Small Group Studies

An Extra Helping Week 2 Study


Of all the things we might need an extra helping of in our lives, perhaps the most important thing we need is prayer. After all, prayer is one of the main outlets we have to communicate with God. Because of this, it stands to reason that prayer is vital. Today we are going to take a closer look at the importance of prayer in our lives.


Who is the person you call or text the most? Why?


Bible Study Questions


1. Why is communication important for any thriving relationship?

2. Read Acts 12:5-11. What are different ways the church could have responded when Peter was in prison?

Acts 12:5-11

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison
The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.

So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.

Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”

3. What stands out to you about the way the church responded while Peter was in prison?

4. Read Acts 12:12-19. Why do you think the people in Mary’s home were surprised to find Peter?

Acts 12:12-19

When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”

“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”

Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.

At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.


5. Do you often think about the power of prayer when you pray? Why or why not?

6. When was a time God demonstrated the power of prayer to you in your life?

7. What is something that you are currently praying for? Do you believe God is going to hear? Why or why not?


Spend time praying together as a group. Share your requests in need to God. As a group, keep a prayer journal for all the things that you are praying for. Include the date, request, and when and how God answers the prayer. Ask Him to work in big ways. As you pray, remember the power of praying to the Creator of the universe.

Going Deeper

As we think about prayer, one question that many have is, “What about prayers that are unanswered?” This question affects the prayer lives of many. Today we are going to address this question and discover that there are no unanswered prayers. There are other answers to prayers besides “Yes.” These other answers include “no” and “wait.” As we study, we will see that God’s answer is always perfect and trustworthy regardless of the answer. He may not always respond in the way that we wanted, but He will always respond in the way that we need. Let’s take a look in Scripture at the different ways God answered prayers to understand the significance of responding differently to different prayers and see that God is trustworthy to hear and respond.

Prayers throughout Scripture with Different Answers:

1. Yes: “Yes” is the answer we first thought of when we think about the ways that God answers prayer. Scripture makes it clear that God delights in granting the requests of His children. Let’s look at a time in Scripture when God answered a prayer saying “Yes.”

a. Look back at Acts 12:1-8, our verses we have studied today. 

b. How did God answer the prayer of the believers in the early church for Peter?

c. What are the results of this answer to prayer? (As you think about this, consider the fact that Acts tells us more about Paul’s life and ministry beyond Acts 12.)

2. No: There are times when we pray where “No” is the answer to our prayers. We do not always like this, but Scripture teaches that we can trust in God’s plan when the answer to our prayers is “No.” The greatest place in Scripture about this topic is when the answer one of Jesus’ earnest prayers to God the Father was “No.” Let’s look at that Scripture today.

a. Read Luke 22:39-44.

b. How do we know that the answer to this prayer from Jesus was “No?”

c. What are the results of God’s answer to this prayer?

d. God may have answered “no,” but how did He meet Jesus’ needs directly after He prayed? How does this give you peace when you are struggling?

e. Why was “No” the necessary, right answer to this prayer?

3. Wait: Sometimes, the answer to our prayers to God is “Wait.” While waiting is never fun, it is often necessary. Let’s look at a portion of Scripture where Jesus answered, “Wait.”

a. Read John 11:1-44. Because this portion of Scripture is a little bit longer than usual, read these verses individually, then come back together as a group to discuss.

b. What was Jesus’ response to Mary and Martha’s request?

c. After reading these verses from John 11, why do you think Jesus’ implied answer to Mary and Martha was “Wait.”?

d. What are the results of Jesus’ delay and implied answer of “Wait.”?

Questions to Discuss:

1. Have God’s responses of “No” or “Wait” in your own life affected your prayer life? If so, how?

2. What can you conclude about God’s different answers to prayers?

3. After looking at the different responses to our prayer and requests to God in Scripture, what insight do you have about the answers of “No” or “Wait” in your own life?

4. How can we use the insights we’ve gained to encourage each other in those instances when God tells us “No” or “Wait”? 

As you think about the different responses to prayer God gives, you may be thinking about something you are praying for right now that the answer seems to be “No” or “Wait.” Tell your group about this thing. After sharing, tell your group one way that God is working in that area of your life in the middle of God’s “No” or “Wait.” Praise God for always being good and working in our lives for our good, even when we cannot see His plan! We can trust that He truly does know what is best for us.



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1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.