For Youth Workers Post


Bruce Mullan

“In the Habit” session for use with devozine meditations for May 1–8, 2016.


  • a Bible
  • a copy of “My Twenty-Third Psalm” (see Sharing in Prayer below)
  • Print-Friendly Version of this session


Before you meet with your group, take a few minutes to be still and to pray. Open the session with the exercise below, and then talk together about the questions that follow.

Read aloud the statements below, and invite people to choose the one that best describes how they read devozine. Discuss these as a group.

  • I read a devo each day.
  • I miss a few days, and then read several devos to catch up.
  • I read the whole issue when it arrives.
  • Some days I read a devo, and other days I don’t.
  • I read ahead.
  • I pick and choose the devos that speak to my life at the moment.
  • I read a week of devos just before we meet as a group.
  • I never get around to reading devozine.

Then ask group members to answer these questions:
       When and where do you read devozine?
       What helps you to maintain a regular practice of doing devos?


Scripture: Mark 1:32–39

Read aloud Mark 1:32–39. Then read or explain in your own words the information below, and invite group members to discuss the questions that follow:

“We sometimes think that the pace of life must have been slower in Jesus’ day, but in the gospel of Mark everything happens quickly. The word immediately is used over forty times.

“After the first fast-paced verses in chapter 1, we read that early in the morning Jesus went out to a deserted place to pray. In his busy life, Jesus needed to retreat to a quiet place for meditation and prayer. Like all of us, Jesus needed to refuel, to gather his strength and resources in order to carry out his mission.

“In the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38–42), Jesus commends Mary for taking time off from the busyness of daily life to sit with him. Mary realized there was more to devotional time than just talking to God; we also have to listen.

“A story tells of a Native American touring New York City. Waiting to cross a busy intersection, he gently reached beneath a potted plant on the sidewalk and picked up a cricket. His host asked how he had heard the cricket above all the noise of the city. To answer, his friend dropped a quarter, which rolled across the sidewalk. Immediately, a number of people turned to see where the coin had gone.

“It all depends on what we listen for. When we take time to be with God, we learn to listen for God’s voice above everything else and we find it easier to hear God’s direction for our lives.”
       What noise do you hear when you spend time with God? Do you play music? Do you pray in silence?
       When you spend time with God, is it enough for you to sit quietly? Do you need to write or read? What enables you to listen?
       Learning to pray is like playing the piano. To do it well, you have to do it every day. Do you agree? Why? Why not?


Invite one person to read aloud Psalm 23. Then ask another person to read aloud “My Twenty-Third Psalm” by David Showalter:

“Lord, you are my keeper, my guard, and my king.
       In you, I no longer feel need.
You give me rest in the green fields of spring;
       my world-broken spirit you lead.
Your streams bring contentment, a fullness of soul,
       in quenching my eternal thirst.
Your living waters make my spirit whole,
       when in them my heart is immersed.
On right paths of truth, you make steady my feet,
       so glory I bring to your name.
Though death and destruction and hardships I meet,
       your mercy will my lips proclaim.
Not evil’s entangling schemes will I fear,
       nor times of famine or drought.
Your spirit is then to my struggling heart near;
       your comfort I’m never without.
A feast is laid out in my enemy’s sight,
       and great is my spirit’s despair.
Yet in this sad time of my most bitter plight,
       the table for me you prepare.
A mark of your calling you place on my head
       as a purpose for life and for death.
Your bountiful blessing before me is spread—
       a sunrise, a meal, or a breath.
With goodness and mercy my life you’ll pursue
       with faithfulness day after day.
And my heart responds to the blessings from you;
       forever in your house I’ll stay.”

—from devozine (September/October 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The Upper Room®.

To close the session, read aloud the following prayer, encouraging each person to pray in silence as you pause after each sentence:

     “Lord, show me the way today. . . .
     Show me an aspect of your greatness that I tend to overlook. . . .
     Show me what makes you smile and what makes you sad. . . .
     Show me people I can touch with your love. . . .
     Show me whom I need to forgive and from whom I should seek forgiveness. . . .
     I especially need you to show me __________. . . .
     Thank you for showing yourself to me in your son, Jesus Christ. . . .


Encourage your group members to set aside time to be with God on a regular basis. Be available if they need help to begin or to maintain this practice.

—from devozine In the Habit (May/June 2016). Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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