Topics to encourage group discussion and individual exploration of this week’s theme.
- The power of prayer. Most of us turn to the Lord in prayer when trouble threatens. What about praying for others? How can we prevent anything from getting in the way of our earnest prayers to God? What effect did the prayers of early Christians have on their relationship to God? Can you and I expect others to be drawn to Christ when we pray earnestly for them? Can prayer help us receive the “infilling of the Holy Spirit” and the power to proclaim God’s word? How can this happen?
- A cosmic struggle. Wouldn’t it be relatively easy for God to step in and cause us to accept all that He offers us through the plan of salvation? Why does He seem to be so eager not to do that? What does He expect from us instead? Our lesson states, “Prayer makes a difference.” When it comes to reaching others with God’s plan for us, what can prayer accomplish that our wishes and desires simply can’t? Do you think we should pray to God even if we don’t see or understand what He is doing for us?
- Jesus; the mighty Intercessor. He was, and is, God Almighty. Yet in His life with ordinary humans, why did He pray for them? Why was Peter a keen subject of Jesus’ prayers? Do you think Peter would have given himself completely to the power of salvation without the prayers of Jesus on His behalf? “The Savior is praying for us,” our lesson guide states. What a blessing! When we pray earnestly for others, what attitude should we cultivate when the results we longed to see do not materialize?
- Paul’s intercessory prayers. What do you find especially inspiring in the way Paul approached God in prayer in the early days of the Christian church? Paul lived a life of turmoil and trouble. But when he considered the spiritual needs of the Ephesians and the Philippians, he had the time, the energy and the concern for dealing with those needs. How was he able to carry on as he did, never faltering in his devotion to God’s plan? Can we have the same dedication? What role will prayer have in employing your dedication for the good of God’s people?
- Daniel’s perspective. This week’s lesson is loaded with the impact of God’s heroes working tirelessly to achieve His purposes. Now we take a look at the cosmic struggle from Daniel’s perspective. What threat did Daniel pray so earnestly to be removed? How was his prayer answered? Is Jesus concerned about worldly events going on today? What should our prayers be as we consider the spiritual unrest surrounding us
- Prayer focus. Do you agree that we can’t go far in reading the Bible without seeing the vital role that prayer has had in the history of God’s work on earth? Share some key examples that come to mind. What happens in heaven when we pray earnestly for one or more of earth’s inhabitants? Does Satan’s heart tremble in fear as he realizes that his destiny is sure, and that it is a terrifying and disheartening picture? Do you rejoice when you consider the power of prayer in the hands of God?