Friday, May 20, 2016

Touching Base, Part 306

22 May 16 - TOUCHING BASE 306

Series - Discipleship - The Life of Being an Apprentice

Prayerfully Engaged

This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching in this series is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

“Personal prayer lives alone will not result in the working of God to the degree needed for spiritual transformation in our lives, our churches, our cities, or our nation. God in his sovereignty has determined that something happens when we pray together that transcends praying separately. His working increases exponentially.”

“I believe that private and corporate prayer are like two wings of an airplane. Which one would you rather do without? The absence of either would be fatal.“

And the Place was Shaken by John Franklin, page 5

Do you have both wings?

Or are you a one winged airplane?
Or even worse… a ‘no-winged’ airplane?

Many of us struggle to be prayerfully engaged. We can relate to what Tozer once wrote:

“I believe that much of our religious unbelief is due to a wrong conception of and a wrong feeling for the Scriptures of Truth. A silent God suddenly began to speak in a book and when the book was finished lapsed back into silence again forever. Now we read the book as a record of what God said when He was for a brief time in a speaking mood.
With notions like that in our heads how can we believe?

The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak.”

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Page 100

Do you believe that God speaks today?
Why/why not?

What might be holding you back from hearing God more clearly and regularly?

Jamie mentioned the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas that helped her figure out her spiritual pathway.
It’s a book he wrote to help people figure out the path God designed you to take that is marked by growth and fulfillment based on your unique temperament. He strips away the frustration of a one-size-fits-all spirituality and helps you discover a style of relating to God that frees you to be you.

Do you know and understand your spiritual pathway?
What does it look like for you to become more prayerfully engaged?

Below are some action steps that might help you become more prayerfully engaged.
In your group, talk about the successes and struggles you have/have had in the area of becoming more prayerfully engaged.

• Read and study God’s word.
His word is the plumb line. If we are engaged with His word we are less likely to stray.
Talk about how you are doing in this area of reading and studying God’s Word.

• Look back over your journey and think about the ways God has spoken to you in the past.
Maybe you are sitting here thinking God has never spoken to me…but that would be wrong to say that…if you have made Christ your Lord and Savior then you have heard His voice at least once.
• How did He speak to you in your conversion?
• What about in other significant times in your life?
Was it a whisper? An unexplained urge to go in a specific direction? Does your body respond in a physical way? Do you awaken in the middle of night?

• Pay attention to the ways He speaks to you in this season in your life.
Prayerful engagement is two-way communication.
Get tired of your own ‘wisdom’ and limited perspectives and ask God to show you His perspective.
• How does He speak to you when you feel convicted?
• How does He affirm you?
• How does alert you when He wants you to pray for someone?

• Create space and time for God to speak to you when you pray.
As you create this space….leave room for silence, read scripture prayerfully.
Expect God to speak when you read his Word, when you worship Him, when you need direction, when you need forgiveness.

• Engage in Spirit-led intercession
Ask God who to pray for, how to pray for them…
Does He just want you to pray…or does he have a word for that person, or a scripture verse to pray into for them, or it you are like me, is there a picture of how he wants you to see them which will help you pray?

• Journaling
What has been your experience with journaling?
Imagine what Bethel would be like if we all decided we wanted to lean in a little bit closer to hear His voice?

God longs to prayerfully engage with you and He waiting for you to connect with Him.
“God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak.”

Jamie Stinson

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