Developing self-feeding disciples needs to be a disciple maker’s highest priority.
One of the pitfalls I have fallen into as a disciple maker is allowing those I have discipled to become dependent upon my instruction and direction each week instead of developing them into independent self-feeders.
When I invite someone into discipleship training, I ask them for a two year commitment of their time. Jesus spent three years with His disciples and they were together pretty much 24/7. That is some intensive life-on-life training! My once per week table time with disciples is a pitiful investment by comparison.
Why is it so important that we develop self-feeders?
Jesus is the Bread of Life
“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” 
Disciple Makers today have a plethora of material resources at our disposal for training disciples. However, if we don’t model and teach them to feed themselves on a daily basis we have failed miserably!
Pray for Self-Feeders
The following list is borrowed from “The Lost Art of Disciple Making” by Leroy Eims.
Pray your disciples will long for the Word of God.
Pray Psalm 119:97
“Oh how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”
Prayer: O Lord, may (name of disciple) love your law and meditate on it daily.
Pray Psalm 119:29
“Thy testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul observes them.”
Prayer: Lord, may (name of disciple) consider Your Word wonderful and obey it fully.”
Pray Psalm 119:131
“I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Thy commandments.”
Prayer: May (name of disciple) have this kind of a desire for Your Word.
Pray Psalm 119:140
“Thy Word is very pure, therefore Thy servant loves it.”
Prayer: Lord, may (name of disciple) have a great love for Your Word.
Pray Psalm 119:148
“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may mediate on Thy Word.”
Prayer: May (name of disciple) look forward to nighttime so that (name of disciple) can meditate on Your Word as (name of disciple) goes to sleep.
Pray Psalm 119:162
“I rejoice at They Word, as one who finds great spoil.”
Prayer: O Lord, help (name of disciple) rejoice in Your Word constantly.
As you can see from this example, any verse from Psalm 119 can be transformed into a prayer for your disciple/s with regard to discovering a hunger and thirst for the Word of God on a daily basis.
Without learning to feed themselves on the Word of God, they will become wholly dependent upon you and others to feed them the pure meat of the Word. They will be crippled for the remainder of their life if they do not learn to feed themselves.
Right now I am imagining a starving person. We have all seen the images on our television or in magazines. The emaciation of a starving human being makes us want to look away, doesn’t it? The same goes for a disciple of Christ who has not disciplined themselves to feed on God’s Word on a daily basis. It is the same as going without nourishment of the body for days, weeks, months on end. It leads to death – spiritual death.
Start them on the righteous path – pray for them to be given a hunger for His Word that they will nourish themselves daily for the rest of their earthly life.
Model self-feeding for them. Share what you have feasted on during your time apart from one another and ask them to do the same.
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.