Making Space for Prayer (discussion questions)

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App Square Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Making Space for Prayer,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first of a three-part series, “The Art of Prayer,” looking at Jesus’ approach to the life of prayer from the Gospel of Luke. This week we looked at Luke 5:16; 6:12-13a; 9:18.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Answer one of these two questions:
    • What do you find most difficult about prayer?
    • What do you find most life-giving about prayer?
  2. At Eastbrook we are beginning a new series called “The Art of Prayer.” We are going to look at Jesus’ life of prayer in the Gospel of Luke as a way to learn about prayer ourselves. It’s good to begin a series on prayer in prayer! Take some time, whether on your own or with others, to asking God to teach you to pray before you begin this study.
  3. We are looking at three short, separate passages from Luke. Do the following for each of these passages: read them out loud, identify what is happening in the context of that passage, and then identify some key aspects of Jesus’ prayer life from the passage.
    • Luke 5:16
    • Luke 6:12a
    • Luke 9:18a
  1. In what ways do you think Jesus’ life of prayer is similar to our own life of prayer? In what ways is it different?
  2. What do you find to be the most significant lesson about prayer that you see from Jesus’ life and practice of prayer here?
  3. Make it real: What is one way you could put something you learned about prayer into practice in your daily life this week?


[Next week we continue this series by looking at one of Jesus’ major teachings on prayer in Luke 11:1-12. Read that passage ahead of time to prepare.]

Making Space for Prayer

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App WideThis past weekend at Eastbrook we began a new three-week series entitled “The Art of Prayer,” looking at Jesus’ approach to the life of prayer.

I began the series with a message entitled “Making Space for Prayer.” Jesus is the Master of prayer, and He makes space for prayer. We see this throughout the Gospel of Luke, and it comes clearest in Luke 5:16: “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” What does Jesus’ pattern of making space for prayer teach us about our own life of prayer?

You can watch the message here, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.


Beginnings of Prayer

The God who speaks (Genesis 1:3a)


The God who made us (Genesis 1:27)


The way we are made (Isaiah 43:21; Ephesians 2:10)


Desires, priorities, and making space for prayer



Jesus Makes Space for Prayer

Rhythm & Time (Luke 5:16)


Solitude & Silence (Luke 5:16)


Hearing What to Do (Luke 6:12-13a)


Hearing Who We Are (Luke 9:18)


Sunday Prayer 14

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)

I awaken this morning
and take refuge in You, my Lord.
No other person or place can shelter me
like You can, my God.

Under the Cross of Christ my Savior
I find rest for my soul, now and forever;
in Jesus is my true Shalom.

Come, cover me in Your life and love
even as I lift my eyes and voice to You.
Come, guide me in Your everlasting ways
through thee jungle-like pathways of this life.
Come, restore me to true life and human personality
in this world of death and dehumanization.

You are my song,
my joy,
my hope,
my God.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

The Art of Prayer: a series on Jesus’ life of prayer

Art of Prayer Series Gfx_App WideIt has been said that the greatest education in the world is watching a master at work. This is true whether we are referring to an artist, athlete, engineer, teacher, or anything else. We learn most from those who have developed mastery in that area. What about the spiritual life, specifically the life of conversation with God known as prayer?

Over the next three weeks at Eastbrook Church we will explore the life of our Master, Jesus, at prayer. In this new series entitled “The Art of Prayer,” we will specifically look at Jesus’ life of prayer in the Gospel of Luke. As we turn our eyes to Jesus, who is the Master of prayer, let’s see what we can learn from Him about the art of prayer.

You can follow along with the series via our web-site, our Vimeo page, our Facebook page, or by downloading the Eastbrook Church app.

The Warmth of Other Suns (Book Reflections)

In light of the racial tensions in Milwaukee and other places, here is a book I would recommend that everyone read to understand the history of African-Americans in our nation, including the great migration, the Jim Crow era, and beyond.


The Warmth of Others SunsWhen I was at a gathering with ministry leaders focused on the multi-ethnic church over a year ago, Professor Soong-Chan Rah recommended that anyone wanting to better understand the historical background of race relations in the United States should read Isabel Wilkerson‘s book The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.  I finished the book awhile ago, but am only now sharing some of my reflections after reading the book.

In the book, Wilkerson traces the waves of African-American moving from the Southeastern United State to the Northeast, Midwest, and West between 1915 and 1970. While doing so, Wilkerson adeptly interweaves sociological analysis and personal narratives to portray a powerfully intimate and wide-reaching view of this movement. The title of the book is taken from the words of Richard Wright, author of Native Son, in his memoir Black Boy, where he writes:

I was leaving the…

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