Catch up on how things have been since the last time your Impact Group met. Allow anyone new to introduce themselves. Then ask group members to:
Ask for a volunteer to read Luke 11:5-8 to the group, praying a short prayer that – however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
In Jesus’ day, the care and hospitality of others was a considerable measure of character – of individuals and even whole villages. It was expected that, from time to time, people would be called upon to offer hospitality to guests who arrived unexpectedly.
In the parable, Jesus’ neighbour gives his friend the bread he needs because of the “shameless audacity” (verse 8) of the request. In other words, any disruption caused by helping is trumped by the urgency of the need – and shown by the very timing of the request! Jesus’ point is that we can approach God boldly, asking for what we really need.
Jesus will go on to teach that, just as an earthly neighbour would not ignore their friend (verses 9-10), and an earthly father would not tease their child by giving them a stone or a snake when they ask for food (verses 11-13)… then how much more will our good God and Father give us what we need!
Jesus is encouraging his disciples to pray confidently to God, knowing that he delights to give us good things. We can approach him confidently for our daily bread, and for spiritual life, knowing he will give us what we need.
Some members of your Impact Group may have known the pain of apparently unanswered prayer. There will be no easy answers to their questions – though there are certain answers we can rule out. Jesus teaches that God is neither deaf to our requests (verses 9-10) nor inclined to trick us (verses 11-13). Though it is very often hard to see exactly how, our unanswered prayers may be God’s wise gift to us, protecting from unintended consequences. May we have the humility to trust him, even in our heartbreak.
The Prayer Course has a very helpful interview with the founder of 24/7 Prayer, Pete Greig, on his own experiences of unanswered prayer (24 minutes).
Encourage all who are willing to pray out loud. This might be a good time to encourage those who’ve never prayed out loud before to have a go – even if it’s just an honest single sentence.
Many Christians are nervous to ask if they can pray for (or with) people who do not name Jesus as the Saviour and leader of their life. But I have discovered, over and over, that almost every human being is open to being prayed for. If they are going through a time of great joy or deep sorrow, most people would love to have someone support them in prayer.
It may be that this is the first time that some of those who’ve attended your Impact Group have thought seriously about praying – and the God who welcomes their prayers.
Confirm the time that you’ll meet next week, and ask someone to close your time together in prayer.
Taking it further – links you might like to share with your Impact Group
By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.