“Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. – Acts 1:12-14.
Charles Spurgeon saw thousands of people come to faith in Christ under his preaching. On one occasion, another pastor asked him a question: “Mr. Spurgeon, what is the secret of your influence?” After a moment’s pause, Spurgeon said, “My people pray for me.”
Northstar is a church that believes in the power of prayer and the power of small groups. Small groups are a place where you will pray for others and receive prayer from others. We can never lose sight of the impact an effective small group can make in the lives of believers.
Our prayer is that our small groups reflect the “upper room” in Acts 1:12–14 to which the disciples went to after the ascension of Jesus. There, “they all joined together constantly in prayer.” Like the disciples, when you are part of a small group you can join together in an “upper room” – which may be a family room, a living room, on a patio sitting by a lake or wherever the small group meets – for prayer, for reading and meditation on His word and for fellowship in the Holy Spirit.
Going to church every week is a very good thing. And we can pray and worship God at any moment, but in a small group we can see and experience the work of the Holy Spirit. Small groups are where doubts can disappear and questions about faith can be addressed in a non-threatening, nurturing, relaxed and comfortable setting.
Small groups provide a much needed place for Christian fellowship among friends, a place to learn and question in a comfortable environment, and a support group when facing the inevitable challenges in life. As parents, it gives us the opportunity to share the successes and trials of raising children in today’s world. As spouses, we continue to learn what Scripture reveals to us on marriage.
Small groups are where we can continue to grow in Jesus. We can learn the power of prayer and what it means to be able to come to God with all things in prayer. We can learn together through studying God’s word how it applies to our everyday life and how God speaks to us through His word. And small groups are where we care for each other by doing our best to be the hands and feet of Christ for each other when needed.
Please pray for our small groups as we begin a new semester. Pray that God will use them to be a real blessing in the lives of every person who attends.
- Is there anything from this Sunday’s Detox sermon on the soul that your small group could help you with? What areas that we need to starve/feed could be helped through prayer?
- What should we do when we don’t feel like praying? How can a small group help in this area?
- Here is a 6-day experiment for you: Spend a few minutes praying for each member of your small group.
- Pray and ask God to bless our small groups this semester.