Repeat After Me Sermon Series Material

Almost everybody struggles with prayer and asks questions like:

  • How do we actually pray?
  • What’s the point of praying, if God already knows what’s going to happen?
  • What if I pray for the wrong thing?

The disciples had the same questions, but when they asked him, Jesus simply said: “Repeat after me.”

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 Weekly Discussion Questions

  • Week 1: Adoration

    Week 1 Focus - Adoration

    Say this prayer each day this week:

    Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Amen.

    Weekly Study

    Instructions: Having dinner with another couple? Running with a friend? Meeting someone for coffee? Throw these questions out there to think and talk a little bit about this week's focus.

    Adoration – this is our opportunity to tell God how great he is and the variety of ways we’ve experienced this greatness.

    We can offer names to God: Father, Creator, Healer, etc. We can also list attributes: loving, kind, providing, etc.

    This is simply an opportunity to acknowledge and become even more aware of God’s goodness.

    Light Discussion

    1. What are you most likely to notice, appreciate, and compliment about someone?
    2. What are attributes you often overlook and remain unphased by?
    3. What are the characteristics of God you’re most familiar with? In other words, when you think of God, what do you think about?
    4. Do you remember any prayers you learned as a kid?

    Dig Deeper

    Instructions: Have a small group or Sunday morning class? Or just want to discuss this more at length with a friend? Take some time to look over these additional resources and deeper questions.

    Context: Adoration

    The Sermon on the Mount, found in part in both Matthew and Luke, is arguably Jesus’ most famous sermon. In it, Jesus gives instructions on a variety of topics: anger, marriage, giving, and worry, to name a few.

    Then, even more well-known than the sermon itself, comes Jesus’ teaching on prayer – how to and how not to pray. Jesus teaches those listening not to pray to receive attention or recognition, or to use “empty words,” but rather to pray simply, with only God in mind.

    Even more than a formula, he gives a script: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.” The powerful first line immediately sets up: we can think of God as a close, personal relationship, like a father; and God’s name is holy and worthy of praise.

    Hallowed literally means holy. Jesus invites us to recognize God’s holiness and majesty and to live our lives in ways that bring glory to our divine Father.

    Scripture Focus

    God is calling Isaiah to become his prophet to Israel. Angels who accompany God proclaim his greatness.

    “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” ~ Isaiah 6:1-3

    Deeper Discussion

    1. Everyone likes accolades, but God doesn’t need them, right? What is the point of offering praise and adoration to God?
    2. How does it affect us when we acknowledge God’s greatness?
    3. How does it affect our prayers when we begin with acknowledging God’s greatness?
    4. Looking at the Scripture above, how might it have affected Isaiah that the angels were singing God’s praises? What does that mean for the way you speak of God in front of others?
  • Week 2: God’s Kingdom Come to Earth

    Week 2 Focus - God’s Kingdom Come to Earth

    Say this prayer each day this week:

    Lord, thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

    Weekly Study

    Instructions: Having dinner with another couple? Running with a friend? Meeting someone for coffee? Throw these questions out there to think and talk a little bit about this week's focus.

    God’s Kingdom Come to Earth – the Kingdom of God is not necessarily a place, it is a way of existence.

    In other words, the Kingdom of God can exist anywhere, but certain ways of operating must be present.

    When God’s Kingdom is present, oppression, abuse, and all types of hatred cease to exist. God reigns and creation returns to the way he originally intended it to be.

    Light Discussion

    1. When was a time you had a taste test, sampled something, or saw a preview and just had to have/see/experience the whole thing?
    2. If you could create an ideal existence, what would it look like?
    3. What’s one problem you see in the world? If you could fix it, what do you think would change?
    4. What do you think God’s most disappointed in on earth?

    Dig Deeper

    Instructions: Have a small group or Sunday morning class? Or just want to discuss this more at length with a friend? Take some time to look over these additional resources and deeper questions.

    Context: God's Kingcom Come to Earth

    Often when we think of God’s Kingdom, we think of a specific place. Most people’s minds even go to heaven. In a way, this makes sense. God’s Kingdom is realized in heaven where all things are restored to the way they were intended.

    But Jesus very clearly instructs us to ask for God’s Kingdom to also be realized on earth just like it is in heaven. In fact references to the coming of or desire for God’s Kingdom (sometimes called “Kingdom of Heaven”) is mentioned over 60 times in the gospels.

    Many theologians refer to our desire for, as well as the reality of, God’s Kingdom coming to earth as the “already and not yet.”

    When Jesus came to be among us, he ushered in the Kingdom of God. Because of that we can experience aspects of God’s Kingdom – reconciliation, generosity, forgiveness – on earth now.

    But we recognize it is not fully realized because we do still experience hate, injustice, and cruelty as well. This leads us to hope and to expect God’s Kingdom to come in the future.

    At the same time we do what we can to participate in it now.

    Scripture Focus

    These are the Beatitudes found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. “Beatitudes” means blessings.

    Each blessing is offered to people displaying characteristics of the Kingdom of God.

