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Dear Leader

Herewith the Life Group Guideline for the week.

Opening Prayer:

Worship:

#NT260 Check in:

We are in our final week of our Bible reading plan. Ask your group members to share insights from the Book of Revelation. Take some time to pray and thank the Lord for what He has deposited in our hearts through His Word this year.

Theme – Interceding for a Nation

Scripture Readings


1 Timothy 2:1-6 (NIV).
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people."

James 5:16 (NKJV).
"The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

Introduction

The word intercession means to intervene on behalf of another ... to mediate ... to stand in the gap ... to represent them before someone else. So intercessory prayer in its simplest form ... it to pray a prayer to God, on behalf of another (That could be a person, or a family, or a nation).

Consider how Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah, asking the Lord to spare the cities for the sake of 10 righteous people. And consider how Esther intervened on behalf of the Jews when the Prime Minister Haman hatched a wicked plan to have them murdered.

1. We need to respond

God speaks through His Word. And very clearly, time and again we are called to pray ... and we are called to pray for others ... to intercede.

Ezekiel 22:29-30 (NIV)
"The people of the land practise extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and ill-treat the foreigner, denying them justice. 'I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so that I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one."

Isaiah 59:15-16 (NIV).
"Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him."

We need to guard against prayerlessness. And we need to guard against the bystander effect, where we hope that someone else will pray for our nation.

Discussion 1: Have you responded to God's call to intercede? How many of you have watched or listened to the news this week and then switched off the TV or radio, and taken some time to pray? What have you prayed for?

2. We need to prepare

Ask your LG members if they will be going to the "It's Time" prayer gathering on the 27th of October. If some LG members aren't attending 'It's Time', ask them to commit to interceding for South Africa on the 27th. Then ask them if they have started preparing their hearts to intercede for our nation.

We need consecrated hearts, compassionate hearts, and courageous hearts.

Consecrated hearts:

Reflect on King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29) who became King at the age of 25, and how he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He called in the priests to consecrate themselves and the temple and to remove all defilement from the sanctuary. After that he sent word to all Israel and invited the people to come to the temple of the Lord and celebrate the Passover.

Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 emphasising the underlined words.

"If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Compassionate hearts:

Reflect on this quote by Pastor Phillip Vorster, "A country must be laid on your heart by the Lord. And it will become a burden. And that burden turns to compassion. And compassion overflows into a desire to take action. To pray or to go!"

Courageous hearts:

Read Ephesians 6:10-13 (NKJV)

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Remind LG members of the importance of putting on the whole armour of God, and of being alert and aware of who our battle is against. Also recap on the testimony of one of our Shepherds who did the prayer walk around Mauritius, and the spiritual attack they experienced. Also mention how he testified of God's protection and goodness.

Discussion 2: Ask each person to mention what they feel they still need to do in terms of heart preparation for the 27th of October.

3. We need to Pray


We need to pray Spirit led, Word based prayers!

Spirit led Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

When we are Spirit led as we intercede for a nation:
- We look at situations through spiritual eyes not natural eyes.
- We are sensitive to the Holy Spirit. We speak to Him ... we listen to Him. We ask Him to guide us and prompt us and to reveal to us what is happening in our nation.
- We have hearts of love.
- We pray with power and faith.
- There is no flesh involved. No selfish prayers. No prayers out of anger or hatred towards people, or fear of people (remember we are not battling against flesh and blood).

The Holy Spirit led the early Church to pray for Kings and those in Authority, even though the Roman Empire was harsh and cruel, and the Emperor Nero persecuted the Church and martyred many Christians.

Word based Prayer


Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

In John 15:7, Jesus said: "If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."

Encourage your LG members to pray Word based prayers over South Africa. They can prepare by identifying key Bible verses to pray. Also encourage them to work through the following prayers and letters to the Churches as they contain many things that we can pray over ourselves, our families, our Churches and our Nation.

Jehoshaphat's prayer (2 Chronicles 20:3-12)
Daniel's prayer (Daniel 9:4-19)
The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
The prayer of Jesus (John 17)
Prayer for the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:15-19; 3:14-21)
Prayer for the Philippians (Philippians 1:3-11)
Prayer for the Colossians (Colossians 1:9-12)
Prayer for the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; 5:23-24)
Revelation chapter 2 and 3

Discussion 3: Why are Spirit-led, Word-based prayers so important?

Prayer ministry:
Serve communion and have an open time of prayer for South Africa.

Regards

Bruce Taylor
LIFE GROUPS PASTOR

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