Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 80

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

1  Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh!

2  Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3  Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!

4  O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5  You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6  You make us the scorn of our neighbors; and our enemies laugh among themselves.

7  Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!

8  You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

9  You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

10  The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;

11  it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

12  Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

13  The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14  Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see;

15  have regard for this vine, the stock which your right hand planted.

16  They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance!

17  But let your right hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!

18  Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name!

19  Restore us, O LORD of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

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.

Jacob Blesses His Grandsons

Genesis 48

1.       Jacob becomes ill in the land of Egypt, and Joseph brings his sons. How does (did) your father take care of your grandfather in illness? What are your intentions in caring for your parents? What practical preparations can sons take for the eventual death of their parents?

2.       What parallels are there between Jacob’s blessing from his father Isaac, and Jacob’s blessing of his grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim?

3.       What surprises Joseph about Jacob’s blessing of the sons? What precedents are there in Genesis regarding a father’s preference for his sons? What precedents are there in Genesis of the reversal of the father’s preference?

4.       Jacob leaves a legacy of blessing for his grandsons. What legacy have you received from your grandfathers? How is your father’s legacy affecting your children? What legacy would you bestow on your grandchildren? How often do your intentions for your grandchildren affect your present priorities and decisions?

Prayer Partners

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