The Ministry of Intercession

Looking at Nehemiah and Epaphras for inspiration

Examining a portrait of two biblical intercessors can ramp up your group experience. After reading Nehemiah 1:1-11 and Colossians 4:12-13, discuss these questions.

  • What needs prompted the prayers of Nehemiah and Epaphras?
  • How did Nehemiah discover the need of the remnant that prompted his intercession?
  • What does Nehemiah's initiative in verse 2 tell us about the ministry of intercession?
  • What needs of people in our sphere of influence should prompt our prayers on their behalf?
  • What qualities do you see in Nehemiah and Epaphras? (Look for what is implied by their words and actions, as well as what is directly stated.) Why is each of these traits necessary for an intercessor?
  • In Colossians 4:12, we read that Epaphras was "wrestling in prayer." Why is prayer such hard work?
  • Look closely at Nehemiah 1:5-11 and Colossians 4:12. What guidelines for intercessory prayer can you find?
  • How can these verses on Nehemiah and Epaphras improve our ministry of intercession within this group?
  • Who has a need that the rest of us can intercede for today?

Close your session with a quotation from Richard Foster's Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home: "If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer. Intercession is a way of loving others."

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