A Journey to Victorious Praying Study Guide

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Overview

First, we've got to have a goal: To become a man or woman of prayer.

What does that even mean? It means that prayer is a central part of your daily experience. It's a defining characteristic. It means that you are a person who walks with God, led by the Spirit, abiding in Christ. A person of prayer is following in Christ's steps, going to the Father night and day, in all circumstances and conditions of the heart.

The goal of this booklet, which...

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Overview

First, we've got to have a goal: To become a man or woman of prayer.

What does that even mean? It means that prayer is a central part of your daily experience. It's a defining characteristic. It means that you are a person who walks with God, led by the Spirit, abiding in Christ. A person of prayer is following in Christ's steps, going to the Father night and day, in all circumstances and conditions of the heart.

The goal of this booklet, which is a companion study guide to A Journey to Victorious Praying: Finding Discipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life by Bill Thrasher, is to assist in the journey toward becoming a person who prays.

It is set up in an eight-week format (five days per week). However, you can use it however you deem fit. Sprint through it in just a few weeks or mosey along for a few months--however you choose to work through these disciplines, ask God to guide your journey.

This booklet can work well for individual, partner, or group study. No matter whom you choose to share this journey with, make sure to pray for each other often as you seek God's best for your prayer lives.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

When you know someone is a person of prayer, it is easy to be taught by them regarding prayer. My friend Bill Thrasher is one of those people.
-Joseph M. Stowell, president, Cornerstone University

Bill Thrasher's study reveals new possibilities for the believer who dares to access God's unlimited provisions for His beloved children.
-Howard G. Hendricks, Distinguished Professor and Chairman, Center for Christian Leadership, Dallas Theological Seminary

I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Thrasher that, 'In God's kindness He instructs us how to process our anxiety'. I pray that this book blesses many.
-Elisabeth Elliot Gren, author and speaker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802436979
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Edition description: Study Guid
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 820,920
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


WILLIAM D. THRASHER (B.S., Auburn University; Th.M., Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) has served on the faculty of Moody Theological Seminary since 1980 and on the graduate school faculty since 1990, where he oversees the Master's Program in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship. He is a frequent speaker in churches and retreats across the county. He has written numerous articles on a variety of subjects related to Christian living. His books include, Living the Life God has Planned, A Journey to Victorious Praying, Believing God for His Best, and Putting God Back into the Holidays published by Moody Publishers and he has also written How to be a Soul Physician, The Attributes of God in Pauline Theology, and Principles of Christian Living from Romans 5-8. He has written "Jonah" in the Moody Bible Commentary and has authored two online courses: Biblical Spiritual Formation and Biblical Spiritual Formation Lab 1. He is married to Penny and they have three sons- Will, Michael, and David.
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Read an Excerpt

A Journey to Victorious Praying Study Guide

Finding Descipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life


By Bill Thrasher

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2009 Bill Thrasher
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-3697-9



CHAPTER 1

Week One The Help of Your Weakness

DAY 1

Transforming Fear into Faith (Further Reading: Pages 17-21)

* * *

Prayer is an attitude of helplessness. This attitude of helplessness is not meant to drive you to anxiety but rather to drive you to God. In other words, prayer is helplessness plus faith. When we petition God in prayer, we come to Christ and tell Him what we, and those for whom we pray, are lacking. It is opening up our needy lives to Him.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. How does the Psalmist respond to his fears? Read Psalm 34:4.

2. How can a person respond to the temptation of anxiety in a way that moves him or her to prayer? Read Philippians 4:6–7.

3. Do you have any specific fears and/or anxieties that can provide motivation for you to pray? Write them down.

4. What is the "Isaac" in your life that you need to surrender to the Lord? See page 21.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* 1 Peter 5:7

* 2 Timothy 1:12


Day 2

Praying with Confidence When You Feel Unworthy (Further Reading: Pages 23-25)

* * *

We are to come to God in Jesus' name (John 14:14). We must pray for things that are in line with His revealed character and would enhance His reputation. The key is to come to God with confidence during our needy moments. Humble yourself before Him and let Him use your life to display to the world how kind and gracious He is.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. What does it mean to "pray in the name of Jesus"?

2. Write down one area of your life in which you feel inadequate or unworthy. What would it mean to "pray in the name Jesus" about this concern?

