A platform for communion (Prayer day 1)

Too often prayer is viewed as a task to be done or a means of getting stuff from God only.  This Biblical reflection aims to re-frame prayer as life-giving communion with Christ our source.




  1. Note the repeated phrase “remain in me”. Suggest synonyms to flesh out the meaning of our active communion with Christ.
  2. Jesus likens our relationship with him as vine and branches. In your own words explain (a) what the inherent promise of remaining in communion with him, and (b) what is the consequence of not remaining in him. Why?
  3. What promise does Christ make to those who remain in communion with him?

Personal Reflections

Christ likens his relationship with us, his disciples, to that of a vine and branches: our very life is dependent on our communion with him.  If any godliness, faith and virtue is to come from us, it would flow naturally from our communion with him.  If, however, we neglect our communion with him, we become dry, lifeless, and fruitless.  Christ makes another promise to those who remain in communion with him: that of answered prayers.

  1. Honestly reflect on your own communion with Christ. Is it living, life-giving?
  2. Any relationship requires a platform; without a regular time and place to meet the relationship will not grow in depth and meaning. How and where do you enjoy communion with Christ?
  3. What “life” do you desire from your communion in Christ?


Over the next 40 days we aim to establish a richer, truer and more rewarding communion with Christ.  Take this moment now to tell Christ what you admire of his character and life, and what you desire for your times of communion. Also ask the Lord to tell you what he would like in and from your times of communion.  Do you have any other desires and needs?  Ask, and the Lord will give as we remain in him.

We look forward to the next six weeks of growing together in communion with our Lord!




Compelling Communication

Leaders move people from one perspective to another by skilled and passionate communication that stirs the hearts and challenges the minds; their words mobilise masses to change direction and exert effort for a common cause.

In this short video Kobus Meyer (pastor at Shofar Christian Church in Durbanville, South Africa) gives practical advice on how leaders can communicate with compelling passion and clarity, moving people into action.


John 1:6-8, 29-34

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Observations and reflection

Context: In these two portions of text the evangelist introduces the ministry of John the Baptist, and records how he pointed out Jesus as the Messiah.

  1. Verses 29-34 describes what is introduced in verses 6-8. Can you identify the phrases in verses 29-34 that correlate and explain the following phrase about the ministry of John the Baptist from verses 6-8?
  • “sent from God”
  • “to bear witness”
  • “that all might believe”
  • “not the light”
  1. John the Baptist was a powerful transformational leader who had a tremendous impact in Israel, bringing the nation as whole to repentance (Matthew 3:5-6). Carefully look at verses 6-8 to understand his ministry attitude; how should this impact your attitude towards leadership?
  • “sent from God”
  • “to bear witness”
  • “that all might believe”
  • “not the light”

Personal reflection and application

John the Baptist was a powerful transformational leader who had a tremendous impact in Israel during his day, leading the whole nation to God in repentance (Matthew 3:5-6). His words cut to the heart because he preached to move people to faith and action – his goal in preaching was “that all might believe” (John 1:7).

  1. Consider your aim in communicating to the group you are leading. Would you say that you normally speak as though
  • to give your opinion?
  • to give direction?
  • to persuade others?
  • to move people to action?
  1. What is the difference between the above four approaches to communication in terms of (i) content (what you say) and (ii) style (how you say it)?
  2. Construct the simple sentence “there is a God” in such a way
    1. to give your opinion.
    2. to give direction.
    3. to persuade others.
    4. to move people to action.


Consider the life and ministry of John the Baptist who preached a hard message in the dessert, and people from all of Israel came to hear and changed their ways to fear God again.  Pray for that grace from God to speak fearlessly and in such a compelling way that people will respond in faith and obey God when you lead and speak and his behalf.

How leaders can grow to facilitate sincere and passionate prayer

Christian leaders should not only lead people into the purposes of God, but more importantly lead people into a deeper relationship with God. For this they should grow in the skill of facilitating communion with God, from a rich, personal relationship with God.

