This week I had the privilege of doing a small group meditation for a bible fellowship group. We met in the leader's home, doing the prayer session in her living room. It was a great experience doing it in this home setting because it was not rushed; and, since the group already has relationships with one another, they were more open to asking me questions after. Their comments and questions revealed deep levels of internal processing regarding God and prayer.
I created a meditation for them on Psalm 84, which represents a spiritual pilgrimage through valleys of weeping, a cry and longing for more of God. Psalm 84 reveals a longing soul stilled through resting in God's presence, continuing with Him in the journey, and trusting in His divine help.
Before starting the meditation, I set up the context of the scripture and showed them some pictures of what the "court of the Lord", referenced in Psalm 84, may have looked like (either tabernacle or temple). I also brought pictures of the Israeli desert sparrow and of the swallow who attaches her nest to buildings or structures, verse 3. I showed pictures of the Desert Balsam tree that "weeps" sap and grows in the Valley of Baka referenced in verse 6, known as the "valley of weeping". All of these images are doorways into deeper meanings. They are living creatures and places meant to help us express our heart to our living God, verse 2. They put meaning behind longing and a fainting thirst for God, verse 2 . The song writer yearned and fainted for God, knowing God as the only hope for continued strength on a difficult spiritual journey, verses 5-7. There is more that was included; but this gives you a few ideas of the deep richness meant not only to be read; but to be experienced through our imaginations and referenced through personal experience.
By engaging not just our minds; but our 5 senses, God's concrete language comes alive and our hearts are set free to engage easier. God desires this for you in prayer.
When I showed a couple examples of the traveling tabernacle and the temple, I asked if anyone had any comments. One person was surprised by the pictures and always visualized the "court of the Lord" as a place for judgment hearing a serious atmosphere. Yet the Psalm paints a picture where nervous animals like birds are building their nests and laying their eggs close to God's altar. This is not an atmosphere filled with God's angry presence, it is an atmosphere even birds can rest quietly on their eggs and take care of their babies without fear of rebuke. This is God's court we are to see and hear, available through Christ.
At the end one person asked what it meant to ask for prayer in a church setting and what to do. It may seem like people should easily know what to do; but there is a spiritual war happening in sanctuary settings when the Word of God is being preached. We do not always respond to clear instruction and reason because of this very real spiritual war. What is simple becomes clouded and confusing. This person had been wondering about asking for prayer for a long time, but never giving in to the internal prompts to go for prayer. It came out in the discussion and a commitment made to go for prayer. It also allowed everyone to hear why it was very important to follow the internal prompts and get prayer.
Another person shared what she felt the Lord was showing her during services. She needed encouragement and a positive filter to interpret what was burdening her heart. By expressing it and talking it through she felt affirmed and encouraged that the Holy Spirit was talking to her and it was a call to intercede for God's work in the sanctuary.
There was opportunity to pray with a sick family member. I would not have gotten that if I had not been ministering in this home setting. Someone not part of the group needed encouragement and prayer and they got it. God sees and sends tender mercies to those suffering.
Another person shared her connection with the visualization exercises of resting in the nest of the LORD. Recently she discovered a nest in her backyard tree, only able to see the mother bird head popping up from the nest, evidence she was quietly sitting on her eggs, still and abiding. Through her experience she was able to recall the sights, sounds, and memory that the bird was just resting and she needed to do that too! This scripture visualization exercise helped her connect and simply rest in His presence.
Resting, i.e. dwelling (verse 4), in God's court is the call of Psalm 84. To dwell means to abide, sit still, rest, stay, linger. It is a safe haven, a place to be undisturbed and refreshed with living water, verse 6.
God says "ask, seek, knock". I am doing that right now, looking for more opportunities to minister in small group settings. Please click on the buttons above and read more about "Inviting Me In" to your small group setting. I'd be honored to encourage you to linger with God in prayer and to fellowship with you! Take a risk with God, linger longer with him in prayer, draw nearer and know Christ!
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!