Why Pray When You Can Worry? – Part 2: First Responder

Why Pray When You Can Worry? – Part 2: First Responder

First Responder
Why Pray When You Can Worry? – Part 2
October 26-27, 2019

Steve Tanner

 “When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4 (p.371*)

“’As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord.’” Jonah 2:7 (p.701*)


  • Make Prayer My First Response.


  1. Start with God.

“’(Jesus)…You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.’” Matthew 22:37 (p.753*)

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Ephesians 3:12 (p.896*)

  1. Pray now.

 “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:27 (p.737*) 

“Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (p.907*)

  1. Pray about everything.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 (p.898*)

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6a (p.901*)


Next Step: ____ I will ask God to help make prayer my first response in every situation I face this week.

Life Groups Study Questions
Taking the Talk to Another Level
From the Weekend Talk of October 26-27, 2019
Why Pray When You Can Worry? Week 2: First Responder

Life Groups use these questions to dig deeper into what we talked about this weekend. Dig into them so you will be ready for the discussion at your Life Group. Find out more about Life Groups at the Info Center in the lobby or go to alivechurch.com/groups.

Car Questions/Conversation Starters

  • What is prayer?
  • When did you first become aware of prayer as more than something you say at dinner or bedtime?
  • Talk about someone you know who is a great example of a person who knows how to pray.
  • Do you have a favorite Bible passage you remember when you pray?

Quick Review

  • Looking back at your Talk Notes, was there anything you heard in the service that stood out or maybe even confused you?

Discussion Starters from the Weekend Talk

See the Talk Notes and related Bible verses from this Weekend’s Talk.

  • Pastor Steve highlighted the One Thing to remember from this week’s Talk. It is to, “Make Prayer My First Response.”
  • Read together Nehemiah 1:1-4 (p.371*) and Jonah 1:1-3 and 2:7 (p.701*)
    • Compare and contrast Nehemiah and Jonah in the context of their reactions to what they are told and how and when they respond.
      • With which of these two men do you most often identify?
    • Using the Talk Notes to help guide you, walk through the three main points of how to develop a “first response” approach to prayer.
      • #1 – Start with God.
        • Have you ever tried to live under your own little “umbrella?” How did that work out for you?
        • When have you felt like you were really “in the zone” of going to God first and fully trusting Him in that circumstance or season of your life?
        • As you live your day-to-day life, what helps you “Start with God?”
      • #2 – Pray Now. (See also Matthew 6:30-34 (p.737*))
        • What do you most often put under your “God Umbrella” and what too often lands under your “Me Umbrella?” How can you change it?
        • Talk about how and why “worrying” is a waste of time. Do you have any personal examples?
        • What has helped you to learn not to worry?
        • Talk about the quote Steve read, “Pray but row away from the rocks.”
        • What does it mean to you to “Never stop praying”? What does that look like in your life? What could it look like?
      • #3 – Pray About Everything.
        • Is it really possible to pray about everything? What does this mean?
        • Talk about the significance of our opportunity to pray directly to God?
        • Why is it important to “stay alert and be persistent” in your prayers?
        • What are you most likely to forget to pray about?
        • What helps you remember to pray?
      • What would you add to the list? What scriptures support your added point(s)?

Digging Deeper

Steve used a comparison of two Old Testament men, Nehemiah and Jonah, in the Weekend Talk. Take a look at more of what these guys did and talk about how they match up to each other.

  • Read Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:4 (p.371*) and Jonah 1:1 – 2:10. (p.701*).
    • What is the tone of each of their prayers?
    • Which one seems more focused on God and His promises and which seems more focused on himself and his troubles? Which was pro-active and which was re-active?
    • How do you relate to each of these men and their prayers?
    • What else stands out to you?

Taking It Home: Next Step

  • Our Next Step This Week: “I will ask God to help make prayer my first response in every situation I face this week.”


  • Pray now for one another and the church.
  • (Note: have you walked the new Prayer Path at the church? Check it out!)

This Weekend:

We continue with Week 3 of our series, “Why Pray When You Can Worry?” Mark your calendars for our Prayer, Praise and Worship Night coming November 3 at 6:00pm.

All of these notes are also in our App. To get our FREE App just text “ALIVEAZ APP” to this number: 77977 and follow the instructions. If you need help, we’ll help you!


* The Life Transformation Bible is the New Living Translation of the Bible, including many useful tools to help you better understand God’s Word, including our own Alive Church Life Transformation Discipleship Plan. They are available FREE in the church lobby.