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Date: November 15, 2020
Committed to Pray
The Point: Commit to pray for the salvation and spiritual growth of others.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Since Covid-19 arrived, impacting people’s lives around the world, the popularity of video conferencing apps has soared. People needed to work from homes, extended family members could not visit in person, and church groups needed ways to gather safely. The video conferencing apps were a tool that made communication easy while people cannot gather safely in person. Zoom is just one of these video conferencing apps that has benefited from the Covid lockdowns. (Other popular video conferencing apps include GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Google Hangouts Meet.) Zoom’s use for business and family gathering has boomed. For example, in December 2019, there were 10 million daily meeting participants using Zoom. By April 2020, that number of daily meeting participants had soared to 300 million people. And during the first quarter of 2020 (January to April), Zoom’s customers grew by 354%.
Say: The Covid pandemic has pushed all of us toward new ways to communicate. Then call attention to Question #1 (What’s your favorite way to communicate?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
Use the following information to supplement Question #4.
The International Mission Board recently reported that back in 2012 a church in Texas made the decision to pray for a people group in Northern Africa. The congregation did not have much information about the people they committed to pray for, but they felt burdened to pray for this group. About that same time, Christians working in the Northern Africa region also began praying specifically for this people group. By 2015, believers in other people groups had shared the gospel with this people group that the church in Texas was praying for and reported that there were now new believers among that people group. These were the very first believers among that people group.
James Keath,* who leads IMB’s Northern Africa and Middle East affinity, said that another leader reminded him recently that prayer is the most important work we do. “He’s right,” Keath said. “It is. We’re reminded of this when we hear stories, over and over again, of how prayer precedes breakthroughs and fuels gospel advance. I don’t really understand why or how God works through prayer. I’ll probably just need to be content with this remaining a mystery until my faith becomes sight. But I do know this: God works through prayer.” Keath is hopeful that more churches might partner in prayer with people groups around the world who have not yet heard the Gospel. “As churches pray, I believe we will see more partners, more resources, and more laborers—all of which will accelerate the advance of the gospel,” Keath said.
* Keath’s name is changed for security.
Say: This story of a church’s commitment to pray for people they did not know on the other side of the globe, is a powerful testimony to the importance of prayer. Then call attention to Question #4 (What’s the relationship between prayer and God’s work in us and through us?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
- Who are the people you most enjoy talking with?
- Growing up, who taught you how to pray?
- How have your ideas about prayer changed through your life, or have they?
- What motivates you to thank God for someone?
- How do you feel when others let you know they are praying for you?
- Why is it helpful for us to pray for one another within the church?
- How can our group better pray for church leaders here and abroad?
- What are some specific things we can pray for ministers, church leaders, and missionaries?
- How can we be intentional about following through when we say, “I’ll pray about that”?
- What are the specific things Paul prays for other believers in these verses?
- What can we learn from these verses about how we should pray?
- What do you see as one of the biggest needs your church has that you should pray for?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.