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The Four Step Bible Study moves participants by degrees, in a non-threatening way... to integrate silent prayer and voluntary audible prayer into Bible Study. The goal is for prayer and Bible study to take place concurrently, rather than sequentially. Then one can learn to live prayerfully... to walk by the Spirit.
Those who are uncomfortable praying out loud will learn by hearing others pray audibly. They will learn what to pray. They will learn how to listen prayerfully, read scripture prayerfully and speak prayerfully. The ultimate goal of the Four Step Bible Study is to bring about a great awakening, all around the world.
If you want to lead groups in the Four Step Bible Study, the best training is to use the four steps in your daily Bible Study and prayer time. After you become comfortable having your quiet time in the Four Steps, then you are ready to lead.
AT THAT POINT, ASSEMBLE YOUR GROUP, PROVIDE EACH MEMBER WITH A LINK TO SUBCHAPTER 7.1 AND BEGIN.
The agenda in subchapter 7.1 will keep them aware of what they are doing at every step. It will help them to interact with God, staying focused on the subject of the text with less speculation. They will be aware of the remaining steps and thereby can help you to pace the study so that you have time to complete all four steps in your allotted time.
In this Leader's Guide I provide dialogue which the group leader may use to help the group transition through each step in the Four Step Bible Study. Consider this suggested dialogue prayerfully and use whatever dialogue the Lord leads you to use for your group. Below the dialogue section, I also explain the spiritual objectives for each step. Sometimes after the spiritual objectives, I will provide some additional information for the Group Leader as well.
So, this is the format. You will see each step of the Four Step Bible Study Agenda below. Beneath each step you will see two sections. 1) Group Leader Transitional Dialogue and 2) Spiritual Objectives. Sometimes you will also see a third section: Additional Information. Some of the Group Leader Transitional Dialogue is scripture because scripture is living, authoritative and life changing. God's word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
In this Leader's Guide, I will assume that you are following the Context Scripture and Focus Scripture arrangement for the book of Philippians which is provided in subchapter 7.5. I will also assume that you are in your second meeting, using Philippians 1:1-8 as Today's Scripture, Philippians 1:1-5 as your Context Scripture and Philippians 1:6-8 as your Focus Scripture.
Here we go...
Step 1) Opening Prayers
Offer silent prayers of agreement as the Group Leader opens the meeting with audible prayers of praise and requests for understanding.
(If you don't know what to pray, look halfway down the page for "What Can I Pray?" )
Step 1) GROUP LEADER TRANSITIONAL DIALOGUE
"We are to pray "without ceasing... at all times... in everything... continually." 1 So please pray with me silently as I open our meeting with prayer."
Step 1) SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVES
1a) PRAYER BY LEADER
The group leader asks the others to silently pray prayers of agreement as the group leader opens the meeting in prayer. This is very important as it turns the group focus to God and brings the group into active personal interaction with Him. The Group Leader will ask God to reveal the meaning of the scriptures. The Group Leader may also pray other prayers which are endorsed by scripture. Many Endorsed Prayers are listed in the agenda page, subchapter 7.1, under the heading "What Can I Pray?".
Step 1) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
In step 1, the leader prays. That is all that takes place in Step 1. Then the group goes directly into Step 2... directly into the scriptures. Prayers for specific prayer needs takes place at the end of the meeting, in Step 4. However, in some traditions, mine for example, disciples typically share prayer requests at the beginning of the meeting and then pray for them. Then they have Bible study. As a practical matter, the sharing of prayer requests takes so much time that there is not enough remaining time for the group to pray about each of the needs presented and still have time for Bible study. There is not enough time to pray over the scriptures studied. The result is a group time where only a tiny portion of time is spent in prayer and often only one person prays. Some groups have sharing of prayer requests at the beginning of the meeting and then appoint one person to pray for all of them in the meeting. This can save time but still leaves prayer as a minor part of the meeting.
This is very important!
By placing prayer for specific needs after our time in the scriptures, and praying as described in Step 4, our prayers will be more scripture focused. We will have prayerfully received scripture in Step 2 and Step 3. We will be focused on God's plan and purpose. God's plan and purposes will be in our minds as we pray in Step 4. Then we will be trained to pray for specific prayer needs in a scriptural way. By handling specific prayer needs in a way, possibly different from what you are accustomed to, we allow time to actually pray together, as a group. We can learn to pray scripturally.
