Prayer 101 by Warren Wiersbe

Prayer 101: Experiencing the Heart of GodPrayer 101: Experiencing the Heart of God
Warren W. Wiersbe
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According to Warren Wiersbe, "prayer is serious business." Here, in this easy-to-read book, Wiersbe covers the fundamentals of prayer with pastoral wisdom and humor. With chapters such as "He Done Prayed My Hot Dog Cold" and "Don't Wrestle in Prayer - Just Believe," the first "semester" looks at popular, routine prayer statements and why they are dangerous. The second semester teaches you how to pray more effectively. The third semester addresses the obstacles to answered prayer. Prayer 101 finishes with developing the discipline of praying. If your prayer life is dull or needs refining or refreshing, Prayer 101 can bring your prayer life to a new level!

Discussion Questions for Prayer 101


Chapter 1: Defining a Mystery

  1. Since God knows all about you and what he is going to do before you ask, what do you think might be some reasons God still wants you to pray to Him?

  2. What are examples of prayer by believers that are unworthy of the one true God?


Chapter 2: "He Done Prayed My Hot Dog Cold!"

  1. How do you distinguish between God’s Spirit leading and lack of self control? Does self-control seem contradictory to the work of the Holy Spirit? How?

  2. How do you respond to Wiersbe’s case for thoughtful and shorter public prayers?


Chapter 3:  "I Have an Unspeakable Request."

1. Why is it better to have a trustworthy prayer partner, rather than simply praying by yourself?

2. Have you ever experienced or witnessed an abuse of prayer requests? What did you or others do?


Chapter 4: "Lord, May This Accident Not Have Happened!"

1.   Why would ignoring God’s sovereignty “silence worship and prayer?” Have you ever experienced such a silencing of your own prayers?

2.   Often when we pray, claiming the promise that God will give us the desires of our hearts, our focus is on our contrived desires. How might your prayers change if instead you asked God to define (create in us) the desires of your hearts?


Chapter 5: "Let’s Have a Word of Prayer"

1.      What are some examples of Christian "prayer clichés" that have lost their meaning for many believers?


Chapter 6: "Thank You, Father, for Dying for Us on the Cross"

  1. What is our common resistance to preparing a prayer in advance? Are there scenarios when it would be more appropriate to do so than others?


Chapter 7: "We’ll Just Have to Pray for Good Luck"

1.      How have you experienced superstition being worked into prayer (in your own life or corporately)? 

Chapter 8: "Whisper a Prayer for Me"

1.      What do you think about scenarios in which someone leads a group prayer in a public place, such as a restaurant, in a manner loud enough that all patrons can hear.

2.      How are prayers sometimes used (or abused) to accomplish things other than communicating with God?


Chapter 9: "Don't Wrestle in Prayer—Just Believe!"

1.      Wiersbe says on page 48 that "there are times when we need the endurance and determination of an athlete if our praying is going to accomplish the will of God." Why would it require so much struggle on our part to pray according to God’s will?


Chapter 10: "Pray for My Enemies? Surely You’re Joking!"

  1. Identify five personal enemies (people, cultural, political, opposing worldviews, etc.). Write out how you might pray for God’s blessing on them—and then pray accordingly.


Chapter 11: "Let’s Fold Our Hands, Bow Our Heads, Close Our Eyes, and Pray"

  1. When in your own life have you found bowing your head and closing your eyes to pray productive? When has it been less helpful or even unproductive?


Chapter 12: "Teach Us to Pray,” Entry Level"

1.   What are some reasons why Jesus had to pray? What do those reasons tell you about why you need to pray?


Chapter 13: Promoted to Praying in God’s Will

  1. How would your prayer life change if you focused more on joining the chorus of prayers to God—praying corporately as a member of Christ’s body?

  2. What are the "regrets of yesterday" that could be compromising your prayer to God for blessing today? What are the "worries about tomorrow" that distract you from authentic communion with God?


Chapter 14: Graduating to God’s Motives

1.      What is the longest time period over which you prayed for something? How often do you think you prayed about it? About how many times total did you pray? Why do you think God took (or is still taking) so long to reply?


Chapter 15: Post-Graduate Work of the Holy Spirit

1.      Write a one-sentence “Father, give me” prayer, and then write a comparable “Father, make me” prayer. Describe the key difference.


Chapter 16: Your Relationship with God Defines Your Prayers

1.      How is it possible to have confidence and be satisfied that God will answer your prayers?



Chapter 17: Your Relationship with Others Defines Your Prayers

1.      How have you experienced (personally or witnessed) the futility of prayers in which confession did not come first?


Chapter 18: Religious Schizophrenia

1.      Why do we lie to ourselves and to God about sin in our own lives? Is there sin in your own life that you’ve lied to yourself (and to God) about?

2.      What are some experiences in your own life that, by the world’s standards, are failures? How has God made successes of those same experiences?



Chapter 19: Pernicious Presumption

  1. Describe an occasion (through prayer or life in general) in which you have presumptuously sinned in the Spirit, perhaps as Moses did, by stealing God’s glory.

  2. Describe (or say) a prayer that might sound right in words but is wrong in motive.


Chapter 20: Taking Inventory of Your Prayer Life

  1. On average, how often do you talk directly to God in prayer each day?

  2. How might your prayers change if your motive was strictly to see God’s will done on earth?

  3. What are some needs you are lifting up to God in prayer right now? How might your prayers change for each of these needs if you also prayerfully sought God’s direction for being the solution?


Chapter 21: Approaching the Throne of Grace

  1. Describe how you feel about approaching God’s throne of grace.

  2. How do you experience God’s love through your prayers to Him?

  3. What are some reasons we might resist discipline in our prayer life?


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