On The Road To Better (part 4): Stay Close

TO START:

How about you begin small group this week by practicing a spiritual discipline or act of worship? Sing a song, pray a prayer (perhaps one from the liturgical tradition like Wesley’s covenant prayer or The Lord’s Prayer), confess your sins, read a passage of scripture…

You might choose which one by having group members vote for their favorite way of drawing close to God.

 

DISCUSSION

What’s your earliest memory of worshiping God? What exactly do you remember? How did you feel in the moment?

What’s your favorite (or a favorite) memory of worshiping God? What were you doing? Where were you? Why do you think that memory is special to you?

What do you think worship accomplishes in you? Do you feel changed at all after having truly worshipped?

Consider the following acts of worship or spiritual disciplines. Read them aloud one by one. Raise your hand if that discipline or act has helped you look more like Jesus. Explain how. If we missed one, be sure to put it on the list.

Reading the Bible

Prayer

Fasting

Solitude

Memorizing scripture

Service

Confession

Singing

Silence

Communion

Holy Celebration

Sabbath-keeping

Giving

In his book You Are What You Love James K. A. Smith writes, “The practices of Christian worship train our love--they are practice for the coming kingdom, habituating us as citizens of the kingdom of God.”

  • What does he mean?
  • What habits does a citizen of the kingdom need?
  • What acts of worship/spiritual disciplines will we  engage in when Jesus comes back to reclaim us?

 

SCRIPTURE

Read I Corinthians 3:18

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

What does it look like practically speaking “to contemplate the Lord’s glory”? Give examples. How do you contemplate the Lord’s glory in your day to day life?

Why does contemplating the Lord’s glory result in our own transformation? Give an example from your own experience.

 

PRAYER

Pray this “Sevenfold Prayer of Transformation” from the Book of Common Prayer over your group:

Deliver them, Lord, from the way of sin and death.

Open their hearts to your grace and truth.

Fill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.

Keep them in the faith and communion of your

holy Church.

Teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.

Send them into the world in witness to your love.

Bring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.

You might also consider having each group member identify one area in which they’d like to grow and one spiritual discipline or act of worship that might enable that growth. Pray one by one for your members that they would enter into a habit of disciplined worship and by that discipline be transformed.

 

FOR FUN:

Watch this very funny video about raising hands in worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxbCtKfqwXY