The Empowering Presence: Who Is the Holy Spirit? (Week of 09.30.18)
By: Reality SF
Opening Prayer and Silence
Open in prayer and the sit together in 5 minutes of silent gratitude and adoration of Jesus.
If you live in this last Sunday’s spotlighted neighborhood, please consider going on a quick, 10-minute prayer walk in your neighborhood. Listen for the Spirit’s guidance and intercede in agreement for your community.
Prayer and the Holy Spirit
Read Luke 11:9-13 and discuss:
- What surprises you or interests you about this Scripture?
- What is the connection between prayer and the gift of the Holy Spirit?
- In Matthew 6:8, Jesus tells us that the “Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Yet here in Luke, He tells us to ask anyway. Why do you think that is?
- Have you ever prayed really fervently for something and received it — or prayed and not received it? How has that affected your prayer life?
Listening for the Holy Spirit
Let’s open to the Spirit’s presence with us by taking a posture with our bodies that welcomes the Spirit into our hearts. This could be bowing your head, sitting up straight with open shoulders, opening your hands, or any other position that feels right to you.
Set a timer for 3 minutes and have the group reflect silently on the week. Ask the Holy Spirit to be your Helper and Comforter by revealing to you:
- The strongest emotion you felt in the past week
- The most common emotion you felt in the past week
- The emotion that you believe best describes your current spiritual life
Split up into pairs and share with your partner the three emotions that came up for you in this time. Resist the desire to explain the stories behind them, the why, or how.
After sharing, sit in prayerful silence for another 5 minutes, holding before God your brother or sister in Christ and what they shared. Ask the Holy Spirit: what do you want this person to know about your compassionate and gracious love for them? What do you want this person to know about your redemptive vision for their life? Listen and pay attention to any Scriptures, images, words, or phrases that come to mind.
(Try to avoid having expectations going into this time, and avoid the need to understand whatever comes up in you. Just notice what surfaces as you sit silently and prayerfully with your brother or sister on your heart.)
At the end of the 5 minutes, courageously share with your partner what you believe you received from the Holy Spirit, using tentative language such as “I got the impression that…” rather than saying “The Lord told me to tell you…,” which allows us to operate in humility as we discern. Lastly, pray over each other with love.
With your remaining time, return to the larger group and share with each other any noteworthy experiences or thoughts.
Close your time with a unity prayer (“Lord, hear our…”). Invite members of the group to lift to God what was collectively heard over the course of the evening.