Church at home

We will not be meeting in person at any of our services during March. Instead, we'd love you to join us online to watch Church at home here

Kingdom Come: Prayer

This is a suggestion for how to lead an online Connect Group, based on the talk that Adnan Khan gave on 25th October. It lasts around 80 minutes, but feel free to extend sections, remove sections, add your own or just do your own thing entirely! Whatever works best for you and your group. 

The discussion questions and reflections will work without having listened to the talk, but if you are going to use them you may want to watch the talk before you meet.

Welcome & Prayer (5 mins)

Welcome everyone to the group and remind people of the following: 

  • As a general rule it’s helpful to keep your mic muted unless you’re talking to reduce background noise. 
  • During the discussion if you want to speak, raise a hand and I’ll throw the conversation to you. 
  • We’ll be using the chat function to post links, quotes, Bible verses and prayer requests. 

Start your time together by praying, thanking God for the opportunity to be together and asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together (you may want to ask someone else to pray). 

Gratitude & Challenges (15-25 mins)

Ask everyone to introduce themselves and share one thing from the last week they are grateful for, and one thing they are finding particularly challenging. 

Don’t forget to make it clear who is to share next, and to let people know they can pass if they want to. 

Overview & Group discussion (30 mins)

This term we are thinking and praying about what Jesus’ kingdom come ‘in London as in heaven’ might look like. Each week we’ll be looking at a different aspect of the nature of the King and his kingdom. This week Adnan reminded us of the importance of prayer in helping us to partner with God in bringing his kingdom. Speaking from Jesus’ parable about prayer from Luke 18, he encouraged us to cultivate a life of dependence upon God:

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:1-8

Whilst we may see ourselves in the widow’s story of experiencing injustice and having no-one to support her and help plead her case, Adnan reminded us that we shouldn’t equate the judge with God. God is both compassionate and just and he wants to bring justice to the earth. If the widow’s prayer can have an effect on an unjust, uncaring judge, how much more will our prayers have an effect on God?

In this parable Jesus is trying to change how we view God, not just tell us to pray more, because our view of God and our trust in his goodness will be the determining factor on whether we choose to regularly come to God in prayer, or if we try and make it through life on our own.

Q. How has your view of God changed over the years? Have there been seasons in your life where you’ve found it easier or harder to trust in the goodness of God? How has this affected how you pray?

In Jude 1:21 we are told to ‘keep ourselves in God’s love’ which Adnan explained isn’t ‘always doing the right thing to keep God loving us,’ but rather regularly spending time with God in prayer so that we are able to experience his love. George Muller famously wrote, “The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord.”

Q. Share with one another the different ways you have found that most help ‘keep you in God’s love.’ What changes could you make to the rhythm of your day and week to ensure you have time to regularly experience God’s love?

Meditation (5 mins)

You may want to encourage people to close their eyes, sit up straight in their chairs, place their palms face up on their knees/table and concentrate on their breathing – breathe in for 3 seconds, then out for 3 seconds (people may feel more comfortable doing this if their video feed is turned off). 

Psalm 136 is written as a call and response prayer that declares the enduring love of God. After reading each line, encourage everyone to respond with ‘His love endures forever’ : 

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;

 

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Prayer (20 mins)

Begin your time of prayer thanking God for his love and for the different ways you have experienced it in your life. Then move into asking God for his help and for the needs of your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers. 

You may want to pray the Lord’s prayer together to end:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.

Amen.