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Bible Study-Prayer of Rest: Psalm 91 & Matthew 26:36-46
Prayer and Intro: This psalm describes the peace and rest in Christ, Christians can have during the moments of stress, danger, or challenges. It calls for faith, and our expressions of faith in the trustworthiness of God.
Read: Psalm 91:1-8
Note: Shadow = shade, refuge & fortress =areas of peace and security, cover/wings = like a protective mother, shield & rampart are military images of armor or strength to provide a sure defense. Verse 3 and 5-7 are particularly relevant in our current State of Emergency.
Q-How is the provision of rest/security described in vs. 1-2 & 4 as source of comfort and hope?
Q-Where are some actual places in your life that act as a refuge or fortress?
Q-How is the Lord all of the things described in vs. 1 & 2?
Q-What is symbolized by the expression in vs. 3 by the fowler’s snare?
Q-In what way does the promise of safety relate to rest?
Q-How are the promises of being saved from pestilence, in vs. 3, 6, 7 helpful during this crisis?
Verse 5 describes being spared from the “terror that stalks by night and the plague that destroys at midday”, this is perhaps a description of fear never more fully understood in modern times by people all over the world.
Q-In what way is this verse both challenging given the current health crisis, and comforting?
Q-The promise in vs. 7- 8 is not always the experience of those saved by Christ, in that it is not only the wicked who suffer, so how can we understand it better?
Read: Psalm 91:9-13
Note: Again we are reminded today that even with God as our refuge we are not safe for all physical harm. Verses 11-12 are what Satan spoke to Jesus in attempt to lure him into testing God’s promises and faithfulness.
Q-In what ways might this current crisis (or any other one) tempt people to demand God “prove himself”?
Q-How else can these verses be interpreted beside physical deliverance from harm or death?
Read: Psalm 91:14-16
Note: The Hebrew word translated into English as love in vs. 14- literally means to “cleave to”. This conveys an idea of more than feelings, it is a call to action.
Q-What two things beside to love Him, does God tell us to do to experience his promises of protection?
Q-What would it look like for us to live in practical ways our trust in God?
Q-How do we reconcile these promises with the fact not all the faithful have or will survive the current pestilence, or other earthly dangers?
Q-What is the ultimate promise found here in the spiritual sense?
Read: Matthew 26:36-39
Note: Jesus asks his disciples to sit and wait while he prayed. In a way he was seeking to rest in the assurance of human support while he sought help from God. This reminds us there are times we can be supportive of others who need our presence with them, not to solve their problems but just for human companionship. Sometimes just being there is the most helpful thing we can do for someone or they can do for us.
Q-How is prayer as way to “rest” in God even in the midst of mental or emotional turmoil?
Q- What is the temptation Jesus faced in the garden?
Read: Matthew 26:40-46
Q-How do the promises of Psalm 91 apply to the suffering of Jesus?
Q-In what ways can we find comfort in Jesus’ prayer for our current circumstances?
Consider your own experiences with resting/trusting in the Lord:
Q- What advice would you give to a Christian struggling with fear in the midst of facing trials in life?
Note: Jesus called on his Father to save him, and yet God did not. But we should remember Jesus still had the choice to refuse the cross, yet he accepted his Father’s will for our sakes.
Q- What does “thy will be done”, if it is God’s will for you to “drink from the cup” mean for you?
Q-How do you balance acting wisely and responsibly in a dangerous situation with accepting whatever God’s will is for you and those you love?
Next Time: Prayer of Thirst – Psalm 42 and Psalm 43, Mark 15:24-39