Reflection Guide: A People of Prayer

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KEY POINTS FROM SERMON:

  • We are immersed in a culture of distraction. One prominent example of this is how our smartphones have invaded every area of our life. When the boredom, pain, and stress of life hit, we are quick to escape into our devices. If not our devices, we will find something else to busy our minds. Our entire life can easily drift into a distraction from God’s presence and power.
  • Our vulnerability to distraction is symptomatic of the deeper issues of our heart. We were made to converse and commune with God and yet we sense something is off. Our shame and guilt keep God at a distance. Rather than seeking God, we have all sought to run from him and distract ourselves from this dysfunction.
  • There was a tension, a rift between us and God but the Gospel tells us we don’t have to run away, distract ourselves from our pain and frailty. By faith in Jesus, we freely receive God’s loving presence restored in us. We can trust his loving presence and power to meet our needs, even to raise us from the ultimate enemy, death.
  • Prayer, an ongoing communion, and conversation with God, only makes sense if we trust what the Gospel tells us. Because of Christ work on our behalf, God is now lovingly present and powerful with us. He is near, he is listening, and he has offered his help to his children. Being a people of prayer doesn’t mean we are simply religious and speak impressively to God. It means we are learning to live our lives trusting in that God is intimately near, constantly present and powerful. We are no longer empty but filled, not alone but accompanied in all things, not cast off but brought near, not estranged but beloved, not numb but alive. And when we drift away from home, prayer brings us back into the reality of God’s presence.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for you; my body faints for you in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. My lips will glorify you because your faithful love is better than life. So I will bless you as long as I live; at your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise you with joyful lips. When I think of you as I lie on my bed, I meditate on you during the night watches 7 because you are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings. I follow close to you; your right hand holds on to me. Psalm 63:1-8 (CSB)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is your current relationship with your smartphone? Are you aware of how your interaction with it is shaping you?
  2. What other distractions can you identify in your life? What are some of the distractions that keep you from spending time in prayer (both praying along the way and set aside times)? How might God be leading you to give focused attention to prayer within the limits of your current stage of life?
  3. Read John 14:18–26. How does the Gospel give us a foundation for a life of prayer?
  4. What areas or scenarios in your life do you find yourself most easily forgetting God’s presence and power? How might the Spirit be inviting you to grow in this?

PRACTICE - Cultivate prayer this week by putting away one distraction (iPhone, Entertainment, CNN, Talk radio, etc.) in order to better listen to God in prayer.