Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 86

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2  Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant who trusts in you.

3  You are my God; have mercy on me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day.

4  Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

5  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in mercy to all who call on you.

6  Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication.

7  In the day of my trouble, I call on you, for you do answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

9  All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

10  For you are great and do wondrous things, you alone are God.

11  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

12  I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name for ever.

13  For great is your merciful love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14  O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seek my life, and they do not set you before them.

15  But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and faithfulness.

16  Turn to me and take pity on me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your handmaid.

17  Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dream

Genesis 41

1.       After two years, Joseph’s talents are recalled, and he has one opportunity to impress Pharaoh.  How does Joseph carry himself?  How does Joseph win Pharaoh’s confidence?  Are there any lessons for a Patriarch in his approach of authority?

2.       Joseph must know that Pharaoh has different religious beliefs than himself.  Nevertheless, Joseph from the beginning credits dream interpretation not to himself, but to “God.”  What effect might this have on Pharaoh?  What immediate advantage might it have for Joseph?  What long-term advantage might this have for Joseph?  How might a present Patriarch advantageously credit God in the hiring process?  In employment?

3.       Pharaoh asks for an interpretation.  Joseph offers more than an interpretation.  What is Joseph’s shrewd move after offering Pharaoh the interpretation?  How is he setting himself up for his next success?

4.       Who does Pharaoh credit with the interpretation?  How does Pharaoh reward Joseph for his faithfulness to God?

5.       Joseph marries an Egyptian, has half-Egyptian children, and is employed by the Egyptian empire.  After his promotion and marriage, what evidence is there he retains his faith?

6.       Joseph works for an employer of a different religion, different politics, and different moral beliefs.  What is the quality of his work?  What role does his excellence in working for an employer with a different religion ultimately play in the salvation of the nation of Israel?  Modern Catholic Patriarchs will frequently find themselves working with and for men of different religions, politics, and morals.  What does Joseph’s experience teach a modern patriarch about the employment circumstance he finds himself in?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.