Week Two Guide for Groups
Gather together as a community. Open with some time for connecting and socializing, then leave about 45 minutes to an hour for the time of practice and discussion.
Discuss This Week's Practices
If you are in a community of ten or more, consider dividing into smaller groups. Spend a few minutes catching up on life, then talk through the following questions:
- Have you tried either of the practices from this week (Solitude & Silence or Scripture Meditation)? What was it like for you?
- Have you found practicing Solitude & Silence to be difficult in your life? What are some challenges to embracing silence and spending time alone with God in your life?
- What has your relationship to the Bible been throughout different seasons in your life? Have you ever considered meditating on scripture, or do you typically read the Bible in a different way? If so, how?
Practice Prayer Together
After your discussion, spend some time practicing prayer together. To build on our practice of "Solitude & Silence," here is a form of silent prayer to try together as a group now.
1) Start by inviting everyone into a comfortable position. Set aside anything that could distract you from this focused time of prayer – phones or plates of food for example. Have great respect for how challenging it can be to be fully present - only here, only now, and for the sake of this prayerful practice you will do together. Be patient. Let people have the time they need to get settled.
2) Open with a spoken prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help guide this time of practice. Something like this: “Holy Spirit, we seek to make ourselves completely available to you. Father and Son and Holy Spirit, we want this designated amount of time to be governed completely by what You want for us as a group, and more hiddenly, to each of us in particular. Give us the Light we need to see, and in seeing, to understand. Holy Spirit, guide us now as we pray...”
3) Invite everyone to focus their attention on God's presence and get comfortable in the silence. Be reminded that God is closer than the air that we breathe. Embrace a posture of openness toward God. Try to allow any distractions to become opportunities to return to God, who welcomes you with open arms. Remember that the heart of this prayer practice is communion with God. “In silence, you leave the many to be with the One” – Maggie Gobran.
3) Leaving 15-30 seconds of silent space between each movement, guide the group through the following prompts to help center the silence. Consider repeating the entire group of movements from the beginning two or three times total.
– First, silence your body to listen to your words.
– Then, silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts.
– Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating.
– Silence your heart to listen to your spirit.
– Silence your spirit to listen to God’s Spirit.
– Sit in this silence, listening to God’s Spirit, for a few minutes.
– Close in prayer.
After the time of practice, consider using these prompts for a brief discussion.
- How was that time of practice for you? Was it challenging, boring, difficult, meaningful, etc?
- How do you see yourself engaging with the practices the rest of this week?
- How can we be praying for you this week?