Date: September 10, 2023
Pray with Passion
The Point: Our prayers really do make a difference.
Get Into the Study
Share the following illustration after discussing the opening question.
The destructive wildfires that recently ravaged the island of Maui have been described as the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history. Authorities reported on August 20 that the death toll at that time stood at 114, with more than 1,000 people unaccounted for. Additionally, 2,700 structures had been destroyed in Lahaina alone, and thousands of Hawaii residents were homeless.
Can you imagine the hopeless feeling of being on an island with no place to go? Two men found themselves in that situation during the worst of the fires. Blake Moore found himself a quarter mile from the fires, and estimated he had half an hour to survive. He sat in his car, blocked from accessing major roadways and reaching safety, joining thousands that were stuck on the island.
Moore, the general manager of a sailing excursion service realized he couldn’t stay where he was, so he relied on his knowledge of the island – from alleys to backroads – to return safely to his family. Although his home survived, his business was destroyed, and his surviving excursion boats were pressed into service to rescue those who had fled into the ocean.
Ray Adamson lives on a 42-foot houseboat. From his slip, he watched the fires slowly spread down the mountain and engulf the town. As the flames got closer, he watched the city burn and said he felt helpless. Thankfully he was upwind from the blaze.
Adamson was able to get his boat offshore and from there, all he could do was watch as the city was reduced to ashes. Soon the flames moved toward the water and engulfed several boats in a nearby harbor.
Both of these men found themselves in seemingly hopeless situations, but both used the resources they had to find a way out. Blake Moore used his knowledge of the island to find a way home without using major roads. Ray Adamson had the ability to move his home away from the danger. In the end, they both felt blessed that they survived and were able to help others.
In our study today, Daniel found him in a hopeless situation, but used the best resource he could have. He prayed with passion and asked for mercy, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding from God. His prayers not only rescued him and his friends, but it also brought glory to God.
Source: World Vision
Get Into the Study [Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a funny video showing someone trying to fix something. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Before discussing Question #5, share the following illustration.
Shane Pruitt is the National Next Gen director for the North American Mission Board. He and his wife Kasi are strong proponents of adoption, with four of their six children being adopted. Titus Praise became a part of their family in the spring of 2015. Born with severe health complications, he had lived practically his entire life in a Ugandan Hospital.
Shortly after Titus arrived at the Pruitt home, Kasi wrote about how God used her son to “constantly remind me that this life is but a moment, and a fleeting one at that. I pray for healing for our boy all the time, but the amazing reality is that one day healing will happen for Titus.” Shane shared numerous times on his blog and social media about the struggles Titus endured, but also the tremendous impact and blessing this young man had on their family and others.
On July 25, 2023, Titus passed away and received the perfect healing his family had longed for. Reflecting on her son’s life, Kasi wrote, “The brightest light, biggest smile, most swag, and the absolute strongest person I have ever known. He experienced great suffering with great joy.… being his mom for the last 10 years has been nothing but a privilege! He has made everyone in the Pruitt Pack better.”
On August 18th, Shane shared the following on social media. “Here is what I learned from watching our son suffer for 10 years, then go be with Jesus:
God is still good, even when I don’t understand.
God is still faithful, even when it doesn’t make sense.
God still has a plan, even when I can’t see it.
God still reigns, even when things look like chaos.
God is still near, even when I can’t feel Him.
God is still God.” @shane_pruitt078 (August 18, 2023)
Say: Shane and Kasi Pruitt are testimonies to believing and trusting in the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God. Shane’s last statement – “God is still God” – allows them to praise Him, even during times of struggles and hurt. They could echo Daniel’s words of praise when he said, “May the name of God be praised forever and forever, for wisdom and power belong to Him.” (Daniel 2:20)
Source: Baptist Press
Lynn Riley is retired from the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, where he served as a team member in the areas of evangelism and church health. He and his wife Cheryl live in Smyrna, Tn, where they are busy spoiling their grandchildren. They are members of Rolling Hills Community Church in Nolensville, TN.
Study the Bible [Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a song focused on prayer. Ask the group to prayerfully sing along. Then close in prayer.
- What are some circumstances when people typically welcome prayers, even if they are not religious?
- What are you passionate about?
- When have you felt powerless to fix something?
- Why do we seem to wait until matters become urgent before seeking God?
- How might we need wisdom in each activity of a typical day?
- What stands out to you about Daniel’s response to this impossible task?
- When have you seen God solve a problem beyond what was humanly possible?
- How does our culture influence believers to fix problems on their own?
- How do prayer partners help maintain a solid prayer life?
- What gives you confidence that God will grant guidance?
- Why might we be slow to ask others to pray with us for our needs?
- When has God answered your prayer in a meaningful way?
- Why does it matter how many people pray for something?
- How do you honor the Lord when He responds to your prayers?
- How can we nurture an inward attitude of honor and gratitude to the Lord when He works in our lives and responds to our needs?
- What will you pray for this week with an attitude of expectancy?
- What attributes of God give us confidence in His answer?
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.