Prayer & Fasting

In April and May of 2023, NorthField Church is entering into a season of prayer and fasting as a church family. As part of this season, we've put together a short guide on prayer and fasting, along with weekly discussion videos and questions to help you as you engage with these two spiritual practices.



May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

Prayer & Fasting Group Discussion


message discussion questions

Each week, we'll share some reflection questions to help you dive deeper into this week's message. Use these as discussion with your family, roommates, small group, or use them as journal prompts!

We've also put together a simple guide for life groups who want to discuss the message as their group study time each week. Click below to download the guide!


Message Discussion Questions

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  • Scripture: Psalm 145:4


    1. Mike shared the stories of several adults who invested in him and his faith journey. Do you have any personal experiences of someone investing in your faith journey? Share your story with your group.


    2. Read Psalm 145. What does this passage of Scripture reveal about God’s heart for the next generation?


    3. Mike gave four action steps for investing in the next generation: Engage, Encourage, Equip, and Empower. Take a moment and discuss each of these steps. Which ones come naturally to you? Which ones are a challenge for you?


    4. As you listened to Mike’s challenge to become Next Generation Thinkers, who came to mind? Who might you begin to invest in? Share those names with the group and take a moment to pray over those relationships.


    5. What is one step you can personally take this week to support a young person in their faith journey?

  • Scripture: James 5:16


    1. Why do you think prayer and fasting are important for our spiritual growth? What are some things in your life that you could let go of, even temporarily, to make more time for prayer and seeking God's presence?


    2. Reflect on the acrostic for prayer Tom shared: Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. How can incorporating these steps in your prayer life strengthen your relationship with God? Which step(s) in the acrostic do you feel might need more attention in your personal prayer life? Why?


    3. Why is confession, both to God and to others, an essential part of our healing and spiritual growth? Are there any areas in your life where you need to confess and seek forgiveness? How might working through these with a trustworthy person help?


    4. Discuss the significance of asking God for our needs and interceding for others in prayer. Can you think of some specific needs in your life and in the lives of people you know that require prayer? How can your prayers help support others?


    5. What does it mean to yield to God's will, and how can prayer and fasting help us to do this? What areas in your life do you find it hardest to yield to God, and how could incorporating prayer and fasting help with this?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:16-18


    1. Have you ever participated in a prayer opportunity like Lisa described? Share your experience.


    2. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. What does it mean to pray without ceasing?


    3. We heard the powerful story of Steve and Ashley Luther, of his battle with Covid and his miraculous recovery. Share your reflections on this story.


    4. While Steve and Ashley's story is one of answered prayer and healing, we know that sometimes God doesn't answer prayers the way we would hope. How can we continue to trust God even in seasons of disappointment?


    5. What is a breakthrough in your life that you're praying for this week?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:16-18


    1. What is your experience with fasting? Have you ever fasted before? How did it go?


    2. What does it mean to hunger for God?


    3. How can prayer and fasting lead to breakthrough in our lives? What is one specific area in your life where you need a breakthrough and could benefit from prayer and fasting?


    4. How can focusing on inviting God's favor into our lives impact our prayer and fasting? What specific areas in your life do you need God's favor, and how can you incorporate that into your practice of prayer and fasting?


    5. How can you encourage your family and friends during this season of prayer and fasting? How can they encourage you?

  • Scripture: Luke 24:1-12; 36-49; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28

    1. How was your Easter? What is one Easter staple that you have to eat every year or something that you have to do each year for it to feel “complete”?

    2. Tom shared the story of Easter from Peter’s perspective. What impacted you the most about the sermon this weekend? Was there anything that you heard that you had never heard before?


    3. How would you explain Easter to someone who asked you, “What’s Easter all about anyway?”

    4. Wolfhart Pannenberg said, “The evidence for Jesus' resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    5. What does it look like to live as a Christian in the hope of the resurrection? What areas of your life would change if you lived in hope of the resurrection?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:12


    1. Think about a time when you got busted as a kid that you can look back on now and laugh? What happened?


    2. Jesus expected we would need to go on asking for forgiveness from God and also to grant forgiveness to others. What does this say about God, and what does it mean for us as Christ-followers?


    3. When you think about the debt you owe God, do you think first more about the good you’ve left undone or the sins you’ve done? How does this impact the way you view your debt to God? How does it shape your requests for forgiveness?


    4. Confession is a vital spiritual practice, but we may be tempted to deny the wrong we’ve done or to dwell on it without going to God or others. Which of these two (deny or dwell) are you more tempted to practice instead of confession?


    5. Think of someone you need to extend forgiveness to – or ask forgiveness from – this week. What is one step you can take over the next few days to begin to restore and repair that relationship?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:11


    1. Do you believe that God provides for his people? Do you struggle with this belief? How so?


    2. Tom said that Jesus isn’t just talking about food when he prays, “Give us today our daily bread.” What could “daily bread” mean to your life?


    3. Unlike intercession, which is praying for God’s kingdom to be realized here on earth in the lives of other people and situations in our world, petition is about bringing our own needs and wants to the Father. How comfortable do you feel bringing up your needs in prayer? If comfortable, do you do it regularly?


    4. One reason asking can be hard is because asking implies dependence, something most of us have a hard time admitting. How comfortable are you with asking for help from the people in your life?


    5. When we begin to trust God, even when our prayers seem unanswered, we’re taking steps toward strengthening our relationship with God. Make a list of daily needs that you often don’t want to ask to be fulfilled and practice praying for those needs this week.

