Each week, we offer daily Scripture readings and thoughts in our Grow • Pray • Study (GPS) Guide.
Come back on Mondays for the weekly GPS, and spend time in study and prayer daily!
You matter to God.
St. Paul’s UMC
GPS: Grow, Pray Study Guide
for the week of February 3 - 9, 2019
The Lord's Prayer
Destination: To gain a deeper understanding of what it
means to be a deeply committed follower of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. To be able to recognize your experiences of
God and to discover God in new and different ways.
Memory verse: I encourage you to read this Scripture every
day and by the end of the week have it memorized or to the point of where you
can paraphrase the verse(s). Try writing
it down on post-it notes and place them in areas where you will see it daily,
for example the bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.
Lord you have examined me. You know me.1 Kings 8:28 CEB
Daily Prayer: O Lord, you have searched me and
known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You know when I am full
of hope and enthusiasm, you know when I am struggling to see a way forward. You
know when my faith is alive and buoyant, you know when I am full of doubt and
dread. O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You discern my thoughts from
far away. You know my thoughts often clash with one another, that I am
sometimes full of certainty, sometimes full of disbelief. At times full of
trust, at times full of questions. Sometimes caring, sometimes selfish. And you
know too that my mind wanders, sometimes visiting dark corners. O Lord, you
have searched me and known me. You know me better than I know myself, you see
me in the darkness and the light, and you understand, you care, and you long to
lead me towards life. In the name of God, our Creator, Jesus our Redeemer and
the Holy Spirit our Counselor Amen.
Monday, Feb 10, 2019 read 1 Kings 19:1-19.
Elijah flees the wrath of Jezebel. He has been on the move, full speed, all
out. When Elijah entered into solitude and silence, one of the first things he
came to understand and reckon with was just how tired and depleted he truly
was. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being exhausted...how tired are you? On a
scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being superb...how is your prayer life? How is your
Tuesday, Feb 11, 2019 read 1 Kings 19:4-9. What
pattern do you see happening in these verses? Notice what God does...God
doesn’t begin badgering Elijah to wake up! God doesn’t begin by telling Elijah
what to do. God starts with Elijah’s physical weariness and depletion, he lets
Elijah sleep. Next, God cares for Elijah’s nutritional
needs. Then God repeats the process. Like Elijah, we can be too worn out,
depleted and tired to find or listen to God. Times of solitude and silence are
not about judgment, they are times for noticing-what is true about us in a
given moment. What keeps you from finding solitude and silence with God? Are
you in need of more rest? How can you clear your schedule to spend time under
the broom tree?
Wednesday, Feb 12, 2019 read Psalm 139.
The word “know/knowledge” is a keyword in this Psalm. The word appears again in
verse 2, 4 and 6. The repetition reinforces the belief of the psalmist of being
fully known by God. Verses 1 through 6 aren’t meant to be a formal statement
about God’s all-knowingness; rather a poetic affirmation that God “knows” me.
How do you feel about God “knowing” you? What comforts about being known? What
makes you uncomfortable about being known?
Thursday, Feb 13, 2019 read Psalm 139:1-6.
Pay particular attention to verse 5. In the Common English Bible the word used
is surround. “You surround me-front and back…” When I am surrounded by
something loving, being surrounded is comforting. I loved being surrounded in a
hug from my dad. I think of being surrounded by God in the same way...it’s
comforting. How does being surrounded front and back feel for you?
Friday, Feb 14, 2019 read Psalm 139:7-8.
For the psalmist to claim that God is with him even “down to the grave,”
commonly known to the Hebrews as sheol, is huge. For the Hebrews it was thought
that even God didn’t go into the depths of sheol. The psalmist is once again
making the point that there is no where he can go where God does not “know”
him. Why would David be trying to escape God either in heaven or sheol? What
lengths do you go to, to escape being known by God?
Saturday, Feb 15, 2019 read Psalm 139:9-12.
The psalmist uses a play on light and darkness to emphasize that no matter what
we go through, God is with us. If we are in a season of great joy or we are in
a season of challenges, God knows it and still God is with us. How does knowing
that God is with you no matter the season you are in affect your faith?
Resources: Bible by God, How to Pray, The Best of John
Wesley on Prayer, Invitation to Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton