Week 1: Father God
Our Father in Heaven…
- This weekend our pastors preached on God as Father. Before we discuss the sermon, would anyone like to share a little bit about your relationship with your own father, either while you were growing up or currently?
- How has your relationship with your earthly dad impacted your view of God as Father?
- Interestingly, in a single phrase – “our Father in heaven” – we uncover the near/far dichotomy of God’s presence. Theologians call the nearness of God His “immanence.” He is an intimate Father; He knows how many hairs are on your head (Luke 12:7). Yet, at the same time, God is also “transcendent.” He has established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19). Why is it important to understand both the immanence and transcendence of God?
- How might a person relate to God if they focus solely on His immanence (nearness / love) with no regard for His transcendence (holiness / “other”ness)? What if they focus solely on His transcendence, but don’t believe He is immanent?
- Many things compete for our affections, but we discover the more beautiful story when our relationship with God is central. What is the greatest threat to your relationship with God right now? What competes with your affection for Him, and how can you take a next step toward your Father God?
Week 2: Holy God
Hallowed be Your name…
- Before jumping into week two of our discussion on the Lord’s Prayer, would anyone like to share some personal wisdom about prayer? How have you grown in prayer throughout your Christian journey? What thought patterns, habits, or disciplines have you developed that might be helpful for the rest of us?
- This weekend we talked about the holiness of God. Not only is His name holy; it is to be hallowed. In other words, we are to take God’s holiness to the world. Why is it tough to be an agent of God’s holiness?
- What are some practical ways we can be agents of God’s holiness within our spheres of influence:
- At work?
- At home?
- In school / college / grad school?
- Within the church?
- Read I Chronicles 29:11-12. Do you view God this way? Why or why not?
- What’s the difference between holiness and legalism? How can we spur one another on to true holiness?
Week 3: Beautiful Kingdom
Your Kingdom come…
- What do you think of when you think of “the good life”? Read the Lord’s Prayer in its entirety (Matthew 6:9-13). How does Jesus’ prayer differ from the world’s vision of the good life?
- Read Romans 14:17. When we promote ourselves and seek to advance personal glory, success, or achievement, how does it rob us of righteousness, peace, and joy? Would anyone like to share a personal example from a season in your own life?
- What would it look like to give all of yourself to God’s plan – to build His Kingdom instead of your own?
- One of our House Rules at Grace is Wow-Making Excellence: We honor God and inspire people with our very best work. How does wow-making excellence honor God and build His Kingdom? Can you think of a time when someone noticed your excellent work ethic or attitude, and you had an opportunity to talk with them about Jesus?
- Reflect on this statement: “Earthly kingdoms are established by the death of their enemies. Our Kingdom is established by the death of our King.” As followers of King Jesus, how should we interact with our own “enemies,” or with people who simply think and live differently than we do?
Week 4: Brokenness
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
- This weekend we celebrated our “First Steps Weekend.” One of our House Rules at Grace is Simple Steps: Everyone has a next step, and we make it easy to find yours. This is a great time to pause and reflect: When was the last time you took an intentional “next step” in your relationship with Christ? What was that step and how has it impacted you?
- Read the following Scriptures: Matthew 6:10, Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 46:10. Summarize the general theme of these verses in your own words.
- How are these verses counter-cultural? Why is the message an unpopular one?
- Do you agree or disagree with this statement: “Our wills tend to lead us to the darkest and most broken places.” Would anyone like to share a personal example of a time when your will led you to a broken place?
- What is the one thing you’re most afraid to relinquish to God? Close with a time of silent prayer. Open your hands and hold them out in front of you. Imagine putting that thing in your hands and saying to God, “Your will be done.”
Week 5: Provision
Give us today our daily bread…
- This weekend we talked about provision. Share about a time when you clearly saw God’s provision in your life.
- Read Proverbs 30:8-9. The author of this passage is praying for “just enough.” Why doesn’t he want too much? Why doesn’t he want too little? How does having “just enough” cause us to rely on God?
- What situation in your life is forcing you to rely on God daily?
- Just as God provides for us, we are called to provide for His Kingdom. Pop Quiz! Which of our House Rules talks about providing for God’s Kingdom? Can anyone quote the entire house rule? [Big-Hearted Generosity: We prioritize giving to God’s work over protecting ourselves.] Why does money give us a sense of security or “protection”? How is this actually a false sense of security?
- Where is your ultimate hope? If you lost everything, would that be the end of you? Why or why not?
Week 6: Freedom
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…
- What comes to mind when you think of the word “forgiveness”? Feel free to spout off the first words that pop into your head. Why do you think these words come to mind?
- Tell us about a time when you experienced forgiveness. How did it impact you?
- Would anyone like to share about a time when you withheld forgiveness? How did that impact you?
- Why is it so difficult to forgive others?
- One of our House Rules is Grace-Centered Truth: We challenge people to be their best and love them at their worst.” Imagine your friend is being eaten up by bitterness. How could you speak grace-centered truth into their life? What might you say?
Week 7: Protection
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…
- This weekend we learned that God asks us to fight through evils instead of just avoiding them altogether. Do you tend to be a “fighter” or an “avoider”? What challenges has that presented in your life?
- Read I Peter 5:8-11. What should we do when we encounter spiritual warfare and/or suffering that tempts us to doubt God?
- What are practical action steps we can take to “stand firm in the faith” during a season of testing?
- Is there a specific trial you’re facing right now? Would you say this trial is strengthening your faith, or tempting you to doubt God? This is a safe space where you can be completely honest.
- Close by sharing some favorite highlights from this series. How have you seen one another grow as a result of studying the Lord’s Prayer?
Ice-Breakers and Extra Questions if You Have Extra Time:
- How did God encourage you through our worship experience this weekend, whether through singing, giving, serving, communion, confession, or listening to the preached Word?
- What was your greatest takeaway from the sermon?
- Was there anything that confused you in the sermon?
- What has been your greatest joy and struggle this week?
- How can we pray for you?
- How can we hold you accountable?
- How have you seen evidence of God’s grace in your life this year?
- Share some ways you’ve been growing in wholeness lately.
- Share three things for which you’re thankful.
- Share one unexpected blessing from God you’ve experienced this week.