Welcome to the third week of our series Finding Peace in a Culture of Anxiety. This series helps us understand ways our obedience can transform our anxiety into peace. This week we discuss the important role that prayer plays in helping push out our anxiety. As we bring our concerns to God and learn to trust him, we can find peace.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
What are some typical anxieties you experience around the holidays and how can your group be praying for you?
Share part of your story
What’s a favorite memory of playing in the snow when you were growing up?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back to Philippians 4:4-7. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.
In the first week of our series, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion gave us a 21-day challenge in being grateful by encouraging us to write down three unique things each day. As we wrap up the challenge this week, how has it made a difference in your life? What are some things you have written down?
The Life of Anxiety
Anxiety weighs down the heart (Proverbs 12:25a). Being anxious causes us to carry weight we don’t need to carry. Pastor Jeff used the illustration that anxiety is like carrying heavy rocks around in our bag. What are some rocks, anxieties, you experience? How does anxiety manifest itself in your life? How does it feel like a weight?
Discuss the following quote read this weekend from the book Jesus Calling, “Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go thru them only when they actually occur.”
How have you experienced significant anxiety for something that never occurred? How does this relate to the previous quote?
Anxiety occurs when our desire meets our fear. How do you think desire and fear together result in anxiety? Finish these statements, “What do I want?” and “What am I afraid of?”
Thinking about the anxiety you experience, what are some of the desires and what are the fears associated with them? Is there something in your past that has triggered those fears?
The Life of Prayer
Paul tells the Philippian church not to be anxious but to take their requests to God. How were these prayers described in the weekend service (think AT&T)?
How do you feel about a conversation like that with God? Do you talk to God this way? What should prayers like that include?
Have someone read 1 Peter 5:7 aloud. Prayer can help push out anxiety but only when it is rooted in thinking God cares about us. Why does it matter so much whether God cares about us?
What are some of the ways God has shown us he cares about us? How can realizing God really cares about us change the way we pray?
The Life of Peace
Paul says prayer will help the Philippian believers find peace. This is a peace whether things get better or not. What is the difference between a peace dependent on things getting better and a peace based on trusting God?
Have someone share about a time when they experienced peace from prayer. In what ways can the peace of God guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus?
Our conversation today centered on the importance of taking our anxieties to God. What is one next step you want to take this week to talk with God about the things which cause anxiety?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
The Christmas season is an important time to serve. Whether it is helping a family in need or serving in Discovery Village during the Christmas services, what are some ways your group can get involved in serving this year?
Download a printable PDF here.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Sermon Discussion Guide for the sermons on December 23–24 and December 30-31. It will resume January 5–6.