Lessons in Prayer from the Bible’s Leading Characters
1 of 6 - Moses, a Friend of God
Small Group Discussion
Can you think of some funny prayers you’ve heard kids pray?
When last were your prayers answered?
How do you give thanks when your prayers are answered?
How do you feel about unanswered prayers?
1 - Paying Attention
Read Exodus 3:1-4 and then reflect on these words from Without Words by Frederick Beuchner:
“You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you’ve never seen before. A pair of somebody’s old shoes can do it…. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention. They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next.”
Do you notice the ‘burning bushes’ that God sends your way?
2 - Honest Conversation
Read Exodus 4:10-13 and Matthew 21:28-31
Do you think it is OK to say no to God?
How might saying no to God help you to be more obedient?
3 - Pray for those
who Persecute You
Read Numbers 14:17-19 and Numbers 14:10
How do you feel when people express their dislike or contempt for you?
What happens when you pray for them?
4 - Listen
Read Exodus 24:15-18
How many days and nights did Moses spend on the mountain?
If Moses had not spent that time listening we wouldn’t have received the law.
How can you cultivate the habit of listening more and talking less?
Set two times a day for prayer.
Spend one of those set times listening. Read some scripture. Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Ask God to help you understand what that scripture means for you.
Set the other time for your prayers of intercession.
Before you come to church next week, or before you go to Bible Study. Take a moment to pray - ask God to help you listen for his voice. And to love the people you meet.
Further Exercises to Grow in Friendship with God (from Friendship with God: how God's offer of intimate relationship can change your life, by Trevor Hudson).
Speak with the Lord about one particular situation going on in your life at the moment. Then stop talking, be quiet for a while and ask yourself, (In the light of what I have come to know about God in the Bible, through the teachings of Jesus in the gospels, through what I have learnt in my faith community and through my own experience of the Divine Friendship over the years, what do I think God might be saying to me about this situation?' You can write this down and think about it a bit more, or speak about it with someone you trust.
Seeing our workplace as mission field:
Each day this week as you do your mission trip to work, see yourself invited to make Gods dream more real. Throughout the day invite God into each activity you do. One of the best descriptions of prayer I know of is 'talking with God about what we are doing together'. Make a note of the effects of doing this as you go through your day. Observe what happens in your relationships, in the way you do your work and in the outcomes of your efforts. Bringing our praying and our daily work together in this way helps us to go through the day aware of God's presence with and around us. The results can be supernatural in their effects.
Sharing God's dream:
What have been some of your own personal experiences of pain? How do they connect with the experiences of those around you? What 'human cry' in your community do you hear the loudest? What are your own special gifts and how could you use them to make God's dream become a reality in your local community? As you talk about these responses with your Divine Friend, are there any clues as to what your little piece of God’s dream might be?