Record thoughts and questions here that come up as you watch the
episode. Explore them later with the group.
Listen to God’s Word: John 15:1-7, Mark 2:23-28, Matthew 6:16-18
Underline and mark ideas you would like to discuss.
Fundamentally, prayer is our response to the God who speaks to us. God’s word is always first. He gets the first word in, always. We answer. We come to consciousness in a world addressed by God. We need to learn to answer, really answer—not merely say Yessir, Nosir—our whole beings in response.
Eugene Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness
When we keep a Sabbath holy, we are practicing, for a day, the freedom that God intends for all people. We are practicing life outside the frantic pace set by financial markets and round-the-clock shopping and entertainment venues. We are practicing independence from the forces of injustice. We are trying on a new way of life as we begin to allow our weeks to be changed in response to God’s promises. We are practicing—pun intended. Like a novice learning to play a musical instrument, we may be off-key at times. It may be years before we are in harmony, and we will never get it perfect.
Dorothy C. Bass, Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time
In fasting, we abstain in some significant way from food and possibly from drink as well. This discipline teaches us a lot about ourselves very quickly. It will certainly prove humiliating to us, as it reveals to us how much our peace depends upon the pleasures of eating. It may also bring to mind how we are using food pleasure to assuage the discomforts caused in our bodies by faithless and unwise living and attitudes—lack of self-worth, meaningless work, purposeless existence, or lack of rest and exercise. If nothing else, though, it will certainly demonstrate how powerful and clever our body is in getting its own way against our strongest resolves.
Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives