Over the last several weeks we have learned how serving together and serving through giving can impact our community. Thank you to all who are adjusting their lives to Step Up and begin serving. At the Mystery Dinner, we had many new people serve for the first time, including many of our new youth. Thank you also for giving to the Lord. As Pastor Scott shared 32 children were able to go to Kid’s Camp because you gave. Keep being cheerful givers. We can never out give God.
As we continue our series, Serve It Up, this week we will be looking at serving through prayer. It doesn’t matter what our age is we can all serve in this manner. When we pray together we will see God work in powerful ways.
Please pray for your pastors and your small group leaders as they prepare to lead on Sunday. Pray for the members of your small group.
During worship, we will hear from some members who value the ministry of prayer. We will even practice serving others through prayer. During small group time, we will study 3 prayers that Paul offered up to the Lord on behalf of churches.
Remember to memorize and meditate on Mark 10:45.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.
See you on Sunday.
I love you!
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
Small Group Lesson for Sunday, August 5
When we think about praying for other people we can look at Scripture for guidance. This morning in your small group you will look at three prayers that Paul offered up for three different churches. Let the Holy Spirit teach you how to more effectively pray for others.
Please read Colossians 1:9-12 out loud as you begin the discussion. Ask members of your group to listen for the specific words and phrases that are included in Paul’s prayer for the Colossians.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-12
Paul is writing from prison in Rome near the end of his life. Over the years, Paul has learned a lot about effective prayer. It is safe to assume that Paul is purposeful and considerate of every word he prayed for the Colossian church.
- What is included in the list of requests that Paul offers on behalf of the Colossian Christians? Can you make a list of Paul’s requests?
- Put yourself in the place of a church member in Colossae. What would it feel like to discover that an Apostle, who is 1,000 miles away, is regularly praying for you in this way?
- Paul ends his prayer in verse 12 (ESV includes 13&14) by thanking God for eternal life – inheritance of the saints in light. Why do you think he places this reminder at the end of his prayer?
Read Philippians 1:9-12
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
- What is significant about the fact that the apostle Paul is praying for these people in whom God is very evidently working—these people who are spiritually healthy Christians?
- What is the apostle’s prayer for the Philippian church? See Philippians 1:9a, what specifically do you think the apostle is referring?
- When the apostle prays that our love for Christ would grow, is he only praying that we would come to have a deeper feeling of love for Christ? See Philippians 1:9b
- Why does Paul pray that Christians would grow in knowledge and insight? See Philippians 1:9-10a
- In making his prayer for the church—namely, that our love for Christ would abound in knowledge and insight so that we may discern the things that are worthy—what is the apostle Paul’s ultimate objective and desire? See Philippians 1:10b-11
Read Ephesians 3:14-18 out loud:
For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
- In Paul’s day people usually stood to pray. Note in verse 14 how Paul prays – “I kneel before the Father” or “I bow my knees”. See Ezra 9:3-5 and Matthew 26:39. What does Paul’s position praying indicate about how Paul feels or Paul’s attitude during this prayer?
- According to verse 15, from whom do all God’s family on earth and in heaven get their name? What does it mean to be called by someone’s name? What does it mean to be called by God’s name?
- In verse 16 – what does Paul request that God the Father do for the readers? Through whom will he do this? Out of what resources? In what part of the person?
- The phrase “inner being” or “inner man” is also used by Paul in Romans 7:22. Read Romans 7:22-23. Write what you understand “inner being” or “inner man” to mean.
- In verse 17 “so that” indicates a reason or end result for the request in verse 16. What is it?
TO DIG DEEPER: Think about the word “dwell”. What does it mean? See John 14:23; Romans 8:9&11; 2Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 2:22; 1 Corinthians 3:16. Who is the one dwelling? Where is he dwelling? Through what is he dwelling? Look up the word “dwell” in a Bible dictionary or regular dictionary. Now, putting this together, write out what “dwell” means.
Be sure to spend some time praying for each other!