It is Friday, January 25.  David concludes this beautiful psalm as he started it; asking the Lord to "save" him "from his day of trouble".  Is David's request just a selfish cry for help, or is there more here that we can apply to our Christian walk today?    Chris Adomanis  

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)

[ Psalm 86:16-17]

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I learn?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

_ What does it tell you that David asks the Lord to" be gracious" in verse 17?  How about him asking for "your strength" or calling himself "your servant"?  What's his posture before God? 

_ What do you think about asking God for a "sign of his favor'?  Is David putting the Lord "to the test" (see Matthew 4:5-7)?   Why or why not?  (Also, read the story of Gideon in Judges 6, especially verses 17 and 36-40 and discuss).  

_ What do you think about David  asking for his enemies to "be put to shame"?  Was this OK for David in this particular situation because he was King of Israel and faced "real" enemies of Jehovah God or is this applicable to us today?  If so, where would it apply?  Be VERY careful here!!!  

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?

I struggle at times in my "view" of  the Lord. I tend to resonate with "what a friend I have in Jesus" and "casting my cares upon Him, because He cares for me (I Peter 5: 7), but I need to read and understand other passages of Scripture, like Colossians 1:15-23 to get a fuller picture of Jesus. David was good at this balancing act. Read Psalm 8 and compare it to Psalm 86 that we examined this week.  Repent of times when you  treat the Lord more like a genie in a bottle, praying just to get wishes granted, than the Creator and Sustainer of all there is!!!

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)