The Importance of doing nothing
Read John 17:1-3
Give everybody time to complete the following sentence.
Getting regular exercise is less important than …
Now ask everybody to complete this sentence
Paying attention to God is less important than …
Don’t allow too long for the second task because it’s probably impossible to answer. If you look at John 17:3 you will see that getting to know God seems to be the highest priority of all. You may find that some people will go for something like …loving him. But really that doesn’t make much sense because we come to love him through getting to know him. (We are back to the end of Ephesians 1.)
Discuss in threes or fours.
What is meant by paying attention to God? How is it different to other kinds of prayer? (Please post your results on the website)
When do you give God your attention and how often?
What excuses do we put up for not spending time with God?
(Please post your list of excuses on the website)
In threes or fours
Ask everybody to contribute to drawing a diagram showing different parts of prayer. (You can start with Confess, Honour, Ask, Thank). Include attending. Consider whether any kind of prayer has several components. Eg. ‘Ask’ is often broken down into ‘for self’ and ‘for others’. Once all the elements are in place, agree on how difficult each of these might be. (One good way to draft a diagram like this is to start with yellow Post-Its and move them round on a large sheet of paper until everybody has agreed on the diagram).
(Please try and take a clear photo of the result if you can and get Anna’s help to post it to the website)
It is difficult to attend to God when part of a group. It is even more difficult if you are expected to report on it but try this.
o Read John 17:3
o Ask people to attend to God and tell them that there will be no feedback afterwards.
o Ask somebody to say the phrase ‘and this is life eternal’ and allow about a minute for reflection
o Repeat this twice more.
In pairs identify ask people to identify their specific obstacles to paying attention to God. Finish by praying for one another for grace to remove them.