Prayer as the Pathway to Unity (discussion questions)

EM07262015 16x9 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Prayer as the Pathway to Unity” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the fourth part of our series, “One Church.” This week we looked at John 17:20-26.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think are the greatest hindrances to unity, no matter the setting?
  1. This weekend in our series, “One Church,” we are exploring John 17, with specific attention on verses 20-26. Take some time to pray, asking God to clearly speak to you; then read John 17 aloud.
  1. John 17 is sometimes called Jesus’ high priestly prayer. This is because we find Jesus directly talking with His Father in prayer about the heart of His ministry right before going to the sacrifice upon the Cross. What are some of the main things Jesus prays about in John 17?
  1. There are three major sections in Jesus’ prayer here: 1) Jesus’ prayer for true glory; 2) Jesus’ prayer for His disciples; and 3) Jesus’ prayer for future believers. When you consider Jesus’ prayer for the believers in the future – which includes us today – what does this make you think about or feel?
  1. Themes of unity abound in these few sentences of prayer. In verses 21 and 23 what would you say is the fundamental unity Jesus says is the basis for unity amongst believers? Why is this significant?
  1. What do you think Jesus means by saying, “I have given them the glory that you gave me” (17:22)? What sort of glory do we receive as disciples of Jesus?
  1. In verses 21 and 23, what Jesus says there will be certain results – or aftereffects – of believers entering into the unity Jesus prays about. What are those results?
  1. Have you ever experienced disunity in God’s people? Have you seen it impact the effectiveness or fruitfulness of God’s mission in the world? What happened? If applicable, how was this disunity resolved?
  1. What is one way in which you feel specifically impressed to pray for unity in your own life or the life of the church? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about these things together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone.

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