Devotional March 6, 2016

Week of March 6, 2016

 

“When”

The Practice of Aspiration, Exasperation and Desperation:  Surviving through Delay

Monday: There are seasons in our life when God seems absent.  We pray, but the experience of God’s presence seems delayed.  We long and thirst for God.  Psalm 42 is a psalm for surviving during this difficult season of faith.

 

Read Psalm 42

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Are you in touch with your deepest longings for God?  How do you express those longings?

2. Do you sometimes substitute something else for God?  If so, what?

 

Prayer Focus

Pray a prayer of aspiration – that is, an intense persistent prayer of desire to have more of God in your life

 

Tuesday:  Psalm 43 is a continuation of Psalm 42.  The psalmist clings to God if only by the thread of longing.  There are times in our lives when we must wait for the Lord.  This time of delay can be very challenging, but we stay connected and wait.

 

Read Psalm 43

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What from Psalm 43 (and 42) might help you face seasons of spiritual dryness in your life?

2. How can seasons of dryness develop hope in your life?

 

Prayer Focus

Paraphrase and personalize Psalm 42 and 43.

 

Wednesday: Psalm 38 is another Psalm of longing that arises out of the psalmists struggle with disease and sin.

 

Read Psalm 38:9-16

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. When was the last time you prayed a desperate prayer?

2. Do you retreat from God when you are struggling or do you seek God more passionately?

 

Prayer Focus

Try to pray from your “gut” and not your head.  Express yourself passionately to God.

 

Thursday: Paul speaks about a different kind of longing in today’s passage.  It is a longing for what God has promised in the Spirit.

 

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-5

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. How can yearning for your heavenly dwelling help you live better today?  In other words, what is the relationship between future hope and current life and action?

 

Prayer Focus

Pray a prayer that expresses your longing for your heavenly dwelling.

 

Friday:  Might our groaning and longing be a part of Creation’s labor pains? Notice how Paul interprets the suffering of the present time.

 

Read Romans 8:18-25

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. How do you interpret your suffering and hardships?

2. What insight might this passage bring you?

 

Prayer Focus

Imagine what the fulfillment of God’s purpose and plan for

creation looks like.  Pray a prayer of yearning for that fulfillment.

Small Group Format

Welcome

Introductions/getting acquainted

Mutual Invitation question: What is the food you crave the most?

 

Opening Prayer

 

Song (optional)

 

Reflection on the weekly Scripture readings

Have someone read Psalm 42:1-6

Discuss observations about the text

What word or phrase strikes you the most?

What do you think is the most important point of the text?

 

Summarize the Sunday message and its connection to this text

 

Use some of the daily questions for discussion in the devotional.

 

Choose another day to read a different text and discuss the questions

 

Share your faith (in groups of 3)

How have you experienced God recently in your life?

(this will be a weekly question – it may be difficult to answer at first, but if you ask it each week, you may start to notice God more in your life)

 

Pray for each other

 

Refreshments (optional)

 

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Sun, 03/06/2016 - 09:30