“prayer” session 7: Persistence in Prayer
Read Chapters 12–13 of Intercessory Prayer before beginning this study.
The Prayer Life of Jesus
Have you ever heard someone tell you to be persistent in prayer? What does this mean? Why is it so important to be persistent in prayer? Remember all that we have studied so far. God is looking for people who are willing to labor with Him in the place of prayer in order to see His Kingdom released “on earth as it is in Heaven.” We are called to be “imitators” of Christ. Think about the persistence that Jesus exhibited in His prayer life. Throughout the Gospels, we see numerous examples of Jesus contending in prayer—the most noteworthy being His prayer session in the Garden of Gethsemane.
1. Have you ever labored in prayer?
2. Are there people or situations that you have been praying over for months or even years?
3. Why do you think that God wants us to persevere to such an extent? Discuss some of these situations in your small group.
Contending for Breakthrough
When we remain faithful in prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit is released in us to transform the situations we are contending for. Remember the principle of distribution from Chapter 3 of Intercessory Prayer? We are called to distribute the power of God in the measure that it is given to us. Think about the account of the “golden bowls” on incense in Revelation 5 and 8. These golden bowls represent the “prayers of the Saints.”
1. How much power are you putting in your “bowls” of prayer? Are you storing up enough power to see breakthrough?
Prophetic Action and Declaration
When we look at intercession in the Bible, we see multiple examples of an accompanying prophetic action or declaration. Biblically, prophetic words and actions can be either foretelling—dealing with the future move of God—or forthtelling—proclaiming the current word of God. Accurate prophetic words and actions prepare the way for the advancement of the Kingdom of God upon the earth. In this way, we get to partner with God by seeing His glory released through us in response to His Word.
1. What do you think about the word “prophetic”? Is this a concept that you are familiar with?
2. Take some time to discuss the various prophetic acts that Dutch Sheets highlights in Chapter 13 of Intercessory Prayer. How might God use these kinds of prophetic actions today to bring breakthrough in the spiritual realm?
3. Discuss how you can learn to move in this prophetic power with your small group. (It is important to note that all prophetic activity must be directed by God in order to be fruitful. Look at 2 Peter 1:21 for clarity on this issue.)
For further study on how to engage with the Holy Spirit prophetically, check out some of the resources below!