The group leader's job is not to fill everyone's mind with intellectual understanding of scripture. The group leader's job is to bring each member into intimate fellowship with the one true God who is within them. In fact, many people can spent much time studying scripture, but never come to know God. This happens even with religious leaders. Jesus said this to the religious authorities of His day, the Pharisees:
"You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me. Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life" (John 5:39-40).
Even though they "search the Scriptures", they didn't find HIM. They didn't have LIFE. If you read chapters 1-5 of the book of John, especially noting 1:24 and 5:33, you will see that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, since it was the Pharisees who sent messengers to John the Baptist.
Your purpose as Group Leader is so important that I must repeat it:
The group leader's job is to bring each member into intimate fellowship with the one true God who is within them.
And what is fellowship with God?
Fellowship with God is a two way conversation in the spiritual realm, as we follow Christ, bearing His yoke in the world.
Fellowship with God has much to do with what we are doing. We must be participating in what God is doing if we are to have fellowship with Him. This is explained in subchapter 1.4 titled, "Fellowship With God: Plunging To The Depths".
Now, please... prayerfully consider what I am about to say.
I am praying on my knees for you as I write:
Your job as a group leader is to bring each member into intimate fellowship with the one true God who is within them. Each Step of the Four Step Bible Study has been designed as a tool to help you do that. In Step 1, you bring them into a state of prayer. In Step 2, you bring them into intimate contact WITH GOD in the truth of His scriptures. In Step 3, you enable the Holy Spirit to work within all of them to build the body up the body of Christ in accordance with scriptural knowledge rather than leaving them in the corruption that comes from the errors of men. The Holy Sprit makes no mistakes. In Step 4, you bring them all into direct, open interaction with their God, Creator, Savior and King... in obedience and oneness, to make requests in the spiritual realm, according to God's spiritual authority structure which
I praise God in advance for what He will do, in you, and through you, as you trust Him to accomplish all these things, by His Holy Spirit within you!
Step 2) Read Prayerfully
a)Read Today's Scripture silently.
(Look at the Group Leader when finished. Subchapter 7.5 has reading selections )
b) Read the Context Scripture to God.
(Group Leader only. Offer praise while reading.)
c) Read the Focus Scripture silently.
(Leader encourages members to read to God. This may be awkward at first, as new things often are. As an alternative, Leader may encourage members to read, seeking the heart of the passage. Look at the Group Leader when finished.)
Step 2) GROUP LEADER TRANSITIONAL DIALOGUE
2a) READ TODAY'S SCRIPTURE SILENTLY
"What version of the Bible do all of you have? Since we aren't all using the same version, we will read silently from Philippians 1:1-8.
Comment: The agenda says to read this passage silently. BUT IF everyone is using the same version, you may ask someone to read audibly instead of reading silently.
Here is the problem: When unfamiliar scripture is read audibly from one version, those using a different version will be trying to figure out where the reader is in the text instead of actually hearing the text. Then, when you go to the next step, they will still be trying to do the first step. Hence, after having missed the reading in 2a, they will then miss hearing you read the scripture to God in 2b.
However, if they read Today's Scripture in their version, they will become familiar with the text. Then when you read the Contest Scripture to God in Step 2b, they will be able to follow, because they are familiar with the text.
2b) READ CONTEXT SCRIPTURE TO GOD
"I will read the Context Scripture to God. The Context Scripture is Philippians 1:1-5. As I read I will change some of the words. For example, I may change the word "God" to "You". That is because I am reading His words to Him. I will also offer words of praise as I read God's words to God.
Here we go:
My Lord, Your words in this book were inspired to Paul and Timothy. You refer to them as "bond-servants" or slaves of Your Son, Jesus Christ. So they are those whom Your Son bought with His blood. Praise to your name! And I praise Your Son. With His death, He gave me life! Your letter is addressed to the saints in Philippi. Your message in the book is also intended for the overseers and deacons.
Paul and Timothy pray Your grace and peace to the Philippians. They are writing in Your presence. They also pray Your Son's grace and peace to the Philippians.
