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Date: May 2, 2021
Start with Prayer
The Point: God calls us to pray for others’ salvation.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in early 2020, the Tokyo Olympics was postponed and rescheduled for the summer of 2021. Olympic athletes who had been training for years to be ready for the 2020 competition, suddenly had to adjust their training schedules, looking forward to the 2021 event. Athletes who had been training in gyms and other training facilities suddenly had to improvise. Noah Lyles, who competes in track and field, began lifting weights in a park near his home. Max Whitlock, who competes in gymnastics, trained for his pommel horse event using his family sofa. Lilly King, who competes in swimming, started swimming laps in a pond in Bloomington, Indiana (until she saw a snapping turtle).
Say: These athletes, and many others hoping to compete in the Olympics, are dedicated to their sports, so they are doing whatever it takes to stay in shape for competition. Then call attention to Question #1 (Who do you know that’s really dedicated to something?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a short video that illustrates dedication to something. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Use the following information to introduce Question #4.
Kelvin Joseph and his wife, Elizabeth,* serve as IMB missionaries in Poland. Many missionaries serving overseas returned to the U.S. when the Covid-19 pandemic erupted. Kelvin and Elizabeth began to prepare to return to the U.S. However, as they prayed about leaving, they felt that God was calling them to remain in Poland. They see how God has blessed that decision to remain there.
One of those blessings is that a young man Kelvin had been sharing the gospel with for several years recently prayed to receive Christ. Kelvin and the young man belonged to the same trail-running club. Kelvin and Elizabeth had shared the gospel with him many times, and while he was polite, he never seemed especially interested. They continued praying for the young man.
One day Kelvin and the young man were trail-running in the mountains. Kelvin began to talk about Psalm 19 and how creation declares God’s glory. Kelvin describes how, “For 45 minutes we discussed what it means to follow Christ, to give God glory, and to walk as righteous men.” When Kelvin got home and told his wife about the conversation, Elizabeth told Kelvin that she and the young man’s mom had been praying for them at the very time they were having the conversation. They had felt impressed to stop what they were doing and to pray. A month later Kelvin and the young man met for Bible study and the young man prayed to receive Christ. In thinking back to that decision to remain in Poland, Kelvin says, “God has blessed the decision and I hope that He continues to open doors. I am praying that what God does in the future will be even more miraculous!”
* Their names are changed for security reasons.
Say: While Kelvin was having gospel conversations with the young man, others were praying for them. Then call attention to Question #4 (Why is prayer an important step in sharing the gospel?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
— Donna McKinney wrote these Leader Extras. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
- When have you been really dedicated or committed to a task or goal? What were your keys to success?
- What do you consider essential in your daily routine?
- Who taught you how to pray?
1 Timothy 2:1-2
- What does a dynamic or effective prayer life look like?
- What strategies have helped you remain focused as you pray?
- What does this verse reveal about the reach of our prayers?
1 Timothy 2:3-6
- What role does prayer play in our spiritual growth?
- What are some obstacles to having an effective prayer life?
- We’re called to pray for others’ salvation. How can we make this a priority?
1 Timothy 2:8-8
- What are some practical ways to pray for the salvation of others?
- When have you seen prayer lead to someone’s salvation?
- How can we pray for others who share the gospel?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.