August 5: The Delight of Prayer
1. If you have ever been part of a prayer chain, describe your experience. How did you see prayer working in your life and in the lives of others? How is praying as part of a group different from praying alone?
2. When have you felt distant from other Christians? What helped you reconnect with your Christian community?
3. What does it mean to you to “pray scripture” like today’s writer does? How do you prefer to pray? Describe how your prayer practice enriches your prayer life.
4. What sort of prayer outreach ministry does your church offer? How can you engage more fully with it? What new prayer ministry would you like your church to start?
5. Name some people in the Bible who remind you of the importance of prayer. What do you most admire about how these people prayed? How can you follow their examples?
August 12: Waiting
1. Do you dislike waiting as much as today’s writer? When has waiting been especially difficult for you? What does it mean to be “open as we wait”?
2. Describe a time when you had to adjust your attitude. What changes did you notice in yourself and your situation after the adjustment? How do you stay mindful of your attitude?
3. Does it ever feel like waiting on God is a waste of time? Why or why not? What scripture passages comfort you and remind you that God is always at work in your life? Why do these passages bring you comfort?
4. What does it look like for God to renew your strength? How do other Christians help to restore your strength? How can you help strengthen others when they are struggling?
5. In what ways can waiting patiently change your life? How can it change your church? How might it change the world? Name ways you can embrace waiting and encourage others to do so.
August 19: Investing in Others
1. Describe a time when you were invited to participate in something you didn’t want to do. How did you respond? In what ways did your choice affect your relationships with others?
2. How do you feel toward someone when they take an interest in what interests you? How do you feel when someone shows no interest in what interests you? What do your reactions in these situations teach you about how you want to treat others?
3. What does it mean to invest in the lives of others? What spiritual practices help you make space for others in your heart and mind? How does investing in others enable you to share the love of Christ with them?
4. Name a story in the Bible that shows you what it means to embrace the lives of others. How can you apply that example to your life and the way you invest in others?
5. Who in your life serves as an example of investing in others? In what ways does this person enrich your life? How can you tell them how much you admire them and their example?
August 26: Cycle of Love
1. When your mind is filled with condemning thoughts, how do you change your perspective? What practices, prayers, or people help you remember to fill your mind with loving thoughts?
2. Have you ever felt unable to love others in the way you would like? What do you think prevents you from loving others? What might help you love others when you are struggling to?
3. In what ways does it comfort you to know that God loves you unconditionally? How does staying mindful of God’s love change the way you love yourself and others?
4. How can you encourage someone and show them God’s unconditional love? What prayers, scripture passages, words of encouragement, or companionship can you offer someone who needs God’s love?
5. Name some Bible verses that remind you of the importance of love, forgiveness, grace, hope, peace, and joy. How can you incorporate these verses into your spiritual life? What practices can help you remember God’s love for you?
While several strategies for reopening the world are being discussed, I encourage you—the people of God everywhere—to allow this season to be a formative one during which you can make new discoveries about God and increase your faith. Use this time to embark on a life of prayer, a life of study, and a life of action—involvement in the community.”