Intimacy with God
Read this overview
The Sabbath isn’t just a day for rest, it’s a day for worship. The end goal isn’t just to take a nap in a hammock or sleep in or finish that novel, although those are all great things to do on the sabbath. But the ultimate goal is to intentionally pursue intimacy with God in a way that lasts beyond the sabbath, and centers you all week long.
Begin with silence and prayer (5 minutes)
Gather together as a community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Say a quick prayer to invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together. Then spend a few minutes in silence. Why silence? Because we live in a busy, noisy world, under a non-stop assault of distraction. In the midst of all the chaos, it’s hard at times to hear the voice of God, and that of our brothers and sisters. As we gather together as a family, we want to hear what the Father is saying to and through each of us, and respond in turn. A great way to do that is to begin each time with silence and prayer.
Debrief last week’s practice in small groups (10–15 minutes)
If you are in a community of seven or more, divide into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender). Spend a few minutes catching up on life...
Then talk about the following debrief questions from last week’s practice:
- How did it go?
- What did preparation look like for you?
- Were you able to turn off your phone? What was that like? · What was the best part?
- What was the hardest part?
- How did it effect the following week?
Open to the Bible together (10 minutes)
Have somebody read Hebrew 4v1 and 9–11
Talk about the following questions:
What is the “rest” that Hebrews is talking about? Is it limited to the sabbath, or broader in scope?
What does it look like to “make every effort to enter that rest”? Does that sound like a contradiction? If not, why not?
Talk about the coming week’s practice as a community (10–15 minutes)
Practice for the coming week:
• Devote the entire day to intimacy with God
- Start the sabbath by reading a Psalm and prayer
- In the morning, set aside a good chunk of time to read Scripture, pray, listen to God, and just be with God
- If you have a family, set aside a time during the day to read and pray as a family (A Bible story with the kids, prayer walk, worship by singing time, etc.)
- Go on a short, slow prayer walk
- Try “the Daily Office” (also called “Fixed Hour Prayer,” an ancient Christian practice) - set three times on the sabbath (Say, at night, in the morning, and at the end of the day) to just focus on God. This time can be short - ten minutes. The goal is just to focus on God and tune your soul to his presence, so that the awareness of God stays with you all day long.
• Here’s a few ways to do the Daily Office:
- Go on a prayer walk
- Read a Psalm
- Read a liturgy
- Put on a worship song
- Practice gratitude
- Speak in tongues
- Practice just sitting in God’s presence
- Go somewhere beautiful in nature - a park, vista, etc. and praise God § Read a poem
- However you connect with God, do that!
Discussion questions for the coming week (10–15 minutes)
How can you maintain intimacy with God throughout the sabbath?
What spiritual disciplines/practices help you connect with God? (Scripture reading, prayer, silence and solitude, celebration, etc.)
How might you incorporate the Daily Office into your sabbath rhythm?
How can you lead your family (if you have one) into intimacy with God on the sabbath?