Paul thanks You in all of his joyful prayers for the Philippians because of their past and present participation in the gospel. So, Paul, by Your inspiration is giving You credit for the Philippians participation in the gospel. I praise you! You have granted us participation in the gospel like you did for the Philippians.
(You may have noticed that I interspersed praise and comments into this reading. Group Leaders lead by demonstration, one step at a time.)
2c) READ FOCUS SCRIPTURE SILENTLY
I will assume that you have asked the group to read the passage to God.
"Lets go to Step 2c.
'Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.' (Matthew 18:3,4).
So, one must become childlike to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (verse 3). And once one has entered the Kingdom of Heaven, greatness is also achieved by being childlike (verse 4)."
Imagine that your heavenly father wrote a book for you. Imagine also that you are a child, sitting in His lap, reading His book to Him. It's that simple. Come into the intimate presence of your Lord by faith, and then read Philippians 1:6-8 silently to Him. Praise God as you read. This will be awkward at first. Look at me when you are finished."
Now, if you did not ask the group to read God's word to God in this step, but instead asked them to read "seeking the heart of the passage"... here is your dialogue:
"Lets go to Step 2c.
Would everyone please read Philippians 1:6-8 silently. As you read, seek the heart of the passage".
If you want to take them a little farther into seeking the heart of the passage, you may say also say:
"If a particular scripture touches your heart, dwell on that passage. Dwell on those words as long as they tug on your heart. When the essence has been received and the deepest sense is gone, you may turn it to prayer. Then slowly and gently read on. So, go ahead. Very slowly... read the passages below. And while you read, seek the heart of the passage."
Step 2) SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVES
2a) READ TODAY'S SCRIPTURE SILENTLY
When participants hear Today's Scripture, they hear the Context Scripture, the Focus Scripture and possibly some other relevant scriptures. They are hearing text that may make it easier to understand the Focus Scripture. They receive some context for the focus passage. They also experience reading alone as described in subchapter 1.1.
2b) READ CONTEXT SCRIPTURE TO GOD
Readers hear someone demonstrate how to read God's words to God. When you read to God, you pray scripture. They may have never heard anyone pray scripture. They also heard you interspersed praise into your reading. As they hear you praise as you read, they will learn by imitation. Offering praise as we read scripture should be our most basic response to God's word. When we praise God as we read scripture, we are obeying Hebrews 13:15.
- "let's offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually" (Hebrews 13:15).
Praising God as we read God's word to God feels good! That's because we are filled with the Spirit when we praise God! (Ephesians 5:15)
2c) READ FOCUS SCRIPTURE SILENTLY
This step is critical.
The reader interacts with God using one of two intimate reading methods which were experienced in subchapter 1.1. You asked them to read using Path Two (Seeking the Heart of the Passage) or Path Three (Read God's Words to God). I will discuss the spiritual objectives of each path separately.
Seek the Heart of the Passage
If you asked them to read seeking the heart of the passage, their hearts and spirits were more engaged than if they had merely read for content only. Our hearts should be engaged with God as we read.
In Matthew 15:8, Jesus said, "These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men."
The habit of reading for content only is hard to break. This time of seeking the heart of the passage while reading scripture may be their first intimate experience with God through reading scripture. As they seek the heart of the passage, they are listening to God's heart. Seeking the heart of the passage is easier than reading God's words to God. So, you may want your group to experience that path in this step before asking them to read God's word to God.
Read God's Word to God
In general, the reader makes direct contact with God and observes all of the content of the passage.
As they hear you praise God while reading to God in Step 2b, they will learn to do the same in Step 2c. So, they will learn to respond to scripture with the most basic required response to God's word: Praise. All of this occurs before discussion begins. Praise should be the most fundamental content of the discussion rather than focusing of obscure elements of the passage. If members are not given time to absorb all of the content of the passage before discussion or teaching begins, many will not hear the words of others because they are still trying to get a basic understanding of what is in the passage. The comments of others will not stick because the members are not familiar with the scriptures which are the subject of the discussion. Those members who were already familiar with the passage will make comments but most everyone else will just listen. So, this step helps encourage broad participation in the discussion and broad individual connection with the words of God. It lays the groundwork for a discussion full of praise.
