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Engaging with God

My calling and heart’s desire is to usher people into God’s presence so that HE is better: 
known – loved – enjoyed – followed – and trusted.
These resources provide various ways we can engage with God the person, both individually and in groups.
They are inspired by and mostly based around bible verses. They can also help us to be real with our very real and personal God.
– Jacquie Brook

Please feel free to make copies of these resources as needed. But please respect the integrity of a resource by not making copies of parts of a document unless the document is a collection of ideas and is, therefore, actually separate resources put into one document.

If you wish to change or adapt a resource in any way and can email Jacquie, please contact her first as these resources have been carefully and prayerfully crafted.

The term "God-Gazing" appears in a number of these sections. A "God-Gazing" is simply a time of focussing on something about God, exploring that bible truth and responding in prayer to who God is. 

 

It is so good to reverse our usual tendency in prayer to focus on ourselves and tell God what we want by starting our prayer with some God-gazing instead. We gaze at our wonderful Lord via a bible truth, ponder that and let our prayers flow as a response to who he is.

 

This fits with the reality that God first initiated with us, so our prayers are simply a response to his eternal welcome. Many of these resources have this flavour. You will find God-gazings formatted for individuals, small groups and large groups.

1. Personal Retreats

Personal Spiritual Retreats are a wonderful way to spend a bit longer with God than in a daily Quiet Time or Devotional. Some resources can be finished in an hour, others done over a few days. Some are in a series format for use over several days. Any of these can be used in Quiet Times over a week or longer. Just do as much as you have time for each day. Some of these are “God-Gazing’s” – a time of focussing on something about God, exploring that bible truth and responding in prayer to who God is.

2. Quiet Times / Devotionals 30-60 minutes

While these are mostly written in one-day segments, if you need longer, or like to linger on certain parts, just take longer.

There are many ways to spend time with God. Some of us like variety, so try one of these in between days of using your usual approach for a Quiet Time. There will be others who have not yet found a way for Quiet Times that works well for them. If that is you, maybe you will find something here that helps you meet more regularly with God.

Some days we need to relate to God differently and seek his comfort, help or just express our gratitude, love and joy to him. And sometimes it is just good to step out of routine to refresh our love and appreciation for God the person and maybe discover new truths about God and ourselves.

3. Team or Small Group Prayer Times

It is good to have options for various lengths of time in prayer with your team or small group. Short times can be used at the start of a meeting to help put God at the centre or at the end as a response to God’s presence and influence during the time together. The longer time frames are more for meetings intended for prayer.

Two to four hour God-gazings are great for having a spiritual retreat together because they combine a group discussion, time alone with God then praying for one another at the end. I began running these each month for a local group of friends in 2008 and found the fellowship so rich with God at the centre. They are special to do together. Enjoy him!

4. Large Group Praying: Prayer Events / Conferences / Ministry Projects

God-gazings are a great way to focus people onto God the person. They set the tone with God as the centre of all we do at the prayer event/conference/ or Ministry Project. God-gazings are simply a way to ‘gaze’ at God together and let prayer flow out as a response to who he is. As such the gazing part is often longer than the prayer response and the prayers are often quite real and heart-felt.

5. Various Ways to Pray: Input & Ideas

These are mostly written for individuals but can be adapted for other uses.

Praying the word is a great way to praise God, thank God and sometimes even confess to God. It is also a powerful way to pray for self or others, as it aligns your asking more with God’s heart.

Prayer walking can be done alone or with others. It can be done wherever you want God to be known in a home, neighbourhood, place of work, schools and universities, place of ministry, conference or meeting site. It can be declaring his Lordship in a place or over an activity or asking his protection, life or activity to be paramount. Pray however the Spirit leads.

6. Specific Purpose Praying

These are times when our praying needs to be more about being than doing - about noticing God and listening to him. Such prayer is still quite intentional and proactive.

Sometimes what we need most is to rest in God. Often it means coming to God as his child or leaning into him as your BIG God. He is both powerful and our safe place.

I see forgiveness as something we must do with God and thus prayer is very much a part of the journey. Forgiveness is integral to our own relationship with God.

While my spirit longs to follow God closely, I keep wandering into doing what I want. These resources are more about aligning with his heart for us than about repentance.

These resources are simply ways to pray that have helped me to keep journeying mental health issues with God. They do not promise healing or deliverance, but I do hope they help ease the burden as you share it with God, even when you don’t feel he is there.

We probably need guidance from God more often than we seek him – not just in the big decisions in life but the times when we are upset with someone, struggling with a harsh reality or being influenced by the world.

There are many reasons to and benefits from having a prayer partner: from boosting your own walk with God, to accountability, to simply praying more. I have been blessed differently by each different prayer partner I have had in the various places we have lived.

7. Christian Meditations

We all do this to some extent when we ponder a truth about God. I have found focussed meditating a precious way to linger with God. It has often changed my perspective and realigned my mind and heart with his and it slows me down enough to remember to let him be Lord.

8. Verse Lists

Making verse lists began as a way to resource people in praying bible verses on a specific topic. Since then, I have found many uses for them, one of my favourites being to use them in Quiet Times. I slowly work through a list using a one or more verses at a time.

9. Input

This section includes a variety of information, helpful hints, thoughts and encouragements.

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