3. Look at Ephesians 2:7. What did you learn about the kindness of Jesus' name?

4. Review the activities of your day. Now write down any guidance you receive from 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Proverbs 22:1


Day 3

Sharing Your True Desires with God (Further Reading: Pages 27-32)

* * *

There are many opportunities throughout each day that encourage you to draw near with confidence to God's throne of grace. When you are struggling with anger, you need His merciful and gracious aid. You will receive it only if you first come to God and tell Him about your struggle.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Review Jim's testimony of God's response to his honesty in prayer (page 27). What are some of your observations?

2. Are there any hurts, pains, or temptations you face for which you need to come boldly to the throne of grace and receive His mercy and grace? Write them down. And come freely.

3. Read Mark 1:40–42. Where can you trust Jesus to put His loving hand on your hurts?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Hebrews 4:15–16

* James 4:6


Day 4

Sharing Your True Desires with God (Review: Pages 27-32)

* * *

Temptations are an appeal to meet righteous needs in an unrighteous way. Come to God; thank Him that He has a righteous way to meet the longing your temptation has stirred.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Look at 1 John 1:7. Write down the meaning of the phrase "walk in the light" as it is explained on page 30.

2. Read 1 John 1:7 again. What is the result of walking in the light? Can you purpose to "walk in the light" with every temptation in your life for the next 24 hours? Or even longer?

3. Ponder Nathan's rebuke to David in 2 Samuel 12:7–14. Use this rebuke as a motivation to tell your deepest desires to the Lord rather than going somewhere else to have your needs met.

4. How is temptation in your life an attempt at meeting a legitimate need in an unrighteous way? Ask God to show you what desires you are trying to fulfill.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* John 6:35


Day 5

Turning Your Temptations into Victorious Prayer

(Further Reading: Pages 33-38)

* * *

The key is to ask God what He wants you to pray. It should be the prayer burden that He gives you. As you turn your temptation into meaningful intercession you will find yourself engaging in true prayer.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Do you believe that God wins His victories in the midst of apparent defeat? Consider the following three examples, then explain:

* The death and resurrection of Christ

* Revelation 11:3–13

* 2 Corinthians 1:8–9


2. Can you list past times of apparent defeat in your life that were precursors to special spiritual opportunities?

3. Read Psalm 27:8. Explain how God is encouraging His people to seek Him in their times of temptation.

4. Ask God to give you a specific prayer burden to pray every time you encounter your most persistent temptation. Write it down.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Genesis 20:17–18

* Luke 18:9–14

CHAPTER 2

Week Two The Help of the Holy Spirit

DAY 1

Experiencing the Spirit's Motivation in Prayer (Further Reading: Pages 41-45)

* * *

We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to develop a fervency and compassion in our prayers. We cannot work this up on our own strength. As all of life is to be lived in dependence on the Holy Spirit, so in our prayer life we are to depend on the Spirit of God for motivation.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Would you know if your prayer life died? How?

2. What are the five commands in relationship to the Holy Spirit? Read Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; and Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20.

3. What is the meaning of the Greek word "Paraclete"?

4. How can you trust God to develop a fervency in your prayer life? Will you ask Him for it?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Isaiah 64:7

* Luke 22:44

* Acts 12:5

* Romans 15:30


Day 2

Receiving Strength to Believe God (Further Reading: Pages 47-50)

* * *

In prayer we are to ask God what He wants us to believe Him for. And we are to concurrently recognize that our faith in this matter is a prime target of the evil one in the spiritual battle of every believer's life.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Read 1 Thessalonians 3:5. What is the devil's work here that you can observe?

2. Look at Ephesians 6:10 and Romans 4:20. The same Greek word "be strong" is used in both of these passages. Is there a particular area of concern in your life in which you can ask the Lord to strengthen your faith?

3. Review the story of the college student on pages 48–50. What is the Spirit of God empowering you to believe Him for today?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Ephesians 3:16–17

* James 4:7

* Romans 15:5


Day 3

Being Guided in Prayer (Further Reading: Pages 51-56)

* * *

True prayer starts with God and the prayer burden He places on our heart. For that reason the greatest discipline in prayer is the discipline of communicating with the Holy Spirit as He aids us in sharing our real concerns.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Begin by asking God how He desires to aid you in being sensitive to His promptings to pray today.

2. Write down the three greatest concerns of your heart and share these with the Lord right now.

3. Look at Psalm 38:9, Psalm 62:8, and Romans 10:1. Write down what each of these verses teach you about prayer.

4. Review the illustrations on pages 54 and 55 again. Do you have any unhealthy addiction to "noise" in your life? Ask God for the grace to free you from it and to make you willing to use the discipline of silence.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Read Psalm 62:8 one more time. Ask God to really help you believe what it says.