If you skip this step and instead merely read the passage your normal way of reading, much will be lost. In my experience, those who only read scripture in the normal way will notice half of the relevant details and nearly none of the logical flow of thought in the passage.
Now I will be more specific. In this step the reader makes direct contact with God in every sentence, phrase and word of the scripture. Every word and phrase has been observed, so every word and phrase can speak to the reader. An accurate understanding of the passage may be received in this step. Secular hermeneutics requires a strict mental observation of every word and idea in a text. It is true that many passages are confusing or have been misunderstood because the reader failed to observe all of the words in a text. Even though secular hermeneutical techniques are greatly inferior to the illumination of a text by the Holy Spirit, complete observation is an important accomplishment. Simply stated, the Holy Spirit may not interact with the reader on words which the reader has not observed. In Step 2, the reader not only observes every word mentally, the reader interacts spiritually with the Holy Spirit in every word.
Without this step, both beginners and seasoned theologians are more likely to focus on certain portions of a scripture while ignoring other portions... sometimes resulting in a misinterpretation.
I know of no other way to bring the members of a group to individually engage with God in every word of a scripture before the discussions take place in Step 3. Discussions are more fruitful when all participants have read the passage to God, have observed all of the content of the Focus Scripture and have offered praise to God.
I believe that five minutes spent reading God's words to God is worth an hour of disciplined mental observation. And reading God's words to God is prayer. It is prayer in obedience to Paul's exhortation to "pray without ceasing". Reading God's words to God also is enjoyable. And words which we read to God tend to stick better in our soul. An hour of disciplined mental observation is very tiring. The purely mental process of exhaustive observation turns into a lot of work. Few will do it very often.
Later, as it becomes second nature to offer praise as we read in this step, reading scripture becomes joy instead of work! Christians will be drawn to read God's word instead of reading out of duty.
Step 2) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
As the group gets comfortable reading God's words to God... and as they hear the Group Leader offer praise in the reading, they will begin to offer praise to God as they read.
As group leader, you will select the context passage and the focus passage. Subchapter (7.5) provides a link to the context and focus selections for the entire book of Philippians that you may use. Using this study arrangement, you can lead a Four Step Bible Study through the entire book of Philippians, from beginning to end. It provides the Context Scripture and Focus Scripture for each meeting. It is designed to provide a large enough Context Scripture to enhance understanding of the Focus Scripture. The Focus Scripture will be short enough to be digested during one meeting. It will be short enough to allow time for intimate conversation about and with God.
After you have lead a group through the entire book of Philippians, you should be able to take any book of the Bible and divide the book into Context and Focus passages. But to make your task a little easier, subchapter 7.5 provides Context and Focus assignments for eighteen books of the New Testament.
Step 3) Discuss Prayerfully
a) What does the Focus Scripture say about Man? (Which Verse?)
b) What does it say about God?
c) What does it say that we can Pray?
(Praise & Requests)
(Members silently ask God for revelation as they audibly discuss a-c.)
Step 3) GROUP LEADER TRANSITIONAL DIALOGUE
3a) "Let's talk about the Focus Scripture. We will use three questions to help us do that. The three questions are: What does the focus passage say about man? What does it say about God? What does it say that we can pray?" These questions will help us to focus on what is clearly in the focus passage. So, let's start with the first question: What does the focus passage say about Man? What do you see... from anywhere in the Focus Scripture, Philippians 1:6-8."
3b) "Let's move on to the second question: What does it say about God?"
3c) "Let's move on to the third question: What does it say that we can pray? You may get some additional ideas of what to pray by looking below at the section titled "What Can I Pray?"
Step 3) SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVES
These three particular questions are very important. By using them, a small group may receive God's truth, pray, worship and build the body of Christ even though an expert in the scriptures is not available to teach. Using the first two questions on a short passage helps to discourage speculation and disputes (1 Timothy 1:4). They also help to keep us from going beyond what is written ( 1 Corinthians 3:1 -- 4:7, especially 4:6). The third question enables us to understand and do the application. It will bring us into direct communication with the person of God Almighty, Yahweh... into actual intimate fellowship with Him. These three steps will bring about excellent understanding of scripture, greater unity and a more worshipful experience than a human analytical approach to the Bible.
