(Please share this blog and prayer guide with your small group Bible teacher. Let your teacher(s) know you are interceding with prayer on their behalf!)
Perhaps we have no better chance to learn about prayer than when we see God Himself pray. I hope you will take time to look at Mark 14:32-39 and John 17 sometime this week. One passage shows us Jesus praying to the Father in the Upper Room with the disciples and the other show us Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion. I believe these Scriptures teach us some great principles for our own prayer life.
We see from Jesus that prayer is a place to talk with God about our deepest emotions, fears, desires, and hurts. It is an opportunity to talk with a caring, loving Father. Is this what your prayer life looks like? God wants you to have this kind of time with Him and as a teacher to teach and encourage others to have a strong prayer life.
We also learn from Jesus the goal of our prayer. Prayer is not letting God in on what we are doing or need, but rather, it is learning what He is doing and what He has for us.
Small group Bible teachers need spiritual empowerment for teaching and for providing leadership and counseling. Prayer begins by asking the Holy Spirit to give you strength to pray, the wisdom on how to pray, and the faith to trust. Not only should you pray every day, you should also pray before you study Scripture. You should pray before you prepare a lesson and you should pray before you present a lesson. You should pray when you finish teaching a lesson that the seed that was planted will take root.
Below is list of prayer helps and Scriptures to you might find helpful as you pray about your role as a teacher of God’s Word.
- Thank God for the privilege of teaching his truth to his children and ask Him to help you present His Word in its fullness. “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people” (Col. 1:25-26).
- Pray for a servant’s heart. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).
- Ask the Lord to give you the desire to live life in a way that pleases Him, and the desire to do so. “We pray this . . . that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way . . .” (Col. 1:10).
- Ask the Lord to give you a commitment to integrity. “We have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God” (2 Cor. 1:12).
- We need to seek God’s work in your live to develop sensitivity. As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:12).
- Seek the Lord for spiritual maturity. “Let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity” (Heb. 6:1). As we read Scripture let’s learn to ask for what is being elevated and called for in Scripture. It can give us a whole new prayer life.
- We should ask the Lord that we might always have godly friends and influences to turn to in our lives. Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends . . . He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven . . . Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who . . . trusted in Him . . . and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God (Dan. 2:17-18; 3:28).
- Ask for help in relating to others like Christ relates to us. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as God in Christ forgave you (Eph. 4:32).
- Ask the Lord to teach you. Pray for illumination as you study the passage(s) that are the focus for the lesson. We must bring ourselves to God and seek for Him to teach us, before we take on the responsibility of teaching others. Ask God to be your teacher so that your teaching flows out of your own spiritual growth.
- Ask for guidance in your lesson preparation. Pray for insight into identifying main truths and the best way to communicate those truths.
- Ask the Lord to prepare the hearts and minds of those who will sit under your teaching. Pray for receptiveness and supernatural impact. Pray for life change. Ask the Lord to remove hindrances to openness of the part of the learners.
- Ask the Lord to grant you spiritual discernment. Ask for help in recognizing to how the learners respond to the lesson. Pray ahead of your presentation for the God to give you discernment to adapt the lesson based on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
- Ask the Lord to give you a heart of love and compassion. Pray that God will reveal His love for your students through you.