Knox Small Groups are invited to dedicate one (or more) of their meeting times each year to cover our Knox missionaries in prayer. While we all know that our missionaries need prayer, it doesn’t always happen in our lives. Meeting in your small group to pray for Knox missionaries has several benefits:
- Going to a missions’ prayer meeting may be an unknown for many people, so we don't try it. But praying in your small group, where you are already comfortable, is accessible.
- This is not another night out for you or the people in your small group and fits into your regular schedule.
- This gives your group, as a part of Knox, an opportunity to find out who our missionaries are and what they are doing.
- This provides broader prayer coverage for our missionaries and helps the congregation rise up to this responsibility.
- This provides congregational support to the Knox Missions Ministry and Missions Committee.
- If your small group also chooses to write cards of appreciation, this provides further encouragement to our missionaries.
Everything you need to lead your small group in praying for Knox Missionaries is provided below. This may be a different way for your small group to pray together than you are used to. We do not have to be experts at prayer, but as Christians we need to practice prayer and to always be learners in prayer. The Lord will bless your group as you meet with Him on behalf of our Knox Missionaries.
- This text
- Tri fold brochure: Praying For Knox Missionaries (These are available on the Knox prayer board under the stairs at Knox Church or print it from the attachment. It is helpful to have one per member in your small group).
- Optional: Cards to write and send to Knox Missionaries
- Read the Introduction (below) aloud together. Ask for questions or comments before proceeding.
- Follow the prayer format for the first three sections: Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving.
- Take a break from praying and read aloud the inside of the brochure covering what to pray for missionaries: relationship with God, physical and emotional needs, family relationships, ability to communicate, effective ministry, team relationships, and country of service.
- Review the list of Knox Missionaries and ask people to share any update information or stories they know about them.
- Form groups of 2 or 3 people and divide the list of missionaries between them. Have each group follow the Supplication section to spend time praying for the missionaries they are assigned.
- Extra activity: write cards of encouragement to each or some of the missionaries telling them your small group prayed for them. Contact Pastor Bob for mailing addresses.
We might arguably say that the best missionary ever was the Apostle Paul. Paul refers to himself as “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God”, emphasizing that he is sent by God not man. In his letters to the churches he repeatedly asks them to pray for him.
- To the Romans Paul says, “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” – Romans 15:30
- To the Colossians he says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too that God may open a door for our message…” - Colossians 4:2-3
- To the Thessalonians he says, “Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” – Thessalonians 3:1-2
- In 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 Paul recounts the hardships of their missionary travels. He says that they were delivered and will be delivered in the future "as you help us by your prayers”.
Paul recognized the need for helping prayers in his mission work. When we pray for our Knox missionaries, by Paul’s words, we “join them in their struggles” and are being “helpers in prayer”. Paul asks for prayer that “opens a door for the message”, that the message “may spread rapidly and be honored”, and that they “may be delivered from wicked and evil men”. Consider praying these very scriptures for our missionaries.
Remember when we pray, we are not on neutral ground. We are praying to bring God’s kingdom into places that Satan is laying claim. People are not our enemies. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12. We pray with the confidence that God is greater than our enemy.
The prayer format you will be using today is based on the ACTS model of prayer.
- Adoration (praising God for who He is).
- Confession (repenting for ways we have sinned against God and others).
- Thanksgiving (thanking God for the good gifts we have received from his hand).
- Supplication (submitting our needs to God for His will to be done).
You are encouraged to spend half of your prayer time in Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving before moving onto Supplication. This time spent in adoration, confession and thanksgiving will change how you ask your petitions. First, praising God reminds us that our loving, sovereign Lord is the right place to go. Then, through repentance we receive forgiveness and cleansing to approach God with a pure heart. Third, by remembering our blessings and thanking God for them we enter into God’s presence in the right way. We fulfill the instruction of Psalm 100:4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” While the cares of life can overtake our thinking; these three elements of prayer lift us up to fix our eyes on Jesus. If we only pray petitions to God, it weakens us. Adoration, confession and thanksgiving give us strength, protection and joy.
Next, you confidently approach God with petitions. In Matthew 7 Jesus says “ask and you will receive”. God wants us to bring our needs to him and in so doing we admit our dependence on Him. When we pray, we are inviting the Kingdom of God into our earthly situations. Think of all that Jesus brought during his ministry on earth: he brought healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, salvation, power, blessing, goodness, mercy, grace, peace, etc. These are works of Jesus we continue to ask him to do among us. Prayer is not “wishing”, rather in prayer we are asking God to keep his promises, based on His covenant relationship with us through Jesus Christ. So, when we pray we are asking our covenant-keeping God to fulfill His promises. In Revelation 5:21 God says “I am making everything new!”
Sometimes it is uncomfortable praying in a group. That is okay. The power of prayer is not in any eloquent words, but in the power of God. Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans words cannot express.” Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer time. Praying in a group is not the same as your personal prayer time. Listen carefully as the leader guides you through the prayer format and keep your prayers focused on the topic at hand. Keep your prayers short, allowing time for others to pray, though no one is required to pray out loud. Don’t be afraid of silence as in these times God may be speaking to someone.
Extra activity: After your prayer time your group may want to write cards of encouragement to each or some of the missionaries telling them your small group prayed for them.
Enjoy your time with the Lord and with one another!
Thank you for praying for our Knox Missionaries.
Scripture: Psalm 67. Read through Psalm 67 aloud, with each person reading one verse at a time.
Ask the group to praise God based on the themes of the scripture. If they are not used to praying scripture, set the example by praying from verse 1. Move slowly through the psalm allowing for times of silence. When there is an extended time of silence move into confession.
Scripture: Psalm 66:18
Read the scripture and lead into confession saying something like: Lord, bring to mind the ways we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed that we might confess to you now. Hear our confessions whether silent or aloud. Scripture calls us to confess our sins one to another (James 5:16). Once a few people make short confessions out loud there may be a break through to others confessing as well. Silent confession is okay. Allow time for this.
Close the time of confession ensuring forgiveness and cleansing through Christ: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
Scripture: Romans 10:9-13
Have someone read the scripture. Lead out with thanksgiving based on these verses. After a while instruct the group to thank God for answered prayers and blessings since the last time you met.
Close this section of prayer to talk about how to pray supplication for our missionaries.
Supplication – break into groups of 2-3 to pray specifically for assigned missionaries
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Pray for one missionary at a time. Use the seven ways to pray for our missionaries listed inside the brochure, Praying for Knox Missionaries. Have this shape how you pray for each missionary.
It is a good idea to seal the prayer in the name and blood of Jesus Christ.
Scripture: "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, says the Lord."– Isaiah 54:17 (NIV)
Download tri-fold brochure: Praying for Knox Missionaries
Download tri-fold brochure: Praying for Knox Missionaries