SHARE about your experiences in prayer since your last meeting. Discuss how God met with you through the prayer exercises and through His Word. Remember, by the end of this module, the goal is to establish a prayer rhythm that fits the disciple’s personality and schedule. Use the questions below as discussion starters if needed:
For the Disciple:
1. How did you feel about your experience with prayer? Were you comfortable? Was it confusing?
2. What worked well with your prayer time? What did you like that you would do again?
3. What didn’t work well with your prayer time? What would you like to change or try next time?
4. Where did you go for your prayer space(s)? What time(s) of day did you pray?
5. What questions do you still have about prayer?
1. What worked well for you in your daily and weekly prayer practices?
2. What’s something you, personally, would like to change or try next time for your prayer times?
3. What suggestions do you have for your disciple as they experiment with more prayer practices?
For the Discipler:
TO CLOSE: Spend time in prayer for each other. Share prayer requests—things you would like to see God work in—with one another. Prayer requests can be about big things, like a new job opportunity or for a loved one to heal from sickness, or little things, like for God to relieve you from a throbbing headache. They can be about you, friends, co-workers, or even entire countries. Cover each person’s requests in prayer, with one person going first, and the other following. Consider making this a regular way to close your discipleship meetings.
ASSIGNMENT: Spend next week practicing a new set of prayer practices: Contemplative Prayer. These practices will help the disciple slow his or her mind down to be with God in silence, solitude, and stillness. Contemplative prayers are not so much about talking to God as they are about listening to God and sitting in his presence.
Introduction to Contemplative Prayer Practices
By Jake Thurston
Prayer isn’t just talking to God; it’s hearing from him, too. But how can we actually hear from God? Believe it or not, God is speaking to us all the time. We just need to slow down enough to hear what he’s saying.
This is the purpose of contemplative prayer. Contemplation is simply being present with God and filling our minds with him. However, it’s often not as simple as it may sound. To practice contemplative prayer, it begins by getting in the right posture to be with God. This includes removing the distractions and noise of everyday life, slowing down our activity, and getting by ourselves away from crowds and others’ expectations. We do these things in contemplative prayer all so we can better soak up God’s presence. Think of it like turning off your phone and television so you can have a good heart-to-heart conversation with a friend over coffee.
There’s not a lot of talking in contemplative prayer—but there is a lot of sitting with God. Because there isn’t a lot of activity that goes into contemplative prayer, these practices can feel pretty uncomfortable at first. In fact, contemplation is a lot easier said than done! These prayer practices reveal just how distracted and chaotic our normal every day lives can be. Contemplation gives our souls the space to unplug from the world a bit and rest in God.
On the next slide are are some key exercises to try when you’re practicing contemplative prayer this week. Try a single exercise per day, or experiment with a combination of exercises. Try different places, times of day, and lengths of time. Whatever you do, keep it simple and make it your own. Write down what you do and any insights you learn along the way.