Small Group Studies

Escaping Ordinary Week 1

Most, if not all of us, want to live extraordinary lives. We would probably say that we are not content with just ordinary lives. The question is, do our lives match the desire that we have to live lives that make a difference? Are we taking steps today to escape the ordinary? All this begins with the way we pray. Many of us are settling for ordinary prayer lives when God offers us the chance to have extraordinary prayer lives with Him. The way we pray impacts everything. Because of this, we will talk about prayer today and how to escape ordinary prayer lives in order to find extraordinary prayer lives instead.


What, in your opinion, is the most ordinary ice cream flavor?


Bible Study Questions

 1. What kind of things do you find yourself praying for?


2. Read Acts 1:6-14. Based on these verses, what do we know about the early believers’ prayer lives?

Acts 1:6-14

"So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.

Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

3. What happens when followers of Jesus pray often? What happens when we pray together?

4. Read James 4:1-3. How does praying with the wrong motives impact our prayer lives?

 James 4:1-3

 "What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure."


1. Do you have a regular time you get alone with God and pray? If so, what is it like? If not, what is holding you back?

2. Evaluating your prayer lives, what areas do you need to adjust your motives?

3. When it comes to praying together, what is your group doing well? What needs improvement?


Let’s follow the example of the early church now and pray together. First, share prayer requests and praise reports. Next, pray together. Praise God and thank Him for the good things He has done. Ask Him for help in areas where you need help. If your group is up for it, do something a little different together. The service ended with an encouragement to pray on your knees. If you are comfortable, ask your group members to close their time praying on their knees together. Commit this week to pray for each other every day. Remember, God hears us when we come to Him.

Going Deeper

As we think about prayer, no one modeled or taught about this habit as well as Jesus did. During His ministry on earth, he set an example for all believers of how to pray. He also taught His followers about prayer and how to approach the gift of prayer we have been given to pray to the God of the universe. Over the next few minutes together, we will look at Jesus’ example when it came to His prayer life and what He taught about prayer to better understand how to grow in our prayer lives.

Jesus’ Example:

Throughout His busy 3-year ministry on earth, Jesus set aside time to pray to God the Father. He understood the importance of setting aside time to turn to and connect with God the Father, and His pattern of prayer serves as an example for us to follow in our own prayer lives.

1. Read Luke 5:16.

2. What stands out to you about the frequency of Jesus’ prayer life?

3. When in the day did Jesus pray in Mark 1:35? What were some benefits of praying during that time of day?

4. Why do you think Jesus withdrew to the wilderness or an “isolated” place to pray?

Jesus’ Teaching:

Luke 18 records a time that Jesus taught about prayer by telling a parable or a story. Every parable He told had a deep, spiritual meaning. Let’s look at Jesus’ parable in Luke 18 to understand the importance of persistence when we pray.

1. Read Luke 18:1-7.

2. What was the purpose of telling this parable? (See verse 1.)

3. What happens when we pray persistently, according to this parable?

4. Compare the judge in this verse and God. What do the judge’s actions, as unjust as he was, teach us about God and how He responds to us when we pray?

The Lord’s Prayer:

As we finish studying about the gift of prayer that we have today, let’s look at the most well-known prayers in all of Scripture: The Lord’s prayer. This prayer was a model prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. There is much to unpack and learn in this prayer Jesus taught.

1. Read Matthew 6:7-13.

2. What promise did Jesus give in verse 8 regarding prayer? How does this promise have the potential to impact how we pray?

3. How did Jesus begin His prayer? Why is this important in our prayer lives?

4. List the things Jesus prayed for in these verses.


Consider the verses we have studied over the next few minutes. Then, when it comes to your prayer life, how would you like to grow in your prayer life: developing a time and a place to pray consistently, praying persistently, or practicing modeling your prayers after the Lord’s prayer? Share this with your group and the steps you will take to grow in that area. Friends, prayer is God’s gift to us. Let’s grow in this area of our lives and experience a deeper relationship with Him as a result.

MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8: