The practice of Faith Sharing comes from Jesus’ words: “When two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst.” It is also rooted in the old Christian practice of Lectio Divina — Divine Reading. Lectio is primarily a process of ENCOUNTER: encountering God, listening to God’ s Word, and surrendering to it. Faith sharing takes Lectio and brings it one step further — sharing the fruits with others.
Faith sharing is the practice in which two or more people share experiences about their relationship with God: their awareness of God’s Presence in the events of their lives; their struggles to believe in God’s Presence; the ways in which they have responded to or resisted God’s Presence in their lives; places of suffering, confusion, or joy that have been the entry point for their prayer. It is grounded in humble acceptance of the truth that each of us is a person honored and loved by God and that God is present and active in all of our lives. It assumes the belief that God often chooses to minister to us through the sharing and support of others.
Intentional faith sharing is done in an atmosphere of reverent listening and confidentiality, surrounded by prayer. People are asked to share their experiences simply and to receive the sharing of others without judgment or attempts to change the experience. There are numerous possibilities for the content of what is shared, e. g., a response to such things as Scripture, a film, or some form of prayer experienced with a group.
Responding in Prayer
In faith-sharing itself, each person’s sharing is followed only by a prayerful silence during which the group holds the person in prayer. If there is any dialogue, it comes only after everyone has shared. It is generally related to the common experience of the group rather than the experiences of specific individuals.
The Basic Steps of Faith Sharing: We invite God to come into our hearts. We open our minds, hearts and soul to receive the Word.
We read (or listen) to the text.
We let God speak to us in silence … during this time we notice the words or phrases that touch our heart, challenge, stir, or correct us.
We ask ourselves: How is my life touched by this scripture passage? Is there an invitation here for me?
We share what we have heard in our hearts.
We commit to some action individually or as a group. It is important that at the end of each session we ask ourselves: “What is God calling us to? How could we respond?
In Faith Sharing, we share how we are touched, called or challenged by the Scriptures or the questions in our material.
We might talk about how a word or phrase spoke to us in a special way; how we understood the passage in a new way; or how we felt called or challenged by God’ s Word.
We might talk about how we are experiencing God’ s presence in our lives at this moment; the image we have of God or of Jesus in this passage; or how we are challenged to see God’ s presence and action in our daily lives.
We might find that the fruit of our prayer are questions that still have no answers and ask the group for their prayers.