Small Steps to Increase Prayerfulness

Hello Growth Group leaders!

Attached is something a little different to do with our growth groups this coming week. It’s a few short articles to consider, aimed at increasing our prayerfulness as a church. It’s the final session in our prayer series, ending on a practical note. The podcast episode explains how this could work.

The plan is to spend about half of the time thinking through these articles, and the other half praying together in groups.

Thanks for all that you do!

In Christ,


Engaging with Matariki

Mark Hood Redeemer Church 13/07/23

We pray and work to have Kiwis to engage with God’s gospel story, so it is entirely reasonable to set ourselves as a church family to engage with the Māori story of Matariki.

I confess to being ignorant when it comes to understanding the value and meaning of Matariki to fellow Māori Kiwis. So I’ve sought to investigate with an attitude of genuine enquiry, seeking to know ones’ neighbour and to better appreciate our nation’s public holiday Friday.

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars visible in mid-winter, and for many Māori this marks the start of the new year. It gives opportunity for people to come together, reflect on the year that has passed, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. Different iwi mark Matariki in different ways…

read on below for more…

Gethsemane Prayer – Luke 22 for Growth Group leaders

Faithful in prayer week 9 – 24/6/24

Dear Growth Group leaders, 

Find attached some questions you could use for Growth Group in this week ahead. Our passage is Luke 22:31-53. Our focus is Jesus’ prayer in v42. 

Below is also a link to our word dwell richly podcast chat concerning these questions. 

With the Men’s Convention this Tuesday night (and God-willing, a good number of us attending), this may well change plans for which groups / who meets.
In the event that a group meeting can continue, here are some questions. 

On page 2 of the attached are our plans for the weeks ahead. For our final week of term (week commencing 1 July), I’m preparing a short paper to help us reflect on what we’ve covered in prayer, some steps to grow in prayer, and then my plan is our groups will spend an extended time in prayer. More on that next week. 

I’m praying for you. 

in Christ, Mark 

‘Glorify your Son – John 17 for Growth Group leaders

Faithful in prayer week 8 – 17/6/24

Dear Growth Group leaders, 
We’re moving around different parts of the Bible in this ‘Faithful in prayer’ series. I hope you and your groups are coping with & benefitting from this whole-Bible approach to prayer. 

And I hope you are able to continue to pray for the names of people that were noted in our 1 Thess 1 study week 4. 

Next week we come to John 17 – Jesus praying. The aim is to see what & who he prays for, and to join in praying for the same kinds of things Attached are some questions you could use / adapt as needed. 

On page 2 of the attachment is a quick plan of where we’re headed over the next three months. In summary: after prayer & Romans 12 ,we have our normal 2 week holiday break scheduled. Then we’re into evangelism training before we come to Romans 15-16. 

Owing to my holidays (2-23 July), I’d like to defer our next GG leaders meeting to Sunday 4-Aug 3:00pm at our home please. 

Thanks for all the ways you are loving and caring for God’s people and leading us into his word and his ways. in Christ, Mark 

Colossians 4 Devoted to prayer


Dear Growth Group Leaders, 

This week in our series on Prayer, we’re getting more practical. Praying in a certain way, praying for various priorities, who to be praying for, and what to be concerned to pray.

I hope therefore it is an instructive week for our groups, helping us take small steps forward in our practice of prayer.

Particular helps

I don’t mention this in the Word Dwell Richly podcast with Jaden, but as I think about it now, this would be a good week to briefly share one or two helps to pray. By this I mean tools that can be used to help us remember to pray for certain people, priorities, and events:

  • Some use journals to write down lists;
  • others have folders with prayer updates that they add in.
  • The CCA diocese shares points each fortnight to help us pray.
  • I use prayermate a very helpful app on my phone to help me with names, events and particulars to be bringing to God in prayer.

Below are some questions we’ve drafted for Colossians 4:2-18. As per usual, please adjust these to best suit you & your group.

And our Word Dwell Richly chat is here.

Go well with your groups this week. I’m praying for you.

in Christ, Mark

Psalm 44 Prayer during trials


Dear Growth Group leaders, 

Find below some possible questions to use with your groups in the week ahead.

This time we’re meeting head on the issue of when God’s answer to our prayers seems to be ‘no’ / ‘not yet’ / ‘something different’. 

From my own pastoral experience, its this common experience that can put some people of persevering in prayer. 

Without in any way wanting to minimise the grief of an apparently unanswered prayer, at the same time, God urges us continue with him. 

Psalm 44 models this approach for us. 

Hope it’s a helpful week together as you meet. 

in Christ, Mark