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Date: August 2, 2020
We Pray for One Another
The Point: The church is strengthened as we pray.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Begin by sharing this news item:
In April 2020, New York Magazine published an article about the “best new hobbies to try during quarantine.” The article described hobbies people might enjoy while they were having to spend more time at home. The hobbies they featured included how-to tips for making bread, jam, pressed flowers, candles, origami, needlepoint, and beaded jewelry. The article also included how-to tips for drawing, painting with water colors, stitching needlepoint, knitting, and quilting.
Say: Some people have used their extra time at home because of the coronavirus to learn a new hobby or to devote more time to an old hobby—but generally these have been solo hobbies. Then call attention to Question #1 (What are some of your favorite group hobbies or past times?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, prepare to show a video clip of unusual or funny hobbies some people have enjoyed. Then ask Question #1 .
Use the following information to supplement Question #2.
Share this news story:
Truckers in West Africa have a dangerous, difficult job. They face dangers from robbers and corrupt police officers, along with the cultural barriers they face as they travel across borders carrying goods into neighboring countries. Some Christians in the port area where the truckers gather to load their goods, asked Ahmed, a Muslim trucker, if they could pray for him and his work. Following that prayer, he was amazed to see that the police never harassed him and he had no other troubles along the way as he drove his route. When he saw those same Christians at the port a few months later, he talked to them, wanting to know more about their faith. “God answered their prayer,” Ahmed told his trucker friends. “Now, we’re going to listen to their story.” Over several months, Ahmed listened to what the Christians shared with him, the plan of salvation told in story form. He came to understand his need for a Savior. Finally he put his faith in Jesus. Katee Sheppard was one of the IMB missionaries who started the ministry to West African truckers years ago. As Sheppard realized that reaching the truckers would be a powerful way to spread the gospel, because their travels take them across country borders and into different cultures, she began to pray. “My dream from the beginning was, and still is, that West African truck drivers will carry the Gospel to the ends of this part of the world,” she said. “It’s God’s Word that changes people and nothing else.” In the last decade, many truckers have come to faith in God through the trucker ministry.
Say: For Ahmed, the Muslim trucker, it was prayer that opened the door to the power of the gospel. Then call attention to Question #2 (How does prayer help us experience the power and presence of Christ?) and invite volunteers to respond.
(Names are changed for security reasons.)
Information for this post was gleaned from:
— Donna McKinney wrote these Leader Extras. 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.
- Which hobby or pastime do you prefer to be a part of a team or group for?
- When have you really enjoyed being a part of a group?
- When has the support of others empowered you to accomplish something?
- How do you typically approach the discipline of praying for others?
- When have you experienced something that was obviously an answer to prayer?
- Which comes more easily to you: praying for yourself or praying for others? Why?
- What have you found to be true about God’s love?
- How can prayer lead to a deeper understanding of God’s love?
- When have you had a strong awareness of God’s love?
- How would you paraphrase verses 20 and 21 in your own words?
- How can we keep God’s glory as the top priority in our lives?
- How do you respond to the reality that the limitless power of God is at work in you as a believer?
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.