UP – with the Father
Discussion Guide
We each have patterns in our relationship with God. Some of us need new rhythms or to
reform the patterns we’ve developed. If we are to have continuous breakthrough in our lives, it
is key that we engage deeply in relationship with the Father so that we hear him and can see
where he’s at work around us and what he working in us!
John 16:33 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have
trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
• How are you prioritizing time with God?
We want the works of Jesus without the ways of Jesus.
Romans 12:2 NIV
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
When we spend time with the Father in prayer, meditation and reflection, we are transformed
and we come to know his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 The Message
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead,
fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he
wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you
down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in
John 5:19–20 NIV
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do
only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the
Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works
than these, so that you will be amazed.
Four parts of Lectio Divina:

  1. Lectio – Read
    Read a few verses slowly and intentionally. Try to imagine yourself in the story. Think about
    what you are feeling and sensing.
  2. Meditatio – Meditate or Reflect

Read the text a few more times and begin to pay attention to the words or phrases that grab
you. Pause and start writing down thoughts or anything that is coming to mind.
Ask the Holy Spirit to be your Guide and help you see and hear what he wants you to.

3. Oratio – Pray or Respond
Read the text again and start turning it into a prayer. Allow the words to become your response
to God for particular situations in your life.
Psalm 62:1–2 NIV
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my
salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

4. Contemplatio – Contemplation
Read through your prayer slowly one last time. Just listen to the verse and the words hanging in
your mind and practice resting in the love and peace of God in quiet for another few minutes.
“…the busier and more in demand and famous Jesus became, the more he withdrew to his quiet
place to pray.
Usually for us it’s the exact opposite. When we get overbusy and life is hectic and people are
vying for our time, the quiet place is the first thing to go rather than our first go to.”
The first thing we lose is unhurried time to just sit with God in the quiet. To pray. Read a Psalm.
Take an internal inventory. Let our souls catch up to our bodies.”
— John Mark Comer – The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
• What are your predictable patterns for the UPWARD dimension of your relationship
with God?
• What do you do when you get stuck in a rut in your UP relationship? (devotion, reading
plans, prayer life, etc.)
“Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual
problem. The desperate need today is not for a great number of intelligent people, or gifted
people, but for deep people.” (Celebration of Discipline p.1)
• In reading this quote from Richard Foster, who are the deep people in your life?
• When have you gotten into the shallows of your relationship with God?
• When have you felt the most deep?
• What do you sense God saying to you right now?
• What might you need to do about what he’s saying to you?