Many do not know what to pray. Direct the group's attention to the section titled "What Can I Pray?" in the lower part of the Agenda page. That section lists a broad cross section of prayers endorsed by scripture. So, members will learn to pray scripturally in the Four Step Bible Study.
Step 3) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The group will answer three questions about the focus passage. This is a group discussion. Try to encourage each person to contribute. If a few members are doing most of the talking, you may say, "Lets hear from someone who hasn't shared yet." Or you may say, "we want to have broad participation. If you have already shared, please wait until everyone has shared before sharing a second time."
If your group has a member who has a habit of dominating the discussion, you may need to say this at the beginning of Step 3, before any discussion has taken place. In this way, you avoid the appearance of singling out that individual for correction.
If you have a particularly argumentative person in the group, consult subchapter A8, in the appendix.
In the early stage of the discussion, the Group Leader should not share observations. Later in the discussion, Group Leaders can direct the groups attention to particular verses so that they see the more relevant parts. Ask, "What about verse 2?... What about verse 3... etc." The Group Leader vocalizes observations to enhance understanding after the members have recognized all that they can or if they are missing the point.
One purpose of the three questions is to focus the group on what is actually in the text... to hear and implement what is actually in the text. When members make observations, the Group Leader may sometimes ask "Where do you see that? In what verse?" This helps to keep the group focus on the text, to avoid speculations and receive only what is actually in the text. This question should be asked especially when a good observation is made. But it may also be asked if a member makes inaccurate observations which present a significantly false doctrine which is significantly damaging to the spiritual well being of the group.
The text may raise questions which are not answered in the text. Typically, such questions are answered in another passage in the book which is being studied. The Group Leader can encourage the members to read or preferably pray the entire book in one sitting every day for a week. This greatly minimizes misunderstandings of particular passages. The group time should focus on what is clearly presented in the texts for that day. In this way, members will finish their time together with a deeper walk with God based on clear revelations, rather than a long list of unanswered questions. Scripture was not intended to answer every question in this life (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Step 4) Closing Prayers
What to Pray:
- Pray the prayers discussed in Step 3
- Pray Scripture (Read some verses to God)
- Pray specific needs audibly*
* Prayer needs are injected into the prayer time without talking about them first. So, instead of sharing before praying, you share by praying.
How To Pray
The Group Leader chooses one of the following group prayer styles:Style 1: One at a Time
One person at a time prays audibly with all others praying silently and simultaneously in agreement. Pray clockwise, ending with the Leader. Or, pray spontaneously on a volunteer basis. If none of the members Pray Scripture to God, the Leader should do so.
Style 2: All Audibly
All pray audibly at the same time.
Style 3: Silent Left
All members pray the prayers discussed in Step 3 for the person on their left for a few minutes (silently). Then, on a volunteer basis, various members will pray their specific prayer needs audibly. Others will pray silent prayers of agreement as needs are prayed audibly.
Step 4) GROUP LEADER TRANSITIONAL DIALOGUE:
Style 1: One at a Time
"Now, let's pray the prayers that we just discussed. You can also pray about any prayer needs you have. We will pray silently as you pray. If you wish, you may pray any of the scriptures... you can read some verses to God. So, there are three types of prayers that we will pray. And, if the Lord leads to pray about anything else, then do that also."
As the group is praying, and if one of the three types of prayer are not being prayed, you may say:
"If you have prayer needs, just pray them out loud and we will pray with you silently." Or... "is there a particular scripture that anyone would like to pray?"
Step 4) SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVES: One at a Time Style
As you pray the prayers you discussed in Step 3, you will be praying about God's word, His purposes and His desires. You will be praying His heart. His word and purpose will be ingrained in your spirits. As members pray audibly for their needs, the group learns of their struggles and heart. Unity and fellowship are the result as you hear of their needs and pray for them. God answers prayers. As members hear others pray scripture, they will come to understand and eventually enter into a more intimate and rewarding experience with God. They will pray scripturally, think scripturally and have fellowship with God in the scriptures. Their lives will more clearly reflect these scriptures:
- "In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).
- "Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
- " let's offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually" (Hebrews 13:15).
