Lessons in Prayer from the Bible’s Leading Characters

2 of 6, Elijah, someone just like us


Small Group Discussion

Welcome

Describe your mid-life crisis:

Motorbike?  Speed boat?  New hair style?

Worship

How has God ‘lifted you’ when you were down in the dumps?

Read Psalm 13 and allow God’s word to lead you into a time of honest prayer.  

Word

How did God speak to you during worship on Sunday?

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18:

The angel did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable; he told Elijah to do the most ordinary thing, to get up and eat.

Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God’s creation, but whenever God comes, the inspiration is to do the most natural simple things—the things we would never have imagined God was in, and as we do them we find He is there

Work

Who can you serve as an ‘angel of the Lord’ to someone who is alone, exhausted and depressed?

How can this group pray for you?

Homework

How can you plan some time of solitude away from the things that distress you? You might not need to travel forty days and forty nights. But can you find a day?

Consider calenderising the “Quiet Day” with Rev. David Newton at Durbanville Methodist Church, (24th March, 09:00-12:00)

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).

Fears

Trevor Hudson describes fears we often don’t talk about, including:

Fear of knowing ourselves.

Fear of being vulnerable.

Fear of the Cry of the Poor, the Suffering and the Desperate.

Fear of God.

He then recommends the following exercise:

If the above list of fears drew your attention to some fears of your own, won't you take time to acknowledge them? Don’t avoid them. Face them honestly, and name them for what they are. Remember that it is so often the things we refuse to face that have the greatest potential to tyrannise us. As psychologist David Benner points out, 'To deny the reality of fears is not to know ourselves, and then we risk becoming possessed by that which we refuse to face.’

Of course, if it had been easy to do this, we would probably have done it already. What makes the difference now? What helps us to acknowledge our fears is to know that we are not doing this alone. We are doing this as God's beloved friends. When we face our fears, in the knowledge that we are loved, accepted and forgiven by God in Jesus Christ, their hold on us is reduced. We also know from the disciples in the boat that acknowledging our fears can open our lives to the miracles of God's loving care. In the letter John wrote, he explains what happens when our lives are soaked with the perfect love of God: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.