Greetings and Grace Sweet Friends,
Back in 2008, the LORD blessed me with a Spirit-led study called Experiencing Gethsemane. The study was composed of numerous lessons based on the life of Christ. It specifically focused on the purpose, problems, position, prayer, and power of the Savior.
By the end of my personal “Gethsemane experience,” I recall walking away with a greater understanding of what joyous solitude was all about, of what Christ-like love looked like in action, and of what faith in the face of suffering and adversity were all about.
If you would allow me, I would like to bless you with a portion of the Experiencing Gethsemane lesson. I pray that it may bless your life as you prepare to face the days ahead and make preparations to enter into The Phone Tree Bible Study Group’s featured study for the month of October, Discerning the Voice of God.
Week 1: Experiencing Solitude: The Prayer Life of Jesus
Focal Reading Assignment: Matthew 26: 36-46; Mark 14: 32-42; Luke 22: 40-46; John 18: 1-26
Additional Scripture Reading for Week 1: John 17; Psalm 6:9; Matthew 6:5-13; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16; Matthew 21:22; Luke 11:1; Colossians 4:2; Psalm 145:18; Psalm 102:17; Matthew 7: 7-8; Ephesians 3:20
Point to Ponder:
“Your prayers are honored in heaven as precious jewels. Purified and empowered, the words rise in a delightful fragrance to our Lord…they reach the very throne of God.” – Max Lucado
Consideration: The life of Jesus Christ was marked by the hand of God. He [Jesus] was filled with the Spirit of God and was an extension of the purest and holiest love of the Father.
Jesus freely gave of Himself and served as an example of what a lover of God should look like and do. He understood that prayer was a special time and that it was an act of reverence and honor to the heavenly Creator. He knew that communing with the Lord through prayer would empower Him. This is one of the greatest lessons He shared with His followers.
This week, as we study our lesson, we will examine the prayer life of Jesus. We will see that just as Christ understood that solitude was a gift affording one on one time with the Most High God, it can be our gift too. We will also see that solitude gives the believer a chance to gain clarity, strength, comfort and resolution for life.
1) What does Gethsemane represent in your life? (Note: You must first identify the relevance of this place.)
2) When Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane, how many times was He noted to pray to the Father? How often do you pray when you are in your Gethsemane?
3) Do you believe that there was significance to the prayer postures Jesus assumed and allowed His disciples to witness? What lesson do you think He was trying to teach them (us)?
4) Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? Are you ashamed to let others know you pray? Are you ashamed to take the initiative in actively praying for others?
5) When you pray to God, do you go through the motions of prayer or do you intensely pour out your whole heart before the Lord, sharing your fears, feelings, failures, and focuses?
6) Jesus Christ recognized that the will of the Father was paramount to His own will. Can you honestly say that you live your life with the same mindset/heart set?
7) In the solitude of prayer, Jesus acknowledged the God-ness of God. How do you acknowledge the God-ness of God when you pray?
* How can your prayer life be more effective? (Specificity and directness were practiced by Jesus when He prayed to His Father.)
Points to Consider:
– The power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not the one who says it. (Max Lucado)
– The God who created the heavens is able to answer our prayers.
– The resources of heaven belong to God to deal with our problems.
– Take everything to God in prayer, without hesitation.
– God is aware of the sincerity of our prayers and the openness of our hearts.
– The power of God is triggered by prayer.
– Prayer teaches us to depend on God.
– Because of Jesus Christ, we can now go before the mercy seat of God and speak with Him personally.
1) Word study: Gethsemane, Abba Father, and pray/prayer.
2) Memorize Ephesians 6:18.
3) Complete a comparative review of the Gospels, studying the accounts of the prayer Jesus rendered to the Father in Gethsemane. Make note of how He prayed, His state of mind before He prayed, what He was doing when He prayed, what He said when He prayed, what He gained from praying, and His attitude post praying.
4) In your journal, write down how the Holy Spirit affected you as a result of this lesson.
This Week’s Challenge: With an open mind and spirit, approach God in the most humble physical state of prayer for one week, and then watch what happens over the course of the week.
“… For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; The Lord will receive my prayer.”