- "they must always pray, and not give up" (Luke 18:1).
- "he continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12).
- "My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Matthew 21:13).
- Moses prayed forty days and forty nights (Deuteronomy 9:18).
- "Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching in it with..." (Colossians 4:2).
Step 4) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: One at a Time Style
I am often surprised at how well I understand the scriptures after following the all four steps. I believe that you will have a similar experience. The Holy Spirit works among each member to bring out the intended meaning of the text. I have sometimes been tempted to skip praying God's word to God. But this step is critical. No one knows if or how long it will take for any particular member to adopt reading God's word to God as their personal prayer practice. But by repeatedly hearing your example, some will. Especially at first, most will gain more immediate satisfaction from seeking the heart of the passage and turning it to prayer. Seeking the heart of the passage may be preferred by some for many years before switching to reading God's words to God. But the praying God's word to God is a long term goal... it is a practice we want to instill in each member... so that they can pray scripture every day. I have heard participants say that their greatest revelation from the scriptures occurred in this step.) The intimate reading methods, Seeking the Heart of the Passage and Reading God's Word To God, are thoroughly explained in subchapter 1.1.
Regarding the practice of praying for specific personal needs, I have much to say. This style of group prayer may be different from your tradition. In some traditions, mine for example, disciples share prayer requests at the beginning of the meeting and then pray for them. Then they have Bible study. As a practical matter, the sharing of prayer requests takes so much time that there is not enough remaining time for the group to pray about the needs presented and still have time for Bible study. There is not enough time to pray over the scriptures studied. The result is a group time where only a tiny portion of time is spent in prayer and often only one person prays.
If you follow the method I have suggested in the One at a Time style of group prayer, all members will share their prayer needs. But, they will share them by praying them instead of talking about them.
By placing prayer for specific needs after our time in the scriptures, our prayers are scripture focused... because we have been interacting with our Lord in His words before we pray. Since we sharing by praying, instead of sharing before praying, we save a lot of time... we still have time to actually pray together, as a group. We can learn to pray scripturally.
Step 4) GROUP LEADER TRANSITIONAL DIALOGUE (Style 2 - All pray audibly at the same time):
Group Leader Dialogue (Style 2 - All Audibly):
"Let's all pray at the same time out loud. I will say Amen, when we are finished."
Spiritual Objectives and Additional Information (Style 2 - All Audibly):
With a few exceptions, the spiritual objectives and additional information are the same as the One at a Time Style. While praying in Group Prayer Style 2, one can hear little of the needs of others as they pray their specific prayer needs to God. But there can be great sense of unity. One can sense the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in a special way. Participants can also develop a better ability to concentrate in prayer by praying in this way.
Step 4) GROUP LEADER TRANSITIONAL DIALOGUE (Style 3 - Silent Left):
Group Leader Dialogue (Style 3 - Silent Left):
"Let's all pray the prayers discussed in Step 3 for the person on your left for a few minutes. Pray silently. You may also pray scripture for the person on your left. I will say amen when we are finished."
After you say amen, say:
"If anyone has a specific need, please pray now, one at a time, audibly. We will all pray silently for you as you pray. I will say amen when we are finished"
Spiritual Objectives and Additional Information (Style 3 - Silent Left):
With a few exceptions, the spiritual objectives and additional information are the same as the One at a Time Style. But Style 3 trains disciples in how to pray for other disciples. The prayer focus is more concentrated on others rather than self. Even though one prays much and prays scripturally, if one only prays only for one's self, one may stil have a self centered prayer life. This style of group prayer (Silent Left) helps train participants out of a self centered prayer life.
Shortly before each meeting, pray for your group. Then go through all four steps by your self using the Context Scripture and Focus Scripture that will be read during your meeting. You will be able to lead the group better if you do this.
Flexibility in the Spirit
I prayerfully suggest that you lead your group in the Spirit to experience the Four Step Bible Study as described in this chapter. Then after you become experienced with each step, you may find it beneficial to adjust some steps, as the Holy Spirit leads you, from time to time. He may lead you to adjust the steps according to the particular scripture, the group and time available.
1) 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6 and Hebrews 13:15, as presented in subchapter 4.12.
2) Colossians 4:2-4