Jesus invites us to enjoy a deep relationship with him. We nourish this relationship by spending talking with him and meditating on his Word. This short guide offers a simple way of spending time with Jesus either as a group or individually.
To get the most out of your study time follow these three easy steps: prepare, read, and respond.
*All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
Give yourself at least an hour with God to fully enjoy his presence. The more time we spend with him, the more time his Spirit has to speak truth to our hearts. Before turning to a passage of Scripture, take time to be quiet before the Lord, inviting him to speak to you through his Word and his Spirit.
Trusting the Spirit to guide you, read the selected passage several times, slowly, while reflecting on the following four questions. Let the answers to these questions nourish your meditation and prayer time. If you are in a group, offer your reflections to God one at a time, in short sentences, so that you can all add to one another's thoughts as you pray through the passage. If you are alone, write out your prayers in a journal or express them out loud to God as a way of focusing your thoughts.
Use the four questions below to work through the passage.
1. What does this passage say about God (the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit)?
Answers to this question can guide our time of contemplation and adoration — disciplines that are an essential part of walking in the Spirit. By reflecting on God's perfect beauty and by expressing all the love and joy he awakens in us, we grow in our desire to become more and more like Jesus.
2. What does this passage say about what God has done for us (declarations and promises)?
This question helps us think through the magnificence of what God has accomplished for us in history and especially through his Son, Jesus. Then we can offer thanks to God individually or as a group for all he has done.
3. According to this passage, what does God enable us to do through the power of his Spirit within us (instructions and commandments)?
Answers to this question can direct our time of confession and of prayer for one another. It is essential to remember that God does never wants us to serve him in our own strength. Rather, he wants us to trust his Spirit within us for the power to follow him in faithful obedience.
4. How does this passage guide my prayer for people who do not know Jesus? (What truths from this passage do I want them to discover about him and about the Christian life?)
This question helps direct our time of prayer for the mission of the Church and helps us discover the richness of the message of Christ and its relevance for those around us. This helps prepare us to witness in a heartfelt way when God offers us opportunities.
Conclude your study time with prayer
Thank God for the specific truths you discovered, and commit to start applying what you have learned to your life, trusting in his power at work within you to do so (Ephesians 3.16-21).
By using this guide each day in your quiet time as well as in your times of group prayer, you will grow in your relationship with Christ and will discover more and more the abundant life he offers.