1 - 1 - These studies are designed to be discussed in small group settings. This curriculum is designed to work on group discovery and more importantly what the Lord reveals to each individual and to each group. This curriculum is not designed for settings that rely on formal teaching sessions etc. The basic format is to begin with the Community Caring and Communicating questions: How did you do with what you said you were going to change since last we met? 4. These are the first four discussions at each session (the questions are slightly different in the first session because there is no previous meeting to have planned for these questions adequately). Question 1 is asked and then each member of the group shares his or her answer. After you have completed a round of the group discussing question 1 then you read question 2 and let each person share their answers and then question 3, then question 4. After these discussions someone in the group reads the passage for that study aloud (you may want to have more than one person read it aloud especially if participants have different versions of the Bible). Next have the participants read the passage silently to themselves. When the reading is completed, the group moves on to discussion of the four study questions: 1. What do you learn about God? 2. What do you learn about People/Believers? 3. What do you learn about The New Testament Church? 4. What do you learn about Church Leadership? This is an open discussion of the passage that is facilitated by whoever the leader is and IS NOT TAUGHT LIKE A CLASS. The facilitator s goal is to get everybody else to share not to teach everyone else. It is important that if somebody share something that is not related to the passage your are studying that the questions: Where does that appear in this passage? be asked by the other members, but not as punishment. The question has to be asked with the mindset of truly seeing where the person is getting that from. When that is done you move on to the Commitment to Change questions: 1. What will you do differently or change in the long-term because of what 2. What specific thing will you do differently from now until the next time we meet because of what 3. What are you going to pray about every day until the next time we meet because of this study? The handouts for each lesson are designed to demonstrate what the participants can use to prepare for the sessions. The best way to use these is to give each member the next lesson s handout to fill out the four columns with the What do you learn questions or simply give the participants the scripture for the next meeting and have participants fill out the answers on regular lined paper. YES THERE IS HOMEWORK TO PREPARE. Attendees must agree to all of these things before the study begins. Once the group is 2 3 lessons in new people should probably not be added to the studies as they would be at a different place in their growth and would have missed too much. It is better to start a group probably facilitated by someone who has previously done the study or who is currently doing the study in this group.
2 - 2 - Verse: Matthew 6:7-15 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 7 When you pray, don t ramble like heathens who think they ll be heard if they talk a lot. 8 Don t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, let your name be kept holy. 10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. 11 Give us our daily bread today. 12 Forgive us as we forgive others. 13 Don t allow us to be tempted. Instead, rescue us from the evil one. 14 If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you don t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures.
3 - 3 - Verse: Luke 18:1-7 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) Jesus used this illustration with his disciples to show them that they need to pray all the time and never give up. 2 He said, In a city there was a judge who didn t fear God or respect people. 3 In that city there was also a widow who kept coming to him and saying, Give me justice. 4 For a while the judge refused to do anything. But then he thought, This widow really annoys me. Although I don t fear God or respect people, 5 I ll have to give her justice. Otherwise, she ll keep coming to me until she wears me out. 6 The Lord added, Pay attention to what the dishonest judge thought. 7 Won t God give his chosen people justice when they cry out to him for help day and night? Is he slow to help them?
4 - 4 - Verse: 2 Chronicles 33:10-13 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 10 When the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, they wouldn t even pay attention. 11 So the Lord made the army commanders of the king of Assyria invade Judah. They took Manasseh captive, put a hook in his nose, put him in bronze shackles, and brought him to Babylon. 12 When he experienced this distress, he begged the Lord his God to be kind and humbled himself in front of the God of his ancestors. 13 He prayed to the Lord, and the Lord accepted his prayer and listened to his request. The Lord brought him back to his kingdom in Jerusalem. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.
5 - 5 - Verse: Matthew 7:7-12 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 7 Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find, and for the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 If your child asks you for bread, would any of you give him a stone? 10 Or if your child asks for a fish, would you give him a snake? 11 Even though you re evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him?
6 - 6 - Verse: James 1:5-8 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 5 If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn t find fault with them. 6 When you ask for something, don t have any doubts. A person who has doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea. 7 A person who has doubts shouldn t expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can t make up his mind about anything.
7 - 7 - Verse: John 15:16-17 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 16 You didn t choose me, but I chose you. I have appointed you to go, to produce fruit that will last, and to ask the Father in my name to give you whatever you ask for. 17 Love each other. This is what I m commanding you to do.
