Gather: Discernment | Group Spiritual Direction

This month we’re practicing the habit of discernment—making space to listen and to hear from God. While this is often a highly personal habit, there are times in which decisions need to be discerned in a group setting OR when taking the opportunity to seek God together can provide valuable insight that might not have come to you otherwise. With that in mind, we’re going to take some time to practice making space for God’s direction together.



  1. Find a quiet room to gather with your small group, roommates, or close friends.
  2. Bring:
    • a stopwatch or timer (please do not use a phone or smartwatch).
    • Optional: a candle (or a fake candle if an open flame is not allowed).
    • Optional: a sleep/noise machine that can be turned on low to offer soothing sounds and will block out background noise.
  3. Turn off your phones, smartwatches, and anything that could distract.
  4. We will go around the circle by beginning with the person to the left of the leader.
  5. The last person in the circle will handle the stopwatch so the leader can also share.
  6. Read the introduction and begin.


Leader: You may be familiar with the concept of a spiritual director—someone who’s a bit like a Christian counselor. They pray with you, offer you Scripture to think about, and draw attention to where they see God at work in your life. Group Spiritual Direction is similar, but it takes place in a group (hmmm….obvious). The point of Group Spiritual Direction is to listen prayerfully to someone, and then draw attention to where you see God at work. Drawing attention can be as simple as noticing something and sharing it out loud. It also includes asking clarifying questions, sharing a sense of something you think may be from God for the person, or simply holding the person quietly in prayer.

Group Spiritual Direction is NOT figuring out someone’s life or offering them answers about decisions they should make. It’s not planning their future for them. Instead, it’s listening to God, listening to the person, and listening to God again. It’s a place to practice being slow to speak, slow to offer advice, but eager to listen. If silence follows, silence is enough. Sometimes the most we can do for someone is simply sit in silence together with their questions before God.

We will follow a rhythm of waiting in silent rest for God (Psalm 62), inviting someone to share, holding the person’s story in silence before God, inviting the group to share, and then completing the time with the phrase: “Thanks be to God.”

The leader will use the timer as a way to measure time, and invite people to share.

Begin Group Spiritual Direction

Optional: Turn on the noisemaker (just loud enough to block outside noises, but not too loud to distract) and light the candle, which represents the presence of the Holy Spirit filling the room. 

Leader (read slowly, sentence by sentence): We will begin with two minutes of waiting in silent rest for God. Please sit comfortably in your chair. Let the weight of the chair hold you. Place your feet flat on the floor. Let your legs hold your hands. Open your hands to God in a posture of anticipation and expectation.

Holy Spirit pray for us. Jesus intercede. Father, hear the cry of our hearts.

Rest in Silence with God




Leader: invite the person to your left to share first, using these prompts:

  1. Where in your life are you hoping to hear from God?
  2. What have you been sensing from God so far?
  3. How would you answer the question: what is your deepest desire?

Rest in Silence with God


Group Sharing


Remember the note above about what Group Spiritual Direction is and is not.

All together: Amen.

Move to the next person (the final person in the circle will hold the timer for the leader to share).

After everyone has shared, pray Psalm 62 responsively*

*Leader reads the first line (bold), the group responds with the indented italicized line(s).

Leader: For God alone my soul waits in silence;

Group:  from him comes my salvation.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

3 How long will you assail a person,

will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

4 Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.

They take pleasure in falsehood;

they bless with their mouths,

but inwardly they curse.

Selah (10 second pause)

5 For God alone my soul waits in silence,

for my hope is from him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor;

my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Selah (10 second pause)

9 Those of low estate are but a breath,

those of high estate are a delusion;

in the balances they go up;

they are together lighter than a breath.

10 Put no confidence in extortion,

and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11 Once God has spoken;

twice have I heard this:

that power belongs to God,

and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.

For you repay to all

according to their work.