Praying for Others
The Point: Go to God on behalf of others.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
When Rich and Julie Morgan lived in Battle Creek, Michigan, they used to stop by Steve’s Pizza for dinner regularly. It’s been 25 years since they lived in Battle Creek – they now live in Indianapolis – but Steve’s Pizza remains their favorite pizza. They were planning to make the 225-mile drive from Indianapolis to Battle Creek to celebrate Julie’s birthday with a pizza at Steve’s. But Rich, who has cancer, ended up in the ER and was faced with the news that his cancer had gotten worse, and that he had only weeks or days to live. He entered hospice care and the trip to Steve’s Pizza never happened. Julie’s dad, David, called Steve’s Pizza and explained the story of how the couple was planning to travel there for pizza, but that Rich’s cancer diagnosis had squashed the plan. David made the call, asking if Steve’s Pizza would just send a note or text message to Rich and Julie just saying that they were sorry the couple couldn’t make the trip. David got a call back from Dalton Shaffer, the 18-year-old grandson of Steve – the Steve who started “Steve’s Pizza.” Dalton told David that as soon as they closed the store that night, he would bring them a pizza. It’s about a 3-1/2-hour drive from Steve’s Pizza to Rich and Julie’s home, but Dalton didn’t hesitate. “It was kind of a spontaneous reaction,” Dalton said. “I’m happy I did it, and on the trip down I was happy doing it.” Dalton arrived at 3:00 a.m. and delivered the pizza to Rich and Julie. He refused to take any money for the pizza; he just turned around and drove home, wrapping up a 7-hour, 450-mile trip. Julie shared the story of Dalton’s pizza delivery on Facebook and news of what he had done spread quickly. “I have already gotten a ton of phone calls from people saying they were inspired in the future to help other people and to be able to do things like that. To me, that right there is what I want,” Dalton said. “I just want people to think about the family and pray for them.”
Say: Dalton stepped up in a big sacrificial way to spread some kindness and joy to Rich and Julie Morgan. Then call attention to Question #1 (When has someone stepped up when you really needed help?) and invite the group to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
Get Into the Study (Optional Activity)
In advance, prepare to show a video clip from the movie War Room to help the group understand the importance of praying for others.
Use the following information to supplement Question #4.
On July 15, 2018, Croatia played France in soccer for the FIFA World Cup championship. France won the match, so Croatia came in second place. It was the first time Croatia had ever played in a World Cup final match. Some sportswriters called Croatia’s run to the World Cup final a “miracle.” Croatia credits their unity and teamwork in allowing them to defeat teams with more individual superstar talent. Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalic said, “At this World Cup, the star-studded teams relying on the big names are already on the beach. It’s the compact, united teams fighting for something that are still around.” He went on the explain, “This was our problem for 10 years, we had great individuals but no unity and that’s why I had to build that unity of purpose in the team.”
Say: Croatia’s soccer team showed what a team can accomplish when the coach and players make unity their goal. Then call attention to Question #4 (How have you seen unity positively affect a church’s witness in the community?) and invite the group to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
- To whom are you likely to turn when you need practical help?
- Who modeled for you how to pray for others? What did you learn from them?
- What have you learned about prayer over the course of your life?
Matthew 6:11b; John 17:11-16
- What does praying for the protection of others look like in your life?
- What do you notice most about Jesus’ prayer in these verses?
- How does Jesus’ prayer for us in these verses inform the way we should pray for each other?
- Do your prayer requests typically lean toward spiritual or practical requests?
- Why is sanctification so essential to our task of being “sent” into the world?
- What are some examples of prayer requests we can make related to the spiritual growth of others?
- What are some things we can pray for others as Jesus prayed in these verses?
- Where do you see opportunities to pray for unity in the church today?
- According to verse 23, what is it about our unity that is so distinct from the rest of the world?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: How to Pray, Session 5.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.