Day 4

When You Don't Know How to Pray (Further Reading: Pages 57-60)

* * *

As we lean upon the Spirit's help to give us motivation, enablement, and guidance, there will be times of special weakness. It is in these times that the Holy Spirit lends us a helping hand. The Holy Spirit helps us present the deep desires of our heart to the Father, who graciously answers them.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Read Romans 8:26–27. What did you learn about prayer from these verses?

2. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7–10. What did you learn about how God chooses to answer prayer from these verses?

3. Is there some longing in your heart that is not being answered? Could it be because God wants to grant you an even deeper longing and desire of your heart?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* 2 Corinthians 12:1–10


Day 5

Receiving the Help of the Holy Spirit (Review: Pages 41-60)

* * *

The Holy Spirit is our gracious Helper in prayer. We need His assistance in all our prayers. We are to look to Him for motivation, to empower us to believe God, and to guide our prayers. Sometimes we must submit to our weakness and in humility allow the Holy Spirit to lay bare our hearts before God.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Review your answers to the questions of the previous four days. Ask God to breathe new life into your times of prayer.

2. Prepare yourself for the Lord's Day this week by reviewing the three greatest concerns of your heart that you wrote down two days ago. Surrender them again to the Lord, in faith.

3. What have you learned about the Holy Spirit this last week that you didn't know before? How will that change how you pray?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Read Galatians 5:16–26. How can you live by the Spirit?

CHAPTER 3

Week Three The Help of Companionship and Fasting


DAY 1

Receiving Help in Prayer from Others (Further Reading: Pages 63-67)

* * *

As we seek to cast our cares upon the Lord, we need to be alert to the times that God wants to use others to aid us. Sometimes we need others to pray with us and for us in order to experience the peace Jesus gives.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. What do Proverbs 27:17 and Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 say in regard to the benefit of companionship?

2. Read Philippians 4:6–7, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalms 55:22, and Galatians 6:2. Are there any burdens you need to give over to God?

3. Of these concerns, are there any that you need to share with others in order to help you bear them up in prayer?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Matthew 26:37–38

* John 14:27


Day 2

Achieving Victories You Never Thought Possible (Further Reading: Pages 69-73)

* * *

Whatever your need or crisis may be, it is wise to follow the pattern in Scripture of informing your friends about it and requesting the compassion of our wonderful God in prayer.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Read Daniel 2:17–18 and Acts 4:23-24. What principle of prayer do you glean from these verses?

2. Pray through the three suggestions on page 72. Discuss these options and a few possible courses of action with someone you trust.

3. Is God prompting you to request prayer for any specific issue in your life? Explain.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Read Acts 4:23–31


Day 3

Learning When to Fast (Further Reading: Pages 141-147)

* * *

There is nothing meritorious to fasting, in the sense that one earns favor from God. Every spiritual discipline should rest on the foundation of Christ's already finished work. However, fasting as a discipline can help us to experience the life of victory that Christ has purchased for us.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. How does Richard Foster define fasting (page 143)? Does that seem like something you want to do?

2. What is the purpose of fasting according to O. Hallesby (page 143)? Do you agree?

3. Read Ephesians 1:3. How does this verse guard one against viewing fasting as a way to earn God's blessings?

4. What are some different kinds of fasts (pages 144–145)?

5. When should we fast (pages 145–147)?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Matthew 9:15

* Acts 14:23


Day 4

Experiencing the Benefits of Fasting (Further Reading: Pages 149-156)

* * *

The aim of fasting is to cultivate a conscious enjoyment of God's presence in one's life. If you desire true contentment and joy in God, then you will find the discipline of fasting helpful, as it strengthens the intensity of your prayers and your repentance.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. What did you learn from the story of the Church of the Foothills (pages 149–154)? Is any of it applicable to your life?

2. What are some of the physical benefits of fasting?

3. Write down what you see as the most significant spiritual benefit of fasting.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Luke 2:37

* Joel 2:12

* John 15:5


Day 5


Getting Started (Further Reading: Pages 157-160)

* * *

We should fast as God directs and empowers us. We do not live under any command that prescribes when or how often we are to fast. Often the obstacle that prevents someone from fasting is fear—so we ought to first prepare by confessing and repenting of any such fears.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. What are four abuses of the discipline of fasting (pages 157–158)?

