1&2 Peter Bible Study

New Bible Study Kickoff and Title Pic Contest

Happy Wednesday, Ladies!

Today, we’re kicking off our new study..…with a fun title pic contest!

 

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5

This passage captures the heart of 1 & 2 Peter. Jesus is the living stone. The solid rock. The strong and mighty foundation of our faith. As His children, we are to be built up into a spiritual house – little living stones upon the Chief Cornerstone. In these two epistles, Peter (a living “stone” himself in more ways than one) shows us how to be holy as I am holy – “chips off the old Rock,” you might say – individually, in our families, in our churches, and in the world.

But before we get started studying, how about a little fun?

You’ve probably noticed that I design a title picture for each Bible study I write. Here are a few past title pics:

(You can see the rest of them at the Bible Studies tab, if you like.)

Y’all have sent in some beautiful and creative entries in our past title pic contests, so, once again, I wanted to get some of you involved in the design process for our new study.

Do you enjoy and have a knack for photo editing? Know someone who does? If so, I’m accepting submissions for title pictures for the Living Stones study. If your submission is chosen it will be used each week of the study, and you’ll be credited (name or website) by watermark. I’d love to be able to offer a huge cash prize, but, hey, we’re small potatoes here. This is just for fun and maybe a little publicity for your site, if you have one.

Contest Guidelines

 You must use images that don’t require attribution. Pictures you’ve taken yourself are fine, as are images from sources such as Pixabay, Pexels, Freely, Unsplash, StockSnap, or other free stock photo web sites. Please include the image source web sites you use along with your submission. (You cannot just grab and use any old picture off the internet. Photographers own their images and usually require permission, attribution, and often a fee, for their use.)

Title pics should be landscape (a horizontal rectangle) with a width of 1000-2000 pixels and proportionate height. I prefer JPG images, but PNG is fine, too, if necessary.

 Your title pic must contain the full title of the study: Living Stones: A Study of 1 & 2 Peter. (Be sure to double check your spelling). 

 If your submission is selected, I’ll be glad to watermark it with your website address (please submit your picture without any watermarks) as long as your web site doesn’t conflict with my statement of faith or my beliefs outlined in the Welcome tab.

 Deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020

E-mail your title pic submission along with your full name, web site address (if any), and the source(s) you used for your image(s) to MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com. You are welcome to submit as many images as you like.

 Please don’t be offended if your submission isn’t selected. If I peruse all the submissions and I’m just not “feeling it,” I may still elect to design one of my own.

Feel free to share this around with friends who have an interest in photo editing. If you want to take a whack at it for fun but don’t know where to start, play around with Be Funky, PicMonkey, or Canva and see which one works best for you. Think about God’s heart for holiness for the Believer and try to capture the theme of 1 & 2 Peter in your image.

Happy designing!

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 12- Wrap Up

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Wrap Up

As we wrap up our study today, think about the things God has taught you through His Word and how you might apply them to your prayer life.

Questions to Consider

1. Was there anything new God taught you that particularly impacted you? What was it, and why was it so significant?

2. How is your personal prayer life different after this study than it was before?

3. Has this study helped you to notice things about the way your brothers and sisters at church pray that would strengthen your own personal prayer time and/or the way you pray in public (ex: leading your children in prayer, leading prayer in your Bible study class)?

4. What have you learned about prayer that you could implement in your public prayers so that others could learn things to strengthen their own prayer lives from your example?

5. What have you learned about God and how He wants to be approached in prayer?

6. What have you learned about your heart’s motives as you approach God in prayer?


Homework

Spend some time in prayer this week asking God to show you how to put into practice one thing you learned from this study.

Recite all of your memory verses from this study. Which one is most meaningful to you right now?


Additional Resources

Additional Scriptures on prayer: Part 1  Part 2 (Be sure to study these in context.)

Basic Training: 8 Things You Need to Know about Prayer

“Can We Talk?”

Praying the ABC’s of Jesus

Priming Your Prayer Wall

The Mailbag: What is Contemplative Prayer?

The Mailbag: Help! Our ladies’ prayer meeting is a disaster!

More resources on prayer

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 11

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Prayers

There are so many wonderful prayers in Scripture that we could have examined during this study. I am listing several here (I’m sure there are many more) in case you would like to continue studying the prayers of the people of Scripture.

2 Kings 19: Hezekiah’s Prayer for Deliverance

2 Kings 20:1-11: Hezekiah’s Prayer for Healing

2 Chronicles 20:1-19: Jehoshaphat’s Prayer for Deliverance

Ezra 9: Ezra Confesses Israel’s Sin of Intermarriage

Nehemiah 1: Nehemiah’s Initial Prayer

Nehemiah 9: Israel’s Confession of Sin

Daniel 9:1-19: Daniel Intercedes for the People

Jonah 2: Jonah Cries Out to the Lord

John 17: Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer

 

Questions to Consider

1. To acclimate yourself to the book containing the prayer you’ve chosen to study, choose a Bible Book Background to review.

2. Who is offering this prayer? What do you know about him? What is his position in Israel, the temple, or the Kingdom? Why is he offering this prayer?

3. Is this an individual prayer or a corporate (group) prayer? Is the person praying interceding for a certain group of people? Who? Why is he interceding for them?

4. How does this prayer address God? What does it say about God, His character and His attributes? How can you extol these attributes of God in your own prayer time?

5. How does this prayer point us to Jesus or the gospel?

6. Carefully examine the context of the prayer. Is there anything in it that does not apply to Christians today? Which parts do apply to Christians today that could inform the way you and your church pray?

