Prayer Time

Icebreakers

  1. What do you think about the stories of saints that Daniel and Ash related during the last two weeks?
  2. What would you like to see happen most in your life? What would you like to see happen most in the church?

Introduction

Given not only our emphasis on the Holy Spirit the last two weeks, but also His grace in showing up and moving in powerful ways, it would be prudent to take this week and devote our time to prayer and ministry.

Prayer Time

  1. “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.” (Hab 2:20) Open up with some time for silence. And not just a little time, a lot of time. If this feels awkward – good: it’s difficult to listen with the noise of life, our thoughts, and even our own devotions; let us not drown out the “still, small voice” of the Lord (1 Kings 19:11-12)
  2. Forgiven much, love much. (Luke 7:36-50) It is never a bad idea to ask God for forgiveness of sins, not only because we desperately need it but also because it will lead us towards love and joy; we should also ask God to highlight sins that we are not aware of, to remind us of what we have been forgiven for, and in turn to thank Him.
  3. Ask the Holy Spirit to come in a powerful way, and do not stop until you get an answer. Luke 18:1-8 describes a woman who continually pleads day and night with a judge for him to execute a righteous judgment and her persistence wins him over. The point of the parable is not that God is a stubborn or stingy giver, but one of degree – if even these people will do right, how much more so the righteous Judge of the Earth? A similar passage in Luke 11:5-13 notes that if our fathers being sinful humans (“evil”) know how to give good gifts, “how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (v. 13) Notice that it is not any specific gift that is promised but the Holy Spirit himself.
  4. The aforementioned passage is immediately preceded by the Lord’s prayer, which happens to not be a bad model for prayer. You may want to recite it to help to begin orient everyone in prayer.
  5. At this point it would not be a bad if you have a large group to split into smaller ones, maybe along gender lines or to those whom you know best. It’s not necessary, but if the Holy Spirit is going to come and convict of sin and righteousness (John 16:8) then you might want to surround yourself with those you are comfortable with.
  6. While form and structure are not counter to the working of the Holy Spirit (read Lamentations – most of the writing is setup as an acrostic, an artificial poetic structure and yet there is depth and feeling and emotion) I have no way of predicting what each group may need. In fact, you have no way of predicting – only God knows what it is we need to hear at this point and time. So let’s ask him. Here are a few questions to ask that can get us started in personal ministry time:
    • What is one lie about myself that I believe?
    • What is one lie about you, Jesus, that I believe?
    • What is holding me back from complete abandonment to You?
    • In what areas of my life do I feel entitled to sin against or judge others?

    We can also ask God to show us:

    • What is my identity as a son of God / bride of Christ (both terms don’t refer to gender but to our relationship with Him)?
    • What passions have you placed in me that I should be pursuing for your Kingdom?
    • What gifts, talents and abilities have you given me to exercise to build up your Church?
  7. When praying for others to receive gifts, it’s not a bad idea for those who have the gift to lay hands and lead the praying, nor is it a bad idea to explain both Biblically and experimentally how these gifts operate. Take an extended amount of time to pray that the Holy Spirit would really make Himself known through our exercise of His gifts in us.
  8. For the more contemplative, meditate on the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). Note that it is not our conception and definition of these words; it is not a “humanly” or “culturally” defined love that we are looking for, but divine love. Consider each item listed as it has been exemplified by Christ.
  9. The above items are really just suggestions. If someone is having a rough week or there is something very specific to pray about
    – pursue that line of prayer first and foremost. These are starting points, not ending points.
  10. End the session again with praise – let us not take for granted that the fact we even have a means to communicate with God is a grace
    in itself. Thanks God the Father who planned it, Jesus Christ who secured it, and the Holy Spirit who applies our communion with God.
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