October 6: The Ordinary
1. What helps you the most when you are worried or afraid? What do you pray at those times?
2. Describe a time when you saw God in an ordinary moment. How did this experience bless you? How do you ensure that you are paying attention to the small ways that God is at work in your life?
3. Where do you notice God’s peace and healing most clearly? What keeps you connected to God during stressful circumstances?
4. When is it easy to overlook the ordinary blessings you receive each day? How can you remind yourself to look for the blessings in ordinary moments as well as extraordinary ones? How do you thank and praise God in the ordinary?
5. How can you show God’s love and peace to others in ordinary ways this week? How might you make the most of the ordinary moments God gives you?
October 13: Equipped
1. Describe a time when you were well equipped for a task. Describe a time when you were ill-equipped for a task. How did the outcomes differ? What did you learn from each?
2. What does it look like for you to be prepared for your life’s journey? What prayers and spiritual practices help to equip you?
3. Do you enjoy reading the Bible? What do you do when you read a part of the Bible that is confusing or hard to understand? If you could ask God one question about something you’ve read in the Bible, what would it be?
4. Who in scripture was well equipped? What do you most admire about those persons? How can you be more like them in your daily life?
5. Today’s writer says that meditating on God’s word can equip us for our life’s journey. What are some of the positive outcomes that meditating on God’s word can have in our lives?
October 20: The Telephone Tree
1. How has your church been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? What new ministries have come about as a result?
2. When have you felt dismayed at a situation only to find that good things came out of it? What does that teach you about yourself, about life, and about God?
3. How are you intentional about connecting with God and with others? How did you begin these practices? How have your relationships changed as a result?
4. What are some advantages of thinking about church as a community rather than a place? How does your church extend its reach beyond its building?
5. When do you find it most difficult to connect to God or to those around you? How do you respond when you feel isolated? What brings you back into connection?
October 27: A Genuine Faith
1. Talk about a time when what was on the outside of a place, of another person, or of yourself did not match what was on the inside. Why are outward appearances sometimes different from what’s on the inside? When is this okay? When is it not?
2. Recall a time when what you felt on the inside was not the same as what others saw on the outside. What helped you bring the two into closer alignment?
3. Do you find it comforting or unsettling to know that God sees your heart, thoughts, and desires? Why? How do you strive to align yourself with God’s will for you?
4. Why do you think we sometimes change our behavior when we know that others are watching us? When have you been surprised that someone was observing your actions?
5. Name the scripture passages, spiritual practices, and people that most encourage you to align your heart with your actions. How do they help? How does it feel when your heart and actions are aligned?
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”