08.11.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 11: Separation”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are alone? Why?
Before you begin, take time to talk about your history with prayer. What is it? What were you taught about it? How do you practice it today (if you do)?
How would you define the purpose of prayer?
Next, read Luke 11:1-5.
First, notice that prayer is something that we must be taught how to do.
Do you often think of prayer as something that you need someone to teach you how to do?
Next – take time to unpack each part of the Lord’s Prayer. In particular, notice that Jesus tells his disciples to reflect daily on:
- God as our Father
- God as Holy
- God’s Kingdom being built in our world
- God’s generous gift of everything in our life
- Trust in the midst of suffering
Which of these stands out to you the most?
Do your prayers incorporate deep reflections on each of these things?
Which of these do you think you might need to add to your daily reflections/prayers? Why?
Next – a central part of this prayer is making us more aware of the competing Kingdoms in our lives that aren’t God’s Kingdom – so we can seek to take part in God’s Kingdom more deeply.
What sorts of other Kingdoms fight for our loyalties (for example: our work, American Dream, shame, etc.)?
What do you feel often pulls you away from focusing on & following God in your daily life? How does prayer help us deal with that in our lives?
Finally, take time reflecting on the idea that prayer is meant to change us by bringing us into contact with God in the present moment.
How does this impact your understanding of prayer? What might this look like in practice?
Getting Out of the Hole
Continue reflecting on what you are working to change & grow in during this season (see: Going Deeper for Control for context). This week, take time to practice centering prayer for 5 to 10 minutes every morning this week.
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Get quiet and breathe.
Step 2: Identify a single word you tie to God’s presence or your awareness of Him (ex: peace,
Step 3: Sit, breathe, & follow your breath. On the exhale, say the word and then follow your breath again. Try to listen and rest in God’s Presence
Step 4: Each time your mind wanders – return to your and your word. Acknowledge the thought without judgment, and let it go – breathing it out with your next breath. Return to focusing on God’s presence.
Journal about how this prayer practice makes you feel this week. Share your experience with your group next week.
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun
The Naked Now by Richard Rohr
New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, August 18: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing Self-centeredness & Messenger.