1.    Pastor/theologian Bryan Chapell says, "People are like Swiss cheese, full of holes!" It is true of us all, yet most needs go unknown. Without mentioning names, take a moment as a group to recall some of the silent burdens carried by people in your lives. How do these 'holes' affect their lives? Why do you think people are often reluctant to share their needs?

2.    Read Luke 1:5-25. What lack or need did Zechariah and Elizabeth face? How did it affect their lives (v25)?

3.    Zechariah is chosen to enter the temple to burn incense (v9), a symbol for the prayers of the people. What specific prayer does the angel come in response to, according to v13? 

4.    Have you ever had to serve others while simultaneously having a sense of your own profound neediness? How does one's own need impact his or her capacity for ministry? Positively? Negatively?

5.    Review the songs of Mary and Zechariah (Luke 1:46-55, 67-79). Mary sings to "God my Savior" and Zechariah praises him for raising up a 'horn of salvation."  What verbs are attributed to God in these verses? What implications can be derived about the nature of our Savior/salvation?

6.    Spend time confessing your needs to one another and to the Lord in corporate prayer. Don't be afraid to pray desperate-sounding prayers! Consider one verb from question 5 to pray back to the Lord on behalf of someone in your group, or for yourself.

Clark HalsteadComment