7. Consider some of the main components of prayer: praise, worship, petition for God’s provision, help, or action, confession of sin, thanksgiving, recitation of God’s promises or past actions, etc. Which of these components does this prayer have, and how can they serve as an example to you in your own prayers?

8. How does this prayer reflect the relationship this person has with God? How do your prayers reflect your relationship with God?


Homework

This week, study at least one of the prayers above and apply what you’ve learned to your own prayer time.


Suggested Memory Verse

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 10

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Read Acts 4:24-31

A Prayer of the Early Believers

Questions to Consider

1. To acclimate yourself to the book of Acts, choose a Bible Book Background to review. In today’s Scripture link, the entirety of chapter 4 is provided for context. Today’s questions will mostly pertain to the Believers’ prayer in 24-31.

2. Briefly summarize the events leading up to the Believers’ prayer. (1-23)

3. Is this an individual prayer or a corporate (group) prayer? (24)

4. How does this prayer address God? (24) Which words and phrases in this prayer demonstrate God’s sovereignty? Considering the events (1-23) that inspired this prayer why do you think the Believers would focus on God’s sovereignty in their prayer?

5. Explain the connection between verses 25-26 and 27-28. How do prophecy and the fulfillment of prophecy each demonstrate God’s sovereignty? What are some prophecies you see being fulfilled today? Have you ever prayed about them in the way the Believers did in their prayer?

6. Clearly the church was already experiencing persecution at this time. Did the Believers ask God to take the persecution away? What did they ask God for? (29-30) Why? Did God answer their prayer? (31) How? What did God’s answer to their prayer enable them to do? (31)

7. Did the Believers spend more time praying about God’s sovereignty and prophecy or more time presenting their request to Him?

8. What are some ways this prayer can inform our corporate prayers at church? How does this prayer teach us to view, and pray about, persecution?


Homework

This week, declare God’s sovereignty in your prayers and present your requests to Him through the “filter” of His sovereignty.


Suggested Memory Verse

 

Prayer Bible Study

Sweet Hour of Prayer: Lesson 9

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Read Matthew 26:36-46

Jesus’ Prayer in Gethsemane

Questions to Consider

1. To acclimate yourself to the book of Matthew, choose a Bible Book Background to review. In today’s Scripture link, the Mark and Luke accounts of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane are provided for comparison, and Matthew 26:1-35 is provided for context. Today’s questions will mostly pertain to Matthew 26:36-46.

2. Briefly summarize the events leading up to Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:1-35) Who is “them” in verse 36?

3. Examine all three gospel accounts of Jesus’ prayer. Which words and phrases describe what His state of mind and heart were? How do Jesus’ actions demonstrate that difficult times should always drive us to prayer as a first response rather than a last resort?

4. What is the progression of fellowship to solitude in 36-39?
36a- Jesus is with all eleven disciples
36b-
37-
38-39a-

Why would Jesus have wanted to pray alone at this moment? When you are experiencing soul-rending grief or distress, why is it important to spend time alone in prayer? Conversely, how could it be helpful and encouraging to have close brothers and sisters in Christ, or your church family, physically present to pray with or over you?

5. What does the word “watch” (“watch with Me,” “watch and pray”) mean in verses 38,40,41? What did Jesus want the disciples to do? Is “watching” applicable to our prayer lives today? How?

6. Compare Jesus’ prayer in verse 39 to His instruction to the disciples to “pray like this,” followed by The Lord’s Prayer, (see lesson 8, especially the last paragraph of question 3, link above). Is Jesus contradicting Himself by not praying according to the template of The Lord’s Prayer? Why not? Explain how different situations, contexts, and states of mind can call for different kinds of prayer, which can all be pleasing to God.

7. Break down Jesus’ prayer in 39 and 42 and explain what He means (use your cross-references if you need help) in each section:

“My Father” (compare to the salutation of the Lord’s Prayer)-

“if it be possible,” (Is Jesus questioning God’s power, control, or ability? Why not, and what does He mean by this?)-

“let this cup pass from Me;”-

“nevertheless,”-

“not as I will, but as You will.”-

“if this cannot pass unless I drink it,”

“Your will be done.”

In what ways might each of these concepts apply to your prayers in times of distress? Describe the heart attitude in which Jesus approaches God in prayer here. Does this same attitude characterize your prayers?

8. How many times (39,42,44) did Jesus pray “saying the same words again” (44)? How does this not contradict Jesus’ teaching not to “heap up empty phrases” or “they think that they will be heard for their many words,” but rather is more in line with Jesus’ teaching on persistence in prayer? (it may be helpful to look back at lesson 8, link above)

9. How did God answer Jesus’ prayer? (read the remainder of the book of Matthew if you need some help) Why didn’t God give Jesus what He asked for?

A popular false teaching of the Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) and New Apostolic Reformation heresies is that, if we just have enough faith when we pray, if we just believe enough when we ask God for something, He is obligated to give it to us or do what we want. Explain how Jesus’ perfect faith, His total surrender to God’s will rather than His own, and God’s answer of “no” to Jesus’ prayer completely blows this false teaching out of the water.

10. Explain how Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane demonstrates that prayer is not about getting God to do what we want Him to do, but about getting us to do what God wants us to do.


Homework

Do you completely surrender your will to God’s will – as Jesus did – when you pray? Are your prayers more along the lines of “My way or the highway,” or “Thy way, not my way”? Are you willing to let go of what you want God to do, what you think is best, in order to embrace what God wants to do and what God thinks is best, even if that means excruciating loss or suffering? As you pray this week, present your requests to God through the lens of “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”


Suggested Memory Verse