Listen to the Spirit… adapt as needed…
stay longer where you are drawn…
“…I consider Jesus Christ our Lord and his call. If a human leader can have an appeal to us, how much greater is the attraction of the God-Man, Jesus Christ…Jesus’ call goes out to all people, yet he specially calls each person in a particular and unique way. He makes this kind of appeal: ‘It is my will to win over the whole world, to overcome evil with good, to turn hatred aside with love, to conquer all the forces of death – whatever obstacles there are that block the sharing of life between God and humankind. Whoever wishes to join me in this mission must be willing to labor with me, and so by following me in struggle and suffering may share with me in glory.’” – Spiritual Exercises #95
Suggested Song: “Your Love is Strong“ (Jon Foreman)
Grace to seek/ask: For a deeper heart-felt knowledge of God’s desires for the world and Jesus’ response to this dream…
Mark 1:14-15 – “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”
Luke 4:18-19 – “…The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord…”
Luke 4:42-44 – “…But he said to them, ‘To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent’…”
Matthew 6:5-15 – “… This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven’…”
Since the last time we’ve met, what has given you life or drawn you closer to God? In particular, what may have been your experience of praying with Jesus’ baptism?…Consider sharing using the questions below…(If helpful, explain that this process of looking back on one’s time of prayer is called a “review of prayer.” It is described in one of tonight’s handouts: “Review of Prayer”.)
- What feelings, movements, or insights did I notice stirring within me?
- How were God and I present to or absent from each other? Did I feel close to or withdrawn from God?
- Where might I be invited to listen deeper?
- Did I listen from my heart or lead from my head?
- Was the environment or my posture helpful to prayer? What changes can I make next time that would be more conducive to prayer?
After listening to the Jon Foreman song “Your Love is Strong,” pray the Our Father together as a group, prayerfully and slowly.
Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
Continue the focus of the meeting with this handout (“Jesus & the Kingdom”).
Listening and Sharing
- Jesus aligns His mission with the desire of the Father. Do I recognize this desire in myself?
- Do I see myself as participating in God’s kingdom? How so?
- In my life’s journey today, am I pursuing God’s dream for my life or my own?
These are questions that allow community members to listen to and share about what is moving within them after the focus exercise. Specific questions about the focus exercise can be included here, but facilitators may choose to approach it differently such as with more open ended questions.
- What has struck you as you have been listening to others share? Do you notice any patterns or similarities?
- How have you been feeling throughout the meeting? Comfortable? Anxious? Curious?
- Is there anything you would like to share after listening to another person share?
- What is remaining with you? What do you hope to return to in prayer at another point in the week?
Thank you to those who hosted the meeting. Thank you everyone for being present and participating. Let us remember and lift-up one another in prayer, especially for any special intentions which may have surfaced through our conversation tonight.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.