On August 28, filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the award-winning creators of Fireproof and Courageous, released War Room, a compelling drama that explores the power that prayer can have on marriages, parenting, careers, friendships, and every other area of our lives.
In conjunction with the film release, Lifeway has created a series of resources designed to help promote the film—and promote a prayer campaign—in individual churches and Bible study groups. Visit lifeway.com/WarRoom for more information about how to order these resources for your church or Bible study.
Additionally, take some time this month to remind yourself about the importance of prayer and how it affects the way you lead your group Bible study. Remember the words of Paul:
Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.” —Colossians 4:2
As a group leader, one of the most important things you can do to serve your members is to pray. Pray for them, pray over them, and pray with them. The power of prayer is so often forgotten by Christians, because it is sometimes hard to see the end result. God calls us time and time again to be constant in prayer and to earnestly pray in every circumstance. As a leader, don’t forget the importance of that time of prayer with your group members and the importance of praying for your group members by name every day.
Here are three ways in which you can pray for your group members:
Pray for their Spoken Requests
One of the most obvious ways to pray for your group members is to pray for their spoken prayer requests. Taking prayer requests during your group time might already be a habit, but if it is not, then start that practice now. Having your group members share their requests is vital on several levels. It encourages vulnerability that will ultimately lead to deeper group bonds, and your group members will feel a sense of connectedness that was possibly lacking before. They will also be able to lift each other up in their prayer life and everyday life. As a group leader, writing these requests down and praying over them with the group and then every day in your personal quiet time should be a normal occurrence.
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” —Matthew 18:20
Pray for their Unspoken Needs
Another way to pray for your group members is to pray over their unspoken needs. Oftentimes, there are burdens your people aren’t ready to share. These prayer requests are among the most important and need the most prayer. Some group members may be open and share their deepest prayer requests, but there will always, always, always be some people who sit silently with requests running through their minds. As a leader, encourage your group members to be open and share, but remember to pray for the needs of those who just aren’t ready to be that vulnerable yet.
In the movie, War Room, Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have had their fair share of ups and downs in their lives together. As a couple, they had trouble sharing these things with friends and family until Miss Clara, a true prayer warrior, shows them a new way to pray. In your group, you may have members like Tony and Elizabeth who have a lot going on behind closed curtains with marriage troubles, career struggles, temptations creeping in, or parenting and friendship hardships. It is critical as a leader to pray for these unspoken needs.
But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” —Matthew 6:6
Pray for their Prayer Life
One of the biggest ways to influence prayer lives for your group members is to be an example. Try to be as open as possible with your prayer life successes and struggles. Leaders have just as much difficulty finding the time or staying consistent in their prayer life, so remind them of that fact. Help your group share strategies that work and even rule out some that haven’t. Share your prayer requests honestly and openly to show your trust and confidence in your group members. Lastly, be your group’s Miss Clara and be the prayer warrior for your members. Pray lovingly, constantly, passionately, and joyfully.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” —James 5:16