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’” ~ Matthew 5:3-10

    Deeper Discussion

    1. When have you experienced an aspect of the Kingdom of God on earth? How can you encourage or help that to happen more often?
    2. Where do you feel earth has strayed most from the Kingdom of God?
    3. How will you personally have to change in order to help bring God’s Kingdom to earth?
    4. What are 3 things you will commit to praying for that would help earth look more like God’s Kingdom?
    5. What is one area where you can take action to help earth look more like God’s Kingdom?
  • Week 3: Provision

    Week 3 Focus - Provision

    Say this prayer each day this week:

    Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Amen.

    Weekly Study

    Instructions: Having dinner with another couple? Running with a friend? Meeting someone for coffee? Throw these questions out there to think and talk a little bit about this week's focus.

    Provision – Scripture says God is the giver of all good gifts (Psalm 84:11; Matthew 7:11; James 1:17).

    Society has often told us it’s our job to provide for ourselves, which often breeds pride in our own capabilities and can lead us to stop relying on God.

    God’s promises through Scripture, however, reveal that having a relationship with God means trusting that God really will provide for our needs.

    Light Discussion

    1. Other than bills and mortgage/rent, what’s one thing you buy with every paycheck?
    2. How did your parents teach you how to provide for yourself? (i.e. allowance, make you get a job, teach you to save, etc.)
    3. Has there ever been anything you couldn’t provide for yourself? How did that affect you?
    4. How do you normally react to needing to rely on others?

    Dig Deeper

    Instructions: Have a small group or Sunday morning class? Or just want to discuss this more at length with a friend? Take some time to look over these additional resources and deeper questions.

    Context: Provision

    Our focus this week is on provision – God giving us our daily bread.

    Through Scripture, however, it is obvious that God provides for us so much more than just food or other basic necessities. God provides for us through the generosity of others, guidance through the Holy Spirit, and the ultimate gift of salvation through Christ.

    While we tend to focus on our specific felt needs in the moment, God’s provision doesn’t stop there. God meets our every need often before we are even aware of it. Even when we don’t recognize God’s provision, we can trust that it’s there.

    Scripture Focus

    Paul writes to the church in Rome explaining that God’s sacrifice of his son Jesus proves his willingness to provide for our every need.

    “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:31-35; 37-39

    Deeper Discussion

    1. What is an area of your life where you rely more on yourself than on God?
    2. Can you think of an area of your life where you rely more on God than yourself? How did you get there and how can that translate into other parts of your life?
    3. How does God’s sacrifice of his son and ultimate gift of salvation reassure you of God’s provision in other areas of your life?
    4. How has God’s provision through the generosity of others assured you that God always finds ways to give you what you need?
    5. What is a current need you have that we can pray for with you so we can all experience God’s faithfulness together?
  • Week 4: Forgiveness

    Week 4 Focus - Forgiveness

    Say this prayer each day this week:

    Dear God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Amen.

    Weekly Study

    Instructions: Having dinner with another couple? Running with a friend? Meeting someone for coffee? Throw these questions out there to think and talk a little bit about this week's focus.

    Forgiveness – We know that we receive forgiveness through God’s grace as a free gift. It is nothing we can earn or deserve.

    In the Lord’s Prayer, though, Jesus does place some responsibility on the forgiven; he makes a connection between being forgiven and being forgiving.

    We are to ask for forgiveness, but we are also to forgive the sins of others, committed against us, in the same measure that we ourselves are forgiven.

    Light Discussion

    1. What was the first time you had to apologize for something major as a kid?
    2. What was the first time someone had to apologize to you for something major? What made it memorable?
    3. To you, what makes a quality apology?
    4. What do you find hardest to forgive in others? Why do you think that is?

    Dig Deeper

    Instructions: Have a small group or Sunday morning class? Or just want to discuss this more at length with a friend? Take some time to look over these additional resources and deeper questions.

    Context: Forgiveness

    Both giving and receiving forgiveness can be difficult at times. It is difficult to admit when we’re wrong and, when we’ve been wronged, it’s difficult to let go of the power we hold over the unforgiven person.

    For the most part, in the Old Testament, forgiveness was more tangible. When you asked for forgiveness from God, you sacrificed an animal whose value matched the severity of your sin. When asking forgiveness from a person, you repaid your debt through money, goods, labor, or something else valuable. Even there we see God’s forgiveness as the people cry out, seek redemption, and recognize God’s willingness to forgive.

    Ultimately, we see the fullness of grace and forgiveness in Jesus on the cross.

    As followers of Christ called to do as he did, we must also forgive. Forgiving one another is something that brings us closer to our God who so freely forgives.

    Scripture Focus

    In Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount, also found in Matthew, Jesus teaches on a number of topics.

    Judging and, ultimately, what it means to forgive others, are some of the most powerful topics he addresses.

    He reminds us that it’s easier to see the sins of others than to recognize or admit them in ourselves.