8 - 8 - Verse: Matthew 6:5-6 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 5 When you pray, don t be like hypocrites. They like to stand in synagogues and on street corners to pray so that everyone can see them. I can guarantee this truth: That will be their only reward. 6 When you pray, go to your room and close the door. Pray privately to your Father who is with you. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.
9 - 9 - Verse: Matthew 18:18-20 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) - 18 I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you imprison, God will imprison. And whatever you set free, God will set free. 19 I can guarantee again that if two of you agree on anything here on earth, my Father in heaven will accept it. 20 Where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.
10 Verse: Romans 8:26-27 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 26 At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we don t know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words. 27 The one who searches our hearts knows what the Spirit has in mind. The Spirit intercedes for God s people the way God wants him to.
11 Verse: James 4:1-3 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren t they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you? 2 You want what you don t have, so you commit murder. You re determined to have things, but you can t get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don t have the things you want, because you don t pray for them. 3 When you pray for things, you don t get them because you want them for the wrong reason for your own pleasure.
12 Verse: James 5:13-18 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 13 If any of you are having trouble, pray. If you are happy, sing psalms. 14 If you are sick, call for the church leaders. Have them pray for you and anoint you with olive oil [a] in the name of the Lord. 15 (Prayers offered in faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will cure them.) If you have sinned, you will be forgiven. 16 So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God s approval are effective. 17 Elijah was human like us. Yet, when he prayed that it wouldn t rain, no rain fell on the ground for three-and-a-half years. 18 Then he prayed again. It rained, and the ground produced crops.
13 Verse: Isaiah 38:1-6 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) In those days Hezekiah became sick and was about to die. The prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came to him and said, This is what the Lord says: Give final instructions to your household, because you re about to die. You won t get well. 2 Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed to the Lord. 3 Please, Lord, remember how I ve lived faithfully and sincerely in your presence. I ve done what you consider right. And he cried bitterly. 4 Then the Lord spoke his word to Isaiah, 5 Go and say to Hezekiah, This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I ve heard your prayer. I ve seen your tears. I m going to give you 15 more years to live. 6 I ll rescue you and defend this city from the control of the king of Assyria.
14 Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 6 If I ever wanted to brag, I wouldn t be a fool. Instead, I would be telling the truth. But I m going to spare you so that no one may think more of me than what he sees or hears about me, 7 especially because of the excessive number of revelations that I ve had. Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan s messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited. 8 I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9 But he told me: My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak. So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ s power will live in me. 10 Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It s clear that when I m weak, I m strong.
15 Verse: 1 Samuel 1:9-17 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 9 One day, after Hannah had something to eat and drink in Shiloh, she got up. (The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the door of the Lord s temple.) 10 Though she was resentful, she prayed to the Lord while she cried. 11 She made this vow, Lord of Armies, if you will look at my misery, remember me, and give me a boy, then I will give him to you for as long as he lives. A razor will never be used on his head. 12 While Hannah was praying a long time in front of the Lord, Eli was watching her mouth. 13 She was praying silently. Her voice couldn t be heard; only her lips were moving. Eli thought she was drunk. 14 How long are you going to stay drunk? Eli asked her. Get rid of your wine. 15 No, sir, Hannah responded, I m depressed, not drunk. I m pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don t take me to be a goodfor-nothing woman. I was praying like this because I ve been troubled and tormented. 17 Eli replied, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your request.
16 Verse 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez [Painful], because she said that his birth was painful. 10 Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, Please bless me and give me more territory. May your power be with me and free me from evil so that I will not be in pain. God gave him what he prayed for.
17 Verse: Ephesians 1:15-19 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 15 I, too, have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God s people. For this reason 16 I never stop thanking God for you. I always remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Christ better. 18 Then you will have deeper insight. You will know the confidence that he calls you to have and the glorious wealth that God s people will inherit. 19 You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power as it works with might and strength for us, the believers.
18 Verse: Luke 18:9-14 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 9 Jesus also used this illustration with some who were sure that God approved of them while they looked down on everyone else. 10 He said, Two men went into the temple courtyard to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed, God, I thank you that I m not like other people! I m not a robber or a dishonest person. I haven t committed adultery. I m not even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my entire income. 13 But the tax collector was standing at a distance. He wouldn t even look up to heaven. Instead, he became very upset, and he said, God, be merciful to me, a sinner! 14 I can guarantee that this tax collector went home with God s approval, but the Pharisee didn t. Everyone who honors himself will be humbled, but the person who humbles himself will be honored.
