1. As you gather spend a few minutes catching up on life. If you have new folks do introductions.
  2. Set vision:

Our church is built around the invitation to be a family following the path of Jesus. We believe that to be follower or apprentice of Jesus is to order you life to journey in 4 directions:

UPWARD PATH / LEARNING TO BE WITH JESUS
INWARD PATH / BECOMING LIKE JESUS
OUTWARD PATH / DOING WHAT JESUS DID and the
WITHWARD PATH / FOLLOWING JESUS TOGETHER.

It’s here in HomeChurch where we walk these paths together by engaging in spiritual practices. We don’t want to be people who just hear the Word without putting it into practice, allowing deception into our lives. Our dream is that in becoming a family following the path of Jesus we would
live by faith, be known by love, and be a voice of hope for our city.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Join a team! Creative, hospitality, kids, music, tech… fill out a HI card located in this weeks links.
  • Pathway (formerly Grow Track) was delayed and will begin a week from this coming Sunday. This is how you get connected with the church. Encourage people to stay after for some food and and time to learn about who we are, where we are going, and how to get connected.
  • Back to our normal times and locations this Sunday

BEGIN WITH PRAYER (5 MINUTES)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.

DEBRIEF LAST WEEK’S PRACTICE IN SMALL GROUPS (15-20 MINUTES)

If you are in a Community of seven or more, divide into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender).

Spend a few minutes catching up on life… 

Ask a few questions about the last week’s Practice:

  1. Did you do last week’s practice?
  2. What were some of the challenges or distractions you faced?
  3. Share a way you felt you grew through last week’s Practice.

TRANSITION BACK TO ONE LARGE GROUP (5 MINUTES) 

Then talk through the following debrief questions:

  1. If you heard the teaching – what stuck out?
  2. If you didn’t here the text. Read through and ask questions or thoughts come to mind.

MATTHEW 7
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!


READ THIS OVERVIEW

On Sunday, Andrew mentioned that Jesus’ words on prayer in this passage don’t need interpretation – just implementation. There are many ways to pray and many ways to think about prayer. Today we want to return to topic of intercession.

Intercession is a word that often gets lost in translation. Most think it’s merely about giving our desires, wishes, or sympathies to God. In reality, though, it is so much more.

This form of prayer finds its home in our desperation and desire to see God radically move – to change both lives and circumstances around us. Simply put, intercession is the place where we join with Jesus in praying for God’s will to be done in the lives and circumstances of those we love “on earth as it is in heaven.”

In this Practice you are bringing people, including yourself, and circumstances before God, and then waiting. Yes, waiting. We wait on the Holy Spirit to show us how to pray in order that we would be able to pray God’s will. We ask the Spirit to quiet our perspective and desires, since they are much smaller than God’s, and we allow Jesus to shape the reality into which we pray. It’s in this space that we boldly pray, “Your will be done” (Matt. 6v10)

Remember that God’s will always looks like heaven coming to earth – life over death, healing over sickness, freedom over bondage, and so on…

But this Practice doesn’t stop there. Intercession sometimes means that we contend or wrestle with God in prayer until we “we see the outcome that we desire as God aligns our desires to his (see teaching). To be clear, contending doesn’t mean that we always get what we want, but if we really do believe prayer moves the hand of God, then we have to press into this reality and trust that God will hear us and will respond. 

This Practice isn’t easy because it requires faith, persistence, and boldness. It will demand that we pray from a place of confidence in God and his ability to not only patch things up, but to completely redeem them. But, it’s through this type of prayer that we see miracles happen, freedom given, and lives rescued and changed forever.

This week we’ll introduce two new exercises: Intercessory prayer and prayer cards

HERE’S A PRACTICE TO DO TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW: 

Break up into smaller groups (3-4 people) and designate a leader within that group. Put away your phones or any other distractions, and get comfortable. 

1. In your smaller group, make a prayer card together – a short list of people or circumstances where you desire to see God radically move.

  • Any crises or emergencies in your HomeChurch
  • Any illness, financial needs, etc. in your HomeChurch
  • Any areas in which people need healing in their marriage or in their families. 

2. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and teach you to pray… 

3. Spend just a minute or two in silence as a group. 

  • Let your mind calm down. 
  • Slow your breathing. Take big deep breaths to join your mind and body in focus on God. 
  • Just spend a few moments “being with” God.