    “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” ~ Luke 6:41-42

    Deeper Discussion

    1. What makes it difficult for you to receive the forgiveness of others? What about God’s forgiveness?
    2. What is a situation where you still need to offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged you?
    3. What connection do you see between your own shortcomings and the ways you struggle to forgive others?
    4. When you think about the ways God forgives you, how does that encourage you to forgive others?
  • Week 5: Temptation

    Week 5 Focus - Temptation

    Say this prayer each day this week:

    Dear Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

    Weekly Study

    Instructions: Having dinner with another couple? Running with a friend? Meeting someone for coffee? Throw these questions out there to think and talk a little bit about this week's focus.

    Temptation – We’ve all faced it.

    Temptation is that nagging voice reminding you that you want to do the thing you know you’re not supposed to do. It’s the choice you know you’re not supposed to make that keeps presenting itself to you.

    Because it’s so persistent, we need the Lord’s help to turn us away from whatever it is that tempts us.

    Light Discussion

    1. Have you seen the delayed gratification marshmallow test on YouTube? (If anyone hasn’t seen it, search in YouTube for “The Marshmallow Test” and watch it.) What would be the equivalent challenge for adults?
    2. What’s something that seems to tempt others that just doesn’t have appeal for you?
    3. Why are the things that tempt us so appealing?

    Dig Deeper

    Instructions: Have a small group or Sunday morning class? Or just want to discuss this more at length with a friend? Take some time to look over these additional resources and deeper questions.

    Context: Temptation

    We see temptation throughout Scripture: the serpent encourages Eve to eat the fruit, David sees Bathsheba bathing on the roof, the devil offers Jesus power and prestige in the desert. Temptation will always be present.

    Our prayer, however, is for the Lord to lead us away from it and even deliver us from the choice we’re tempted to make.

    We know that it is not the Lord who tempts us. God’s desire is not for us to sin so he doesn’t give us opportunities to do so. Instead, we know we can rely on God to give us ways to resist and even avoid temptation.

    Scripture Focus

    Here Paul, the writer of this letter to the Corinthians as well as the founder of the church at Corinth, reminds his readers of the Israelites’ experiences in Egypt.

    He reminds the Corinthians that their struggles are not new, but that, like God orchestrated the Israelites’ physical exodus from Egypt, God will provide them a way out.

    “These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:11-13

    Deeper Discussion

    1. What circumstances most commonly cause you to give in to temptations?
    2. When was a time that you can remember God leading you out of a tempting situation?
    3. How do you think God views us when we resist temptation? What about when we give into temptation?
    4. What temptations continually pop up in your life and seem difficult to avoid? Where do you think God is providing ways out of those temptations?
  • Week 6: God’s Reign Forever

    Week 6 Focus - God’s Reign Forever

    Say this prayer each day this week:

    Lord, we pray that yours would be the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

    Weekly Study

    Instructions: Having dinner with another couple? Running with a friend? Meeting someone for coffee? Throw these questions out there to think and talk a little bit about this week's focus.

    God’s Reign Forever – It’s hard for us to have a concept of eternity because we only have the reference of the amount of years we’ve lived.

    We are assured in Scripture, however, that God will reign for eternity. The Lord’s Prayer ends by affirming that God’s kingdom, glory, and power will last forever.

    As followers of Christ and members of God’s family, this is great news for us! We serve a God who has and will reign forever.

    Light Discussion

    1. Who is someone you cheer for (could be a team or a hero in a movie or character in a book, etc.)? Why?
    2. What is something you get excited about consistently?
    3. There’s the old saying, “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Other than those two things, what’s something you’re certain of?
    4. What are things in the world that give you hope?

    Dig Deeper

    Instructions: Have a small group or Sunday morning class? Or just want to discuss this more at length with a friend? Take some time to look over these additional resources and deeper questions.

    Context: God’s Reign Forever

    In ancient times, nations were constantly at battle and conquering each other. Borders were shifted, rulers came and went, and often, whoever was in charge at the time got to choose who the people worshipped as a god.

    Some worshipped Baal, built Asherah poles, or worshipped gods who controlled fertility, the harvest, or the sea. Some rulers themselves even claimed to be divine, or sons of gods. The idea of one true God who would reign forever was not common.

    Honestly, it seemed pretty presumptuous of a small nation like Israel, to claim they worshipped the King above all kings. This was probably particularly hard for other nations to believe when God’s temple was destroyed twice, and when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt or exiled to Babylon.

    We know, though, that God is the one true God and that he will live and reign forever. We can have hope and confidence in that and it is worth celebrating!

    Scripture Focus

    This Psalm is written in praise to God for his help. It contrasts our choice to put our trust in people whose plans die with them, with our choice to put our hope and trust in God who is everlasting.

    “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish…The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalm 146:3-4; 10

    Deeper Discussion

    1. How does it affect the things you worry about and strive for when you remember that God’s Kingdom is everlasting and his purposes will be realized?
    2. Since God will rule forever, what are specific areas of control you can and should give over to God now?
    3. God is good, loving, and works for our good, so it is a good thing that our God will reign forever. How can you encourage others that God’s reign is great news for them and all of humanity?
    4. What are some of the ways you will benefit from God’s everlasting kingdom?