July 26: All things work for good — Family faith formation at home


Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together. 

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings 

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Romans 8:26-39

Read the scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.


Invite those gathered to close their eyes as the passage is read a second time and to pay attention to the images that come to mind as the text is reread. When the second reading is complete, invite people to jot down or draw the images that were at the forefront of their minds.


Connecting through Story

Watch and listen to the reading of the book “Wherever You Are” by Nancy Tillman

  • Where were all the places the child went?
  • Where was God?
  • Where are all the places you go?
  • Where is God at those times and in those places?


Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • What does it mean to you that Spirit brings our prayers to God even when we don’t know what or how to pray for what we need?
  • Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for good.” What is working together for good in your life?
  • Paul believes, and states often, that we have been chosen by God. What do you think that means? For what has God chosen us?
  • Since God has already chosen us, who are we free to be and what are we free to do?
  • What are things that separate you from God? What is difficult? What is stressful or causes anxiety for you? What causes you to feel exposed and vulnerable?
  • How do you react or respond in these situations or with these feelings?
  • What does it mean to you that you are more than a conqueror? Who emboldened or empowered you to conquer your challenges? In what ways?
  • Why does Scripture want us to know that all the death-dealing situations, worry about the future, the troubles of today and things that have power over us cannot separate us from the love of God?
  • How do you know that God’s love will always find and be present with you?


Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • The Holy Spirit gives us strength when we feel weak.
  • God knows our deepest prayers — even before we can speak our prayers or know what is in our hearts or on our minds.
  • The Holy Spirit continues God’s work in us even now.
  • The very being of God is good and God wants nothing but goodness for us.
  • God uses all things to bring about goodness.
  • Many people think predestination is a difficult concept and, too often, it is misinterpreted as pre-determinism (God has pre-determined what house we will live in). However, predestination is really about salvation. It means God has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves and chosen us for salvation and service.
  • We have been chosen, or elected, to be encompassed in God’s life-giving, all-consuming, grace-filling love.
  • Since this is the depth of the relationship we have with God – the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer – then there is nothing that can judge us unworthy.
  • Nothing this life throws at us nor anything we do – nothing – can ever break our connection, our relationship, with God.
  • God will always love us and will always be with us — wherever we are.

Watch this version of “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen” and discuss how today’s passage from Romans 8 intersects with the message of this song. (If you have children or youth in your gathering, you may prefer this version.)



Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.