March 6: Ash Wednesday
1. When was the last time you had no idea what to do? What emotions did you feel? How did you deal with those feelings?
2. When you are overwhelmed or don’t know what to do, to whom do you turn? What support does this person offer you?
3. Is it easy or difficult for you to pray and seek God’s help when you feel lost or overwhelmed? What prayers or spiritual practices help ground you in your faith during these times?
4. In addition to Paul and Silas, what other people in the Bible show you how to move forward when there seems to be no way out? Which of these stories is most helpful to you? Why?
5. How does your church help people praise God during challenging times? What kinds of services, ministries, or practices does your community offer to support people who are in distress? Are there other ways you could imagine doing this?
March 13: God Is Calling
1. Have you ever felt called by God to some particular work or ministry? If not, do you know others who have felt such a call? How did you or someone else recognize the call as coming from God? How did you or someone else respond?
2. How do you define ministry? Where does ministry take place? Who is called to ministry? Give some examples of ministry.
3. What kinds of ministry do you feel most suited for? How are you currently using your gifts and talents in ministry? What other forms of ministry would you like to explore?
4. Who has helped you to recognize your God-given talents and abilities? What did this person see in you that you did not see in yourself? In what ways did this person encourage you to use your talents?
5. How does your church help people listen to God’s call? What prayers, practices, or groups help people in your community discern God’s will for their lives?
March 20: Making a Difference
1. Recall a time when you were encouraged by someone you did not know well. What did you learn? What surprised you about this experience? What encouraged or uplifted you?
2. Margaret writes that she is “constantly struck by the presence of God in the lives of the people” on her bus. In what situations are you struck by the presence of God? Who embodies God’s presence for you through their actions?
3. Do you think it is necessary to do great deeds in order to make a significant difference in the world? Give an example or tell a story to support your answer.
4. What scripture passage comes to mind when you read today’s meditation? How does Margaret’s story give you deeper insight into this passage of scripture?
5. Where do you see kindness making a difference in your community? How can you participate in showing kindness to the people you will encounter this week?
March 27: Honesty in Prayer
1. Do you find Psalm 139 to be comforting or unsettling? Which verses are most meaningful to you? Which verses are most challenging? Explain.
2. How do you pray? Do you pray at a specific time of day, in a specific place, using specific words? How does the way you pray reflect your relationship with God?
3. Have you ever prayed in a certain way because you thought it was what you were supposed to say or because you thought it was what God wanted to hear? Did praying this way make a difference in your situation?
4. What prayer practices help you to be open and honest with God? What other form of prayer would you like to explore?
5. How does your church teach people to pray? Who is invited to pray during worship? What words are used? Are prayers written out ahead of time or lifted in the moment? What do you appreciate about your church’s traditions of prayer?
Joining friends at The Upper Room in morning prayer on Facebook Live has been an anchor in the storm during recent weeks. In the chaos of trying to figure out how to do ministry in strange and uncertain times, it was a compelling call to stop, breathe, listen, and be in community with those who gather "where the world meets to pray." Join us each day for morning prayer.