Date: October 8, 2023
Prepare for Battle
The Point: God strengthens us as we pray and engage in spiritual battle.
Get Into the Study
After discussing Question #1 share the following story.
On Labor Day, quarterback Riley Leonard led Duke University to an impressive upset 28–7 victory over ninth ranked Clemson University. The victory broke a twenty-eight-game losing streak against Top Ten teams, dating back to 1989.
In a postgame interview, Leonard attempted to play on his “hero” status to ask for an extension on overdue homework, since he had not completed the assignment.
“Professor Taylor, if you’re seeing this, please let me turn in my homework late because it was due tonight. I think at twelve o’clock,” said Leonard.
The next day, Professor Taylor issued an official response to Leonard. “Hey Riley, great game last night, man it was so exciting. Congratulations to you and all your teammates.” At this point, the chances for leniency sounded promising, but the answer was not what Leonard wanted to hear.
“You know Wesley Williams and the other lineman who are in the class said they prepared ahead and did it ahead of time. So why didn’t the quarterback? No way man. No extension.” Evidently the historic win and all the work and preparation that went into it wasn’t enough to cancel his responsibility to prepare in other areas of his college life.
Say: Riley Leonard assumed he had done everything a “student athlete” was supposed to do by winning on the field, but his focus was more on the “athlete” part, while neglecting the “student” part. In much the same way, when we concentrate on other aspects of our lives and neglect to pray, we haven’t completed our preparation. Daniel gives us an example of what total preparation looks like.
Get Into the Study [Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of someone being effective in spiritual warfare.
Study the Bible
Before discussing Question #5, share the following.
In a recent article, Erin Lamb described worship as a “war song.” She explained her wording by noting that many people do not realize that there is a spiritual battle going on around us. She said, “The battle is for our peace, love, joy, and worship. Everything in creation was made to glorify God. We were created to love, adore, worship, and devote our lives to God.”
Ms. Lamb defined worship as more than simply singing songs, but a lifestyle devoted to loving God and putting Him first in all things. She noted that we were made by Him and for Him, and He is the reason we all exist. Worship is a response to His great love, mercy, and grace. The battle we are in seeks to rob us of that worship.
Ms. Lamb noted that Lucifer wanted to be worshiped instead of God and continues to seek to take the focus off of God. If the devil can’t make himself the focus, he works to turn people to worship anything that makes God less of a priority in our lives.
However, “we become like the one we worship. Whatever or whoever we worship is who or what we will become…. If we worship God, we become like Him. We begin to take on His characteristics.”
Say: Daniel never wavered from his worship of God. His worship was one of the foundational elements of his life that enabled him to prepare for any spiritual battle he faced. It earned him the title of being “treasured by God” (Dan. 10:19).
- How do you get ready for “Game Day?”
- What imagery or ideas come to mind when you think of being at war?
- What characteristics make a good soldier?
- When have world events led you (individually or as a church) to an extended, ongoing season of prayer?
- For followers of Jesus, what is the “correct” way to respond to bad news?
- What can we learn about prayer from this passage?
- How has your understanding of spiritual warfare changed over time?
- What role does intercessory prayer have in spiritual battles?
- How can prayer overcome fear during spiritual warfare?
- When have you felt “treasured by God”?
- In your own words, what role does prayer play in spiritual warfare?
- How does it make you feel to know that your prayers are part of the spiritual battle?
- What strengthens you when facing spiritual conflict?
- When have you found strength in God through your own personal weakness?
- What are some ways God strengthens us?
- What are some ways the Lord strengthens us in the midst of a spiritual battle?
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.