19 Verse: 2 Kings 6:15-16 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 15 When the servant of the man of God got up in the morning and went outside, he saw troops, horses, and chariots surrounding the city. Elisha s servant asked, Master, what should we do? 16 Elisha answered, Don t be afraid. We have more forces on our side than they have on theirs
20 Verse: Exodus 32:30-32 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 30 The next day Moses said to the people, You have committed a serious sin. Now I will go up the mountain to the Lord. Maybe I will be able to make a payment for your sin and make peace with the Lord for your sin. 31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, These people have committed such a serious sin! They made gods out of gold for themselves. 32 But will you forgive their sin? If not, please wipe me out of the book you have written.
21 Verse: Proverbs 28:9-10 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 9 Surely the prayer of someone who refuses to listen to God s teachings is disgusting. 10 Whoever leads decent people into evil will fall into his own pit, but innocent people will inherit good things.
22 Verse: Mark 11:22-25 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 22 Jesus said to them, Have faith in God! 23 I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, Be uprooted and thrown into the sea, and it will be done for him. 24 That s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours. 25 Whenever you pray, forgive anything you have against anyone. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your failures.
23 Verse: Luke 23:33-38 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 33 When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified him. The criminals were also crucified, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them. They don t know what they re doing. Meanwhile, the soldiers divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 35 The people stood there watching. But the rulers were making sarcastic remarks. They said, He saved others. If he s the Messiah that God has chosen, let him save himself! 36 The soldiers also made fun of him. They would go up to him, offer him some vinegar, 37 and say, If you re the king of the Jews, save yourself! 38 A written notice was placed above him. It said, This is the king of the Jews.
24 Verse: Matthew 5:43-48 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 43 You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. 45 In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. 46 If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that! 47 Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that! 48 That is why you must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.
25 Verse: 1 John 5:14-16 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 14 We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. 15 We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for. 16 If you see another believer committing a sin that doesn t lead to death, you should pray that God would give that person life. This is true for those who commit sins that don t lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I m not telling you to pray about that.
26 Verse: 1 Peter 3:7-12 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 7 Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God s life-giving kindness so that nothing will interfere with your prayers. 8 Finally, everyone must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble. 9 Don t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you, or ridicule those who ridicule you. Instead, bless them, because you were called to inherit a blessing. 10 People who want to live a full life and enjoy good days must keep their tongues from saying evil things, and their lips from speaking deceitful things. 11 They must turn away from evil and do good. They must seek peace and pursue it. 12 The Lord s eyes are on those who do what he approves. His ears hear their prayer. The Lord confronts those who do evil.
27 Verse: Daniel 10:5-14 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 5 When I looked up, I saw a man dressed in linen, and he had a belt made of gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like beryl. His face looked like lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and legs looked like polished bronze. When he spoke, his voice sounded like the roar of a crowd. 7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision. The men with me didn t see the vision. Yet, they started to tremble violently, and they quickly hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone to see this grand vision. I had no strength left in me. My face turned deathly pale, and I was helpless. 9 I heard the man speak, and as I listened to his words, I fainted facedown on the ground. 10 Then a hand touched me and made my hands and knees shake. 11 The man said to me, Daniel, you are highly respected. Pay attention to my words. Stand up, because I ve been sent to you. When he said this to me, I stood up, trembling. 12 He told me, Don t be afraid, Daniel. God has heard everything that you said ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in front of your God so that you could learn to understand things. I have come in response to your prayer. 13 The commander of the Persian kingdom opposed me for 21 days. But then Michael, one of the chief commanders, came to help me because I was left alone with the kings of Persia. 14 I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the last days, because the vision is about times still to come.
28 - 28 -
29 Verse: Mark 9:23-29 GOD S WORD Translation (GW) 23 Jesus said to him, As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes. 24 The child s father cried out at once, I believe! Help my lack of faith. 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he gave an order to the evil spirit. He said, You spirit that won t let him talk, I command you to come out of him and never enter him again. 26 The evil spirit screamed, shook the child violently, and came out. The boy looked as if he were dead, and everyone said, He s dead! 27 Jesus took his hand and helped him to stand up. 28 When Jesus went into a house, his disciples asked him privately, Why couldn t we force the spirit out of the boy? 29 He told them, This kind of spirit can be forced out only by prayer.
30 - 30 -
31 - 31 -
32 - 32 -
33 - 33 -
34 - 34 -
35 - 35 -
36 - 36 -
37 - 37 -
38 - 38 -