My wife is amazing and yesterday she came up with this craft for her Sunday School class. It was a reminder that we can talk to God anytime and also about the sort of things that we should talk to God about. The children can move the bead along to remind them to talk with God about the different areas. You can see more Sunday School ideas on my wife’s Pinterest board.
What do you pray about? Do you mainly ask for help, are you more of a thank you person or do you have a different main focus in prayer?
Engines need the right parts or they won’t work properly.
Prayer also needs the right ingredients/parts if we are to experience it as God intended.
Jesus taught his disciples how to pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Some Christians believe this as a prayer just to learn and recite but I believe it is designed to show us the key ingredients for prayer and so I use it as a pattern for prayer. Each line of the prayer gives us an area that you can think and pray about.
Reflecting on who God is: God is holy powerful but he still wants us to call him father. Do we consider the fullness of who God is? Do we see him mainly as all-powerful and beyond our comprehension or do we see him purely as an all loving God who we expect to always be nice to us? The start of any prayer should be God as we focus on him in order to discover who he is (not who we think he is).
Asking that God’s priorities and will would happen: We want people to see God as king and for his values and commands to be recognized and obeyed. Before launching into our own list of thoughts it is worth asking God to show us what his values and priorities are, we might be surprised!
Asking for what we need: What is it that we need to get through the day? Will we let God know that we are depending on him for those things as we ask him to provide for us?
Asking for forgiveness and considering who we need to forgive: Christians can thank God for his forgiveness and we also need to realize that when we receive God’s forgiveness that it should inspire us to also forgive those who have hurt us. When we find it hard to forgive we can ask God for more of his love and grace to help us work towards forgiveness.
Asking to be free from temptation: What is holding us back? What unhelpful shortcuts in life are we tempted by? What areas of sin have got a hold of us? As we pray to be free from temptation in an area we are agreeing with God that we want change in our lives. This prayer ingredient is the start of a partnership between us and God’s Spirit to be free from the particular temptation.
These five areas are key parts in the engine of prayer. Are there any of the five that you rarely, if ever pray about? Jesus said that these are the things we should pray about so perhaps we should believe him and try to develop the types of prayer lives that he wants us to have.
Remember that it’s good to pray so let’s make time to talk with God.