Colossians 4:2-4 — Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
We all have relationships with those where we live, at work, at school, at our kids’ activities, at the places we shop, etc. For the purpose of this training, we are calling these people our ‘neighbors’. And while we will talk in terms of where we live, it encompasses all people in our circles of influence.
We do not want to start another program to reach out to neighbors. Rather, we want to develop a lifestyle that flows in all we do. That lifestyle can be summed up in the phrase PRAY-EAT-LOVE. Now that you have gone through the sessions on your relationship with God (Intimacy in His Word and prayer), you can start to think about your relationships with neighbors.
1. How can Scripture direct our prayers?
2. What are some ideas that you will take away from this session to pray for your neighbors with greater purpose and passion?
3. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7 and Colossians 4:2-6 and discuss what it means to be devoted to prayer and the priority that prayer should have in opening doors with our neighbors to share the Gospel.
4. What are your spheres of influence?
Application for the group (for a different meeting time):
Use the beginning 15 minutes of your time individually to specifically identify people in your spheres of influence. Come back together and pray for them by name as a group, using the BLESS format, the verses on the website, or any other way you are comfortable with.
Community Houses of Prayer (Stanley D. Gale)
Shine His Light (Alvin VanderGriend)
Be Jesus in Your Neighborhood (Alvin VanderGriend)
Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture back to God (Kenneth Boa)
BLESS acronym (scroll to bottom of link)
Reminder to pray for neighbors
List of verses to help you pray for the lost:
For God to draw them to Himself
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. (John 6:44)
That they would seek to know God
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29; Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 17:24-27)
For them to believe the Scriptures
…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
That Satan would be prevented from blinding them
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Tim 2:25-26)
For the Holy Spirit to work in them
When he [the Holy Spirit] comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness…But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. (John 7:37-39, 16:7-11)
For open doors and courage to share the Gospel
…that God may open a door for our message… (Ephesians 6:19-20; Colossians 4:3-6)
That they would confess Christ as Lord
That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)