Small Group Questions

Prayer Matters   

Introduction:

It’s decision time. The decision making process is never easy. It certainly takes a bit of mental gymnastics. Christians have the unique advantage of making decisions that are informed by God’s Word. The Bible is a tool to help you make right decisions from a Biblical perspective. 1 Kings 3:9 says, “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” At the beginning of his long reign, God gave Solomon an invitation to ask for whatever he wanted. “Ask what I shall give you,” the Lord told him. Solomon prayed for the gift of wisdom—the gift of discernment or the ability to make the best choice when confronted with a number of options. How do we make the best choice when making decisions in our lives?

Bottom Line: The key to knowing what’s best is knowing God. 

Something To Talk About:

God wants to give us wisdom when confronted with difficult choices.“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you…” (James 1:5). And when we ask in faith, God gives us the wisdom we need at that particular moment. There are, however, some things we need to consider as we seek wisdom to make a difficult choice or decision. On Sunday, we talked about three of them. They include: 

  1. Seek Godly counsel: God is concerned about everything that concerns us, and that includes the decisions we make, because He knows far better than we do that wrong decisions can have disastrous consequences. This is why the most important thing you can do is turn to God and ask Him to show you His will. Pray about it… seek the counsel of godly people you trust… find out what God says in His Word about your motives and goals. God’s promise for you is in Psalm32:8:”The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”  One of the greatest gifts God has given His people is His people. So often we neglect or ignore the collective wisdom God has given to others in the church and our small group. Proverbs 18:1-2 (ESV) says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Seek out people with experience in the area you are struggling with, talk to people who have shown wisdom in dealing with issues. Ask around for someone who has been wise in parenting, investment, dating, career. Talk to your campus pastor. Don’t ever think you can’t reach out to us.    
  1. Pray: We all make decisions every day. Some of them are minor, while others require much thought and prayer. Big decisions require big prayer. In praying we seek God’s counsel. We need to pray and ask God to free us us from the paralysis of analysis, so worried about making the right decision that we forget that God is in charge and in control. We should also pray that God frees us from the terror of error that we are so afraid to make a mistake that we do nothing at all. Pray that we will have the level of faith that will stop us from constantly second guessing our decisions. As in everything else our goal in decision making is to become more like Jesus, trusting Him to help us make the right decisions. The right decisions start on our knees in prayer. The prophet Jeremiah prayed a prayer in the Old Testament asking God for guidance, and it’s still a good prayer for us to pray today. ”I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.” (Jeremiah 10:23–24)
  1. Learn God’s Word: Wisdom starts with a proper relationship with God and knowing who God is, what He said in His word, what has He said about Himself, about you, the circumstance, and our relationships, and His expectations for us. You start with the Bible because it speaks to all those things. It is the best compilation of data knowledge and instructions needed to make a decision. In decision-making we tend to start with things we don’t know and work through to the things we do know. That’s not helpful. The best way to do it is to start with the things you do know and then work toward the things you don’t. What we know is the Word is always true; it’s breathed out by an infinite eternal God. It’s going to be true to whatever it speaks to. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is one wise and one foolish choice/decision you have made in your life? Share with your group the story behind each one. What were the consequences?
  2. How would you answer the following questions: What currently molds and shapes the decisions you make? What are the “why”, “how” and “what” behind your choices.
  3. To what extent does culture (social media, technology, money, family, where we live, celebrities, friends, etc.) influence our decisions? What about fear and acceptance?
  4. How do we make better decisions from a Biblical perspective? How can we use the Bible as a better decision making tool?
  5. What part does, and should, other Christians play in your decision-making? Do you find it hard or easy to receive advice? Do you often resent advice?
  6. What part does, and should, prayer play in your decision-making?
  7. How can you be intentional about applying what you learned in this week’s message in your life? 

Take One Thing Home with You:

“How can I be sure of God’s guidance in my decisions?” “God, what do you want me to do?” Practically all believers have asked questions like these, especially at critical decision points in their lives. In this week’s message we talked about bringing God into our decision making process. In closing, let me lead with these last thoughts:

First, realize that God not only has the answer, He is the answer. Second, pray and simply ask for God’s help in making the decision. Third, believe that God will guide you. Faith is an important component to accepting God’s guidance and wisdom. And fourth put what you learned into motion. Sitting on God’s guidance will not get you where you want to go.