4. Thank God for these three realities:

  • God is your “Father.” He has good intentions toward you. He cares about everything in your life – small and large. 
  • God is “in heaven” – here, now, as close as the air up against your skin. 
  • Your prayers really do make a difference. 

5. Pray through your prayer card(s).

  • Have each person in the community take on at least one prayer. 

6. Pray through “the room.”

  • Close your eyes and open your mind to the Holy Spirit. 
  • Picture yourself in a room with the Father or Jesus. 
  • Next, invite the Holy Spirit to bring the a specific person or circumstance that he wants you to pray about “into the room.”
  • Next, ask the Father/Jesus what He wants you to know about the person/circumstance.
  • Ask him how he wants you to pray and what he wants you to ask for (on their behalf or in the circumstance)
  • Ask him to increase your faith, and then pray with boldness according to what the Spirit has shown you or said.

7. Close in a prayer of gratitude and expectation.

HERE’S A PRACTICE TO DO BY YOURSELF IN THE COMING WEEK: (10-20 MINUTES)

Note: Just read and talk through this individual exercise before you call it a night. Basically, the idea is to do the exact same thing each day this week, but by yourself. 

1. Take out a prayer card and make a short list of people (including yourself) or circumstances where you desire to see God radically move.

  • Any illness, financial needs, etc.
  • Any areas in need of of healing (health, relationships, estranged family, friendships, marriages, etc.)
  • Any areas in need of freedom (addiction, bondage, habitual sin, etc.)
  • Then put away your phone or any other distractions, and get into a comfortable, but alert position. 

2. Invite the Holy Spirit to come and teach you to pray. Spend just a minute or two in silence. 

3. Spend a moment in silence. 

  • Let your mind calm down. 
  • Slow your breathing. Take big deep breaths to join your mind and body in focus on God.  
  • Just spend a few moments “being with” God. 

4. Thank God for these three realities:

  • God is your “Father.” He has good intentions toward you. He cares about everything in your life – small and large. 
  • God is “in heaven” – here, now, as close as the air up against your skin. 
  • Your prayers really do make a difference. 

5. Pray through your prayer card(s). 

6. Pray through “the room.”

  • Close your eyes and open your mind to the Holy Spirit. 
  • Picture yourself in a room with the Father or Jesus. 
  • Next, invite the Holy Spirit to bring the a specific person or circumstance that he wants you to pray about “into the room.”
  • Next, ask the Father/Jesus what He wants you to know about the person/circumstance.
  • Ask him how he wants you to pray and what he wants you to ask for (on their behalf or in the circumstance)
  • Ask him to increase your faith, and then pray with boldness according to what the Spirit has shown you or said.

7. Close in a prayer of gratitude and expectation.

Note: if you are pressed for time, feel free to do either the prayer cards, or the praying through the room. 

WORK THROUGH THESE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (10-15 MINUTES) 

  1. Any thoughts, creative ideas, or feedback on this coming week’s practice? 
  2. Have you every interceded or “contended” with God in prayer? What did that look like?
  3. What do you think will be most challenging for you about intercession?

CLOSE IN PRAYER AND CALL IT A NIGHT (5 MINUTES) 



RESOURCE: PATH COMMUNITY GUIDE

The goal for a Path Community is to gather regularly with 3-5 people of the same gender, to press in together as disciples of Jesus, and to practice the most neglected commands, disciplines, and practices of the Christian life on off HomeChurch weeks or in the everyday rhythms of life.

We don’t want to be people who just hear the Word without putting it into practice, allowing deception
into our lives. We believe the following 4 practices with a few friends, often overlooked, can produce disproportionate spiritual fruit for the time and context in which we are called to follow Jesus.


RESOURCE: EXTENDED COMMUNION LITURGY

R1
We come to celebrate who you are, to acknowledge your greatness, and thank you for your love.

R2
Come to the table, not because you must, but because you may. Come to testify, not that you are righteous, but that you sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ and desire to be his true disciple. Come not because you are strong, but because you are weak and that you stand in constant need of God’s mercy and help. Come not to express an opinion, but to seek God’s presence and pray for the Spirit.

R1
Hear the words of CONFESSION

“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have “mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.”

R2
words of ASSURANCE:

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.”

R1

Therefore we proclaim our faith

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

R2

We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray,

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one”

Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as they are delivered by the apostle Paul: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’

Let us eat

In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 

Let us drink

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

R2
May we, throughout our week remember Jesus Christ – given for the complete forgiveness of all our sins. May we Remember his presence with us. May we Remember his blessing upon us all.