Jesus regularly spent time in prayer and solitude before giving and ministering to others. (See Luke 6:12.) We may not rise at dawn and go for a hike in the mountains before taking on the day, but we can find five minutes for our favorite prayer practice—or at least time for five deep breaths—before preparing for or leading our group meeting. Finding even one focused minute or taking one single deep breath that allows us to listen to God follows Jesus’ model. When I connect with God first, my other relationships flow from that time of prayer and centeredness in a more grounded and fulfilling way. If I receive criticism after a moment with God, I am less likely to be thrown off course and personalize it.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
For more from Angela D. Schaffner, read 10 Tips for Leading a Small Group on Zoom.
What are your personal faith practices? Join the conversation.
During that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night long.
—Luke 6:12 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
God, we praise you for gathering us together like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This Independence Day give back to our service men and women, who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
- Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
- Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13
- Romans 7:15-25a
- Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.