August 4: A Big Little Prayer
1. Who has been a spiritual mentor for you? Name the most memorable lesson that they taught you. How has that lesson served you in your faith journey?
2. What do you think makes the prayer in today’s meditation a “big little prayer”? What is your big little prayer? When do you pray it? How does it help you?
3. Do you ever feel the need to pray long prayers or to say certain things in your prayers? Why or why not? Is there a time and place for different kinds of prayer? Do certain prayers help you more than others? Explain.
4. What scripture passages remind you of the importance of prayer and trusting God? Which biblical prayers stand out to you as examples of faithful prayer? What can you learn from them and apply to your prayer life?
5. What seeds of faith have you sowed recently? Name ways you have been intentional about sharing your faith with others. What role does prayer play when you are sharing your faith with others?
August 11: In the Silence
1. When have you needed to comfort someone but felt unsure of how to do so? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome? What did you learn?
2. When you see someone in crisis, what is your response? Do you feel an instinct to shy away? How do you draw near and remain present with them? In what ways do you offer them God’s love and comfort? In what ways is your response different depending on how well you know the person?
3. Are you encouraged to know that you can join God in bringing comfort to others, without having certain words or acting a certain way? How have you found this to be true in your life? Where in scripture do we see examples of this?
4. Do you agree that God often speaks most powerfully through silence? How do you hear God in silence? In what ways do you hear God speaking through others? How do you hope God speaks through you?
5. When do you feel most connected to God? When do you feel most connected to others? What shared experiences draw you closer to other people? What draws you closer to people outside your immediate community?
August 18: The Best Path
1. Recall a time when you felt that you knew the right thing to do and tried to force your way. Did you get your way? Was the outcome what you hoped for? What did you learn?
2. Do you think it is good to be independent and confident? Do you feel that you can be too independent and confident? How do you know when to be independent and confident and when to ask God for guidance? Are these mutually exclusive?
3. Does God’s loving guidance ever frustrate you? How do you react when God guides you in a direction you were not hoping to go? What prayers, Bible passages, or spiritual practices help you to accept God’s direction in your life?
4. Who in your life helps you to remember God’s presence and to follow God’s paths? Name some biblical characters who are good examples of following God’s guidance. In what ways do you strive to help others who may be struggling to accept God’s guidance?
5. How does your church discern and follow God’s guidance? How does your church community encourage you to follow God’s guidance? In what ways could it be more encouraging?
August 25: Giving Back
1. When you are going through difficult times, what are your prayers like? When you cry out to God, how does God respond?
2. What obstacles do you face when trying to find Christian community? How do you overcome those obstacles to find community? In what ways is your faith enriched by fellowship with other Christians?
3. Do you find tithing difficult? Do you think that it is important that we tithe? Why or why not? Are there ways to tithe other than giving money? Explain.
4. How do you give back to God? In what ways do you express your gratitude for God’s blessings and grace? What Bible passages remind you of the importance of giving back to God joyfully and willingly?
5. To whom can you extend God’s love and grace today? How can you give to others from what God has given you? In what ways can you better use your blessings to God’s glory?