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Prayer Exercises

These transformative exercises are provided for you to interact with the weekly Sunday sermon through reflection and prayer.
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  • Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

    26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

    “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
        and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
        so he opens not his mouth.
    33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
        Who can describe his generation?
    For his life is taken away from the earth.”

    34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

    Exercise:

    It is interesting to note that God speaks to Phillip in steps – He doesn’t tell him the whole story about what is going to happen and in what order. And the way God directs Phillip doesn’t even lend itself to understanding why he should do what God is asking him to do.

    1. God directs Phillip to an area…actually a desert place. Not a place that you would think a lot would be “happening.” Think about your life. Where might God be asking you to go? How does it resemble a “desert” place? A place where a whole lot is missing.  Has it been hard to go? Or are you still resisting going? Where, in the obeying/going, is it hard to trust God? Where do you wish God would lead you to go? Talk to Him about all of this.
    2. God directed Phillip to “join” someone. Think about your present life. Are you being drawn to join someone? A neighbour in a difficult situation? A co-worker? A friend? A mentor? A ministry? Ask God to show you where you are to join someone – and in so doing – to join God’s presence/work there.
    3. Phillip did not try to take the Eunuch anywhere where he thought he should go. He looked to see where the Eunuch was already. He asked him a question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” Think about where you are joining God and someone else. Where is this person or ministry at? What question can you ask to understand the present reality better and resist thinking you know the answer already! J
    4. Phillip listened. He listened to the Eunuch read to him what he was having trouble understanding. Where can you apply the ministry of listening?
    5. Phillip helped him understand. Where are you being called to help? This place where God is asking you to join – this place that God has determined you have a gift to be used. Talk to God about what your part is in this joining.
    6. Phillip experienced an amazing miracle. All because he allowed God to lead him each step of the way. He wasn’t responsible for the whole thing. He was only responsible for part. You may not experience someone asking you to baptize them, but you will experience the movement of God where He asks you to join. There are two parts to pray here. Pray that you will grow in expecting God to do something wonderful. And pray that the Spirit of God will help you only bear your part and not load yourself down with things you are not being directed by God to do.
    7. Close with thinking about one person you know that doesn’t yet understand the gospel. Pray for that person. Ask God if that is your only part – to pray. Ask Him if you are to join in any other way beyond your prayers. Keep listening – keep being open!

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