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Community Group Questions | Pray with Confession | Nov 19, 2017

"Pray with Confession"
Rev. Blake Altman, Lead Pastor

God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that?  Read the following passages and consider these questions. 

READ

James 5:16-18 (ESV):
[16] Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. [17] Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. [18] Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

QUESTIONS (20 minutes)

1. Why is it so hard for people to be open about their deepest struggles and failings?  What are some potential problems in trying to create a culture that is completely transparent?  What problems come from a culture in which people don’t share with anyone what is really going on?

2. What are examples of “private sins” in your life, those things you think and do that are only known to you and God (and presumably don’t affect others directly)? “Personal sins” are those wrongs that are against a person? “Public sins” are the sins that have an impact on several (or many) people? As you reflect on sin in your own life, what needs to be confessed to God, what needs to be confessed to others and made right?

3. Which are you more likely to do: (a) share regret and feelings of guilt beyond boundaries that are appropriate, or (b) not share at all and keep it to yourself?

4. James tells us to confess so we can pray and be healed. What keeps you from believing what James tells us is true?  What scares you?  Excites you?  Puzzles you? 

5. Jesus died so that sins can be forgiven.  How can you reflect on Jesus and what he did so that healing and change come into your life?

PRAYER (10-15 minutes) 

Consider getting each person to ask themselves, “Is there someone that the Holy Spirit has brought to mine that I have sinned against and need to confess to?" Leave silence for the Holy Spirit to work in each person’s heart.  In light of what God may have shown them, people may share personal prayer requests. Close with prayer together. 

Trinity’s ministry: As we approach the beginning of Advent (Dec 3), plan a community-group Christmas party and invite your neighbors. Pray that God would strengthen your community groups will be outward facing and welcoming to new people.  Pray also that God would raise up new hosts and facilitators for new groups this spring.  Pray for Trinity to extend our vision through a successful Christmas Offering. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!