God & Sex: Sex & Your Body (09.02.19)
Since this last Sunday’s teaching focused on the human body, this material will invite you to engage prayer and reflection more physically than we typically do. Enjoy, take note of if your group responds well to these kind of somatic (i.e. engaging the body) prompts, and let us know what you think at email@example.com.
Opening Silence: Breath Counting
As a tool for slowing down into silence with God after a busy day, breath-counting prayer is remarkably helpful and has Scriptural ties. The Hebrew name for the Spirit of God is Ruach Elohim (see Genesis 1:2). Ruach translates to “spirit,” “wind,” and “breath.” The language of Scripture invites us to connect our breath with the Ruach Elohim — the Spirit, the Breath of God — especially when we consider Genesis 2:7. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Remember this Biblical framework when practicing breath-counting prayer.
Breath counting is as simple as it sounds. For three minutes, simply count your slow breaths, restarting the count each time you reach ten. Let focusing on these breaths slow and still your mind and open your heart to God. When an important impression strikes you, follow that in prayer. If nothing strikes you, simply continue your breathing prayer and remember the presence of God with you.
Hearing & Responding to Scripture
Slowly read through this week’s core sermon scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.
Discuss with a partner or group:
- What stood out or surprised you in this Scripture?
- What do you think it practically means for the body to be a temple for the Holy Spirit? If God’s people embodied this truth, what do you think we would see in our church or in the renewal of our city?
- What tends to get in the way of honoring the body as belonging to the Lord? How would you like to try creatively honoring your own body or the bodies of others in a new way so that it honors God?
Prayer of Examen: Body Focused
Prayerfully reflect about your life in the last day or week for 5-15 minutes. Consider journaling in a notebook or on your phone if it will help you focus.
- Begin by taking a few more deep breaths and remembering the way our Creator breathed life into you.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to His working presence in your life today.
- Recount your day or week by looking for God’s goodness in the simple, mundane things— especially focusing on your the actions of your physical body. What have you seen, tasted, touched, smelled, and heard?
- Look for times when you were aware of God as well as times when you were distracted or unaware of Him — or even resistant to Him.
- In times you were aware of God, what does the Lord want you to know? In times when you were unaware or resistant to Him, in what ways is God inviting you to express sorrow for sin, ask for forgiveness, and turn toward him?
- Pray for the grace to be more fully available to God, who loves you totally.
- For the last couple minutes, transition to wordless, silent contemplation, resting in God’s presence, enjoying God, and abiding in Christ’s presence.
Take some time to share what you experienced in this examen with a partner or your group.
Intercede in prayer for one another, for those you know who need prayer, and for God’s will to be done in our city.