Welcome! This 11 week Planting Roots prayer journey is designed with military women in mind. It is short but not shallow, using the Psalms as a pattern for prayer, worship, singing, and crying out honestly and frequently to the Lord. All you need is a Bible, a blank journal or notebook, and a desire to draw near to our God Most High. Whether doing this study at home or as part of a group, we hope you will gain spiritual strength as you encounter God in His dwelling place.
All materials are available for download.
Week 1: Christ Dweller or Cave Dweller?
Know: One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.(Psalm 27:4)
Read & Respond: Welcome to DWELL: A Prayer Journey in the Psalms.
Psalm means song and what better way to draw near to God than through music and poetry. The Psalms are a special kind of poetry because the writers (Psalmists) are incredibly honest with God, telling it like it is in good times and bad and calling on His character to frame their circumstances. For the next 11 weeks we will meditate on Psalms which contain the word dwell to grow in wholehearted pursuit of God.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis]The title DWELL is a play on words because, although as New Testament people God now dwells in us through the Holy Spirit, we want to be women who are consumed with God and dwell continually on Him in lavish praise as Psalm 27:4 communicates so richly.[/tweetthis]
By praying the Psalms and focusing on God’s dwelling places, we want to learn from these Hebrew poets how to take time in sweet solitude with the Lord, becoming women who pray more, stress less, and generally get our eyes off ourselves and onto God.
Think about the intimacy of making eye contact…how frequent eye contact can signal our pleasure and lack of eye contact can signal displeasure or distraction. Let’s be intentional about fixing our gaze on the Lord, allowing His heart to shape ours.
Another play on words: Where do you dwell? Are you a cave-dweller, hiding out in dark, dreary, lonely places – mentally if not physically? Or are you a Christ-dweller, regularly breathing in the life-giving oxygen of the Holy Spirit? What do you “dwell” on? What are the messages replaying in your head? Are they past conversations, complaints, and cares? Or are they praise, worship, and the Word? Join us as we behold the beauty of the Lord in His holy habitation!
Core Concept: The LORD is beautiful to behold.
Think About It:
- What are you hoping to get out of this journey in the Psalms?
- What do Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 say about the Psalms?
- On a 1-10 scale (10 best) how’s your eye contact with God?
- What are areas in which you’re tempted to be a cave-dweller?
Brainiac Bible ZONE
The Bible is divided into two parts – before and after the birth of Christ. And we find an amazing change in the use of “dwell” between the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, God’s spirit “dwelt” first in the tabernacle and later in the temple in Jerusalem. The greatest yearning of God’s people (then and now) was to be in His presence. In the Old Testament, this meant living righteously so that God’s people could “dwell” near the tabernacle or temple, and so that God would continue to “dwell” (i.e., allow His Spirit to remain) in that same place.
In the New Testament era, God’s dwelling place has changed, ever since “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). God is no longer present (and His people are no longer dependent) at a geographical place of worship. Instead, God “dwells” in the hearts of His people.
Therefore, almost every OT reference concerns God’s people “dwelling” in His presence or His house (tabernacle or temple). However, almost every NT reference concerns God Himself “dwelling” in the hearts of His people (Rom. 8:9, 11; I Cor. 3:16; Col. 3:16; James 4:5; etc.). The promise that fulfills all this (partially fulfills, in the present age) is found in both Old and New Testaments: “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Ez. 37:27, II Cor. 6:16).
The other common NT reference to “dwelling” is the anticipation of our eternal, heavenly dwelling with God (II Cor. 5:1-2; II Pet. 3:13). This is ultimately, eternally fulfilled in John’s revelation of the New Jerusalem: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21: 3-4).
This Week’s Praise & Worship Prompts
Day 1: Meditate on Psalm 27:4
Today let’s meditate on, and try to memorize, Psalm 27:4. Make it your personal prayer today.
Days 2-5: More Meditations in the Psalms
Below are some additional “dwell” Psalms not specifically covered in the coming weeks. As time allows, gather a blank journal and read these odes of praise to our Lord, stopping to savor any phrases which are meaningful to you. Don’t feel you have to finish the chart…these are for heart (not homework) credit! If you do make it through all of them, note what you learn as a whole about God’s dwelling. Pray these Psalms (or sing them since they are songs) back to God and so deepen your worship. He is worthy!
|Psalm||Context of word “dwell”||What I learn about God’s character||Specific ways to apply this truth and grow in adoration of God|
We want to hear from you!
Talk About It: Have you ever thought about making or maintaining eye contact with the Lord? How can the Psalms help?
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
Contributors: Chelsea Bastian, Claudia Duff, Muriel Gregory, Tonia Gutting, Hayley Haynes
Graphic Artist: Christie Esterline
Editor: Andrea Plotner
Copyright ©Planting Roots 2015
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