  • Scripture: 1 Kings 3:3-12, Proverbs 3:5-6


    1. If, like Solomon, you were given your heart's desire at 17, 18, or 19 years old, what would the outcome have been?


    2. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What are some of the reasons why we lean on our own understanding to make decisions rather than trust God with them?


    3. Trent said, "Submission precedes direction." When we acknowledge God, He clears the path before us. Talk about a time when you submitted a decision before God. How did it turn out?


    4. What is an area of your life where you have hesitated or are currently hesitant to acknowledge God?


    5. If acknowledging God looks like 1) remembering God's previous faithfulness, 2) self-awareness of your own limitations, and 3) trust that God's way is better, then what is one area of your life you can acknowledge God this week to begin walking on the path of wisdom?

  • Scripture: Proverbs 7:6-27


    1. Read Proverbs 7:6-27 together. When have you watched someone else go down a predictable path? What were some of the choices that lead to the outcomes they experienced?


    2. Trent said, “The principle of the path teaches that direction, not intention, determines destination.” What are some paths that you have taken in life, and where did they lead you?


    3. What are some of your desired destinations regarding your career, finances, marriage, kids, or relationships?


    4. What paths are you currently on regarding your career, finances, marriage, kids, or relationships? Are they helping you reach your desired destination or taking you further away?


    5. What is one step you can take this week to begin walking on the path of wisdom?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:9-10


    1. Tom said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is the rule and reign of God in the hearts (inside) and lives (outside) of people.” What do you feel when you hear that definition? Share your reflections.


    2. Has your primary understanding of the Christian life been about how we get from earth to heaven? How has this teaching changed or challenged that perspective?


    3. What are the implications of focusing so much on getting to heaven that we fail to live out Jesus’s instructions to join him in bringing heaven to earth?


    4. Knowing that we each have a kingdom, a realm of influence, how have you been running your kingdom? Have you been orienting your kingdom to The Kingdom, or have you been more focused on building your kingdom?


    5. What are some tangible ways you can orient your kingdom to The Kingdom in order for God’s will and way to advance in and through you to impact those your kingdom reaches?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:9


    1. How do you feel about the words in these first lines of the Lord’s Prayer? Which words do you find comforting? Which words are harder to wrap your mind around?


    2. What do you think “heaven” means? What does the nearness of God look like? How does the closeness of God impact how you relate to Him in prayer?


    3. What does “hallowed” mean? Describe the idea of holiness in your own words.


    4. Why do you think it was important for Jesus to teach us to pray starting with this phrase: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”? How can a right perspective of God shape our perspectives of the people in our lives?


    5. What is one way you can proclaim God’s holiness in your daily life this week?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:9


    1. Think back to your childhood. What was prayer like in your home? Who taught you to pray when you were growing up?


    2. Tom mentioned several titles or attributes of God: Creator, Master, Lord, Savior, Healer, Provider, Shepherd, Mighty One. Is there a name or title for God that you connect with most? Why?


    3. The term “father” stirs up a variety of feelings and memories in all of us. For some of us, our fathers were a dominant presence in our homes. For others, our fathers were people we barely saw. For still others, our fathers were consistent providers but cold when it came to showing genuine love. So when you hear the term “heavenly Father,” what feelings bubble up?


    4. God wants us to see him as the perfect Father who loves us unconditionally. He is the perfection of what our earthly father could never be. This week, would you be willing to think about God as your Father?

  • Scripture: Matthew 5:16


    1. How many of you served at Night to Shine? Where did you serve? Share a favorite memory from Friday night.


    2. Was it your first time serving at Night to Shine? Share your experience, from expectations before the event to your participation during the event.


    3. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus instructs his followers, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” How does an event like Night to Shine bring glory to God?


    4. Tom said, “Night to Shine is a tangible way for us to live out ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’” What do you think God’s Kingdom looks like? How has your understanding of the Kingdom changed?


    5. Night to Shine is a special night, but we are called to live out our faith every day. What is one way you can let your light shine and bring glory to God this week?

  • Scripture: Matthew 6:1-18


    1. Tom highlighted the difference between “rewards in heaven” and “rewards on earth.” Why is the temptation to pursue “rewards on earth” so strong?


    2. Read Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 6:1. What is the difference between these two passages?


    3. In Matthew 6:1, the phrase “to practice” in Greek has connections to theater and acting. How can the three behaviors Jesus describes in Matthew 6 (giving, prayer, fasting) be done as a performance for others? What should our motives be when we give, pray, and fast?


    4. In Matt. 6:16, Jesus says, “When you fast…” What has been your experience with fasting? Is it a regular part of your spiritual life? Why or why not?


    5. What is one action you can take this week to pursue the Kingdom of God in your daily life?

  • Scripture: Matthew 5:1-16


    1. Tom listed four groups of people who were listening to the Sermon on the Mount: Jesus’ disciples, hurting people looking for healing, curious onlookers hoping to see a miracle, and people wondering who Jesus is. As you think about your own life, which group would you be a part of? Why?


    2. A central theme of the Sermon on the Mount is the upending of traditional expectations: what the Kingdom of God looks like, what it means to be blessed, how to live a righteous life. Has Jesus challenged any of your assumptions about life? Which ones?


    3. Tom said, “The ultimate goal in life is the pursuit of God’s rule.” What goals are you pursuing in your life? If you were pursuing God’s rule, how would your life look different?


    4. Surface righteousness is “being content with looking right as opposed to living right.” In our world of social media influencers and image maintenance, there’s tremendous pressure to look right. How can we resist that temptation and focus on living the right way?

    5. What is one thing you can do this week to be a Kingdom man or woman and let your light shine in the world around you?