2. What spiritual purpose is God giving you to motivate a fast?

3. If you feel the Spirit's leading and direction, plan a fast of dedication to express your willingness to fast.

4. In what areas of your life might a fast yield an unburdening from the things of this world?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Joel 2:15–16

* 1 Corinthians 9:24–27

* Nehemiah 1:4

CHAPTER 4

Week Four The Help of Scripture


DAY 1

Learning George Mueller's Secret (Further Reading: Pages 77-81)

* * *

George Mueller prayed that his life and work would display convincing proof that God hears prayer and that it is always safe to trust Him. Mueller centered his life around prayer and Scripture intake—he took both very seriously.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Look at George Mueller's life purpose and ask God to give you a purpose that will clearly honor Him. If you already know His answer to you, write it down.

2. What hindered Mueller's devotion to Scripture in the early years of his Christian life?

3. What obstacles in your life keep you from finding time to get into God's Word? Write them down and believe God to overcome them.

4. What main principle can be gained from Romans 10:17?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Joshua 1:8–9

* Psalm 1:2–3

* James 1:25


Day 2

Experiencing True Prosperity (Further Reading: Pages 83-88)

* * *

In meditation we see a vital link between the discipline of Scripture reading and the discipline of prayer. Without prayer the study of Scripture can turn into a merely intellectual exercise. Without Scripture the practice of prayer can lack motivation and guidance.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Re-read the definition of "meditation" on page 84. Is this how you have understood meditation in the past?

2. Read John 15:7. What two seemingly separate disciplines are connected in this passage?

3. Ask God to open up some familiar Scriptures to you. Ask Him to explain Psalm 37:4 and Galatians 5:16. This is meditating. Be patient but expectant. Scripture fuels the fire of your prayer life.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Pray with your unsaved friends in mind ...

* Matthew 9:38

* Colossians 4:3

* Ephesians 6:19–20


Day 3

Experiencing True Prosperity (Further Reading: Pages 83-88)

* * *

When we come to the point of realizing our weakness in prayer, we begin to make progress. It is our weakness that not only draws us to the Lord, causing us to depend on the Holy Spirit in prayer, but also compels us to read God's Word to learn how to express our hearts in prayer.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Read Psalm 17 and Psalm 86. What do these chapters tell you about prayer?

2. Do any other Psalms come to mind that remind you to rely on God's wisdom rather than your own?

3. Write down some requests that the Psalms encourage you to pray.


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* 2 Samuel 7:27


Day 4

Learning How to Pray for Christ-like Growth (Further Reading: Pages 89-94)

* * *

Knowing Christ is the greatest joy in life. He alone can strengthen our spirits, give us His wisdom, and supply us His grace. We ought to let our inadequacy draw us to God and believe that He will answer the requests of our hearts, as they pull us closer to His heart.


Discussion and Discovery:

1. Read Luke 2:40. Pray the three requests from this verse on behalf of a loved one.

2. Read Ephesians 3:14–21. Why is praying for inward strength valuable?

3. Read James 1:5 and Colossians 1:9–12. Should we pray for wisdom? How?

4. Read Hebrews 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:10. What is grace? Is it something we should approach God for?


Additional Scripture for Prayer:

* Luke 2:40–52

* Romans 8:9

* Proverbs 17:21, 25

* 2 Corinthians 12:7–10


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Journey to Victorious Praying Study Guide by Bill Thrasher. Copyright © 2009 Bill Thrasher. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

How to Use this Study Guide

Week One: The Help of Your Weakness

Week Two: The Help of the Holy Spirit

Week Three: The Help of Companionship and Fasting

Week Four: The Help of Scripture

Week Five: The Discipline of Prayer

Week Six: The Importance of Prayer

Week Seven: The Waiting of Prayer

Week Eight: The Power of Praise

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    AN INDISPENSABLE STUDY COMPANION!

    I must admit when I received the Study guide I was a bit disappointed. I had just finished a book with 167 page study guide and it made this one look a little wimpy. That was until I opened it and started reading. Each page was power packed with scriptures and questions to aid me in my study.
    One of the things I liked about the book was the chapters were just short enough to do a really good daily study. The Study Guide worked along the same concept. I was getting so much!
    So don't let the size put you off, it is perfect for daily study! You will find yourself challenge and having spent true time with the Lord with each page. An excellent companion to the book!
    In exchange for my honest review, I received a copy of the book from Moody Publishers.

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