In this inspiration video session Danelle Esterhuizen shares practically how a leader can grow in personal times of prayer, and how to facilitate meaningful communion with God in small groups.


Matthew 6:9-13

9  Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11  Give us this day our daily bread, 12  and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Observations and Prayer

Follow Jesus model prayer and pray in your own words – line by line – as he taught the principles of prayer to his disciples.

  1. Person: Pray to God the Father, with sincerity and confidence, knowing He is your Dad
    1. Start by praising Him for Who He is. Take some time giving thanks and remind yourself how big, and powerful, yet personal and loving God is.
  2. Purpose: pray for God’s Kingdom to come, his will to be done.
    1. Start by submitting your will and your day to him – invite Him to reign in every area of your life.
    2. Pray for your family, workplace and neighborhood, and pray for God’s Kingdom of “righteousness, peace and joy” (Romans 14:17) to manifest in it.
  3. Provision: Ask God for all your needs
    1. Thanks God for all the blessings he richly gives to you.
    2. Then bring your needs to God with faith and confidence.
  4. Pardon: Ask the Lord “to search me and know me” (Psalm 139:23), to reveal any sin and unforgiveness in your heart.
    1. Confess your sins and shortcomings to the Lord, asking and thanking him for forgiveness.
    2. Forgive those who have wronged you “form your heart” (Matthew 18:35), and bless them.
  5. Protection: Pray God’s protection over you, your family and your city today.
    1. Acknowledge your vulnerability and fallibility to God and ask Him for grace to keep you from giving in to temptation and deception.


  1. At your next fellowship or prayer meeting lead the small group to pray in this manner.

Covenant 4 – Celebrating the New Covenant

The aim of this devotional study is to consider and commemorate the New Covenant in Christ.


Luke 22:14-20

14  And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him.  15  And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  16  For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

17  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.  18  For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  19  And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  20  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

 Observation and Reflection

Note: This last Passover meal Jesus celebrated with his disciples the evening crucifixion.  The feast was instituted by God (Exodus 12) after God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt, when the Angel of Death killed the first-born of the Egyptians but “passed over” the Hebrews who smeared the blood of a lamb on their doorposts.

  1. Reflect on Jesus emotions and comments before instituting the Lord’s Supper as symbol of the New Covenant. What do you understand in each of these phrases? (v15-16)
    1. “I have earnestly desired”
    2. “to eat … with you”
    3. “before I suffer”
    4. “…until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (see also v 18)
  2. Jesus and his disciples ate a Passover Lamb with unleavened bread that evening and had wine (among other traditional food and herbs). Can you recall the symbolism in these?
  3. What is the symbolic significance of Jesus instituting his New Covenant Sign (“the Lord’s Supper”) in the evening when the Passover meal was celebrated?
  4. Reflect in Jesus’s institution of the Lord’s Supper. What does each of these symbolically refer to?  And what does it mean for you? (v19-20)
    1. “he took the bread and… he broke it”
    2. “he gave it to them”
    3. “This cup [what was in it?]”
    4. “Is poured out for you”
  5. What do you understand in the phrase “the New Covenant in my blood”? (v20)
    1. What covenant does it replace?
    2. Why does it require blood? [You might want to revisited the previous blog sessions on Covenant to recall]
  6. Why has this single meal become a symbolic element in Christian worship world-wide? [hint: consider verse 19]

Application and Prayer

Prepare communion elements for yourself, or if you can do this with your family or a close friend it would be better. [Unleavened bread/ wafers is ideal because of the symbolism: Jesus’ sinless body was broken].  As you partake of the Lord’s Table together, pray through each element:

  1. Thank God that He gave Jesus’ body
  2. Thank God the His Body was broken on our behalf, so that you can be healed
  3. As you eat declare that He is Your Bread of Life
  4. Thank God that Jesus Blood was poured of for the forgiveness of your sins, and that you are reconciled to God because of it.
  5. As you drink declare that this blood is the fulfillment of covenant requirements on your behalf, and that you identify with the death and resurrection of Christ. The life is in the Blood!