Small Talk Part 3: Study Guide

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Bottom Line

We must let go of our demand to understand.

Study Verses

1 Peter 5:6-7, Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 3:5-7, Romans 8:26, 1 Kings 19:1-18

Key Points

  • His peace serves to protect our heart and mind.
  • Requests are things we’d like. Burdens are things we are desperate for.
  • We must be careful not to allow our requests to become demands.
  • “God, speak to me.” is a prayer of submission that pushes us to listen.
  • “God, provide for me.” is a prayer of patience that leads us to trust.
  • We don’t pray so we can better understand our world, we pray so we can connect with our Creator.
  • Simple prayers open up the conversation.
  • Humbling yourself is a posture of recognizing who is truly in control.
  • We’ve got to do the work to lay our burdens down at God’s feet and not pick them back up again.
  • You don’t have to understand your situation for God to be in control of it.
  • Sometimes the thing we need to surrender is our need to know.
  • Our willingness to trust shouldn’t be tied to our ability to understand what God is doing.
  • It’s impossible to be anxious about nothing when you are attempting to understand everything.

ENCOUNTER

  • What is the difference between a request and a burden? Have you ever felt a burden that influenced your prayer life? If so, describe this experience.
  • What are warning signs when our requests have switched over to demands we place on God? What are some things you’ve demanded of God?
  • How can God tell us to “not be anxious about anything” while also encouraging us to “cast our anxieties to Him”? How do we live in the midst of this tension?

FORMATION

  • Read Proverbs 3:5-7. What is the danger of being wise in our own eyes? What does it look like to lean on our own understanding? Why doesn’t this posture provide the support and security we are looking for?
  • Read 1 Peter 5:6-7. What are we recognizing or acknowledging when we humble ourselves in prayer? Why is humility a requirement for genuine prayer to take place?
  • Read Philippians 4:6-7. How does God’s peace guard our hearts and minds? Do you believe you can experience true peace even in situations where you struggle to understand what God is doing? Why or why not? What makes you answer in the way that you do?
  • Read Romans 8:26. According to this passage, how does the Holy Spirit intercede for us when our burden is so heavy we can’t put words to it? What comfort should this verse provide us?

EXPRESSION

  • Read 1 Kings 19:1-18. In this story, God asks Elijah, “Why are you here?” This difficult question exposed Elijah’s heart and who he trusted. If God were to ask you the same question, how would you respond? How have you arrived in your current circumstances?
  • “God, speak to me.” or “God, provide for me.” Of these two simple prayers, which one are you drawn to in the midst of what you are facing? Why is this a prayer you need to say?
  • Where are you demanding understanding before you are willing to trust God with your circumstances? What would it look like to let go of these demands?
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