A recent discussion between my kids and myself during Bible study greatly changed their perspectives on prayer. *Awesomeness* Not only was it a blessing to them, but it helped me to refocus my own heart and reclaim parts of my prayer life that I had allowed to slip away.
My goal has been to help our kids grow in their prayer lives and, in turn, grow their personal relationships with God.
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door,pray to your Father who [is] in the secret [place]; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6
Our first step was to look at some of the different kinds (or purposes) of prayer. The list we put together is:
- healing- spiritual, emotional, and physical
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6
Our discussion took us through Jesus’ example of how we ought to pray (Matthew 6:9-13), when to pray (before reading our Bibles, before we go to sleep, when we don’t understand something, etc…), and the importance of praying for forgiveness and for others before our own needs and wants.
All good lessons, yes, but prayer is so much more than that.
Prayer is a conversation with God.
This lead me to ask them a couple of questions. Do you ignore the people in your life that you love and who hold a special place in your heart? Do you only call when you need something? NO!
We call to catch up, share blessings that have happened, share the triumphs in our lives, to seek advice, to vent, and just to let them know that we love them and are thinking of them. And those are just a handful of the reasons we call.
It is far too easy to make God so big in our own minds that we forget that we have a personal and intimate relationship with our Saviour.
“Blessed [be] God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!” Psalm 66:20
We must always be on guard and not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of limiting our prayers, our conversations with God, to please’s, thank you’s, and forgive me’s and think that God is too big, too busy, and not interested in every detail of our lives. He is incredibly interested!
“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17
In my own prayer life, there are so many thing that I work through during my conversations with God. I lean heavily on His influence and guidance in my life, from the big stuff to the tiny details.
I ask Him for inspiration when I sit down to write. I talk to Him about my struggles. I cry on His shoulder when I am feeling frustrated and my heart is hurting. I share with Him the blessings that made my day, though I know He already knows about them. He is the one who orchestrated them in the first place! *grin*
I don’t want to hold back even one small part of my life from Him in our conversations.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,” Philippians 1:9
Though I pray for and plan out these daily lessons for our kids during our morning Bible studies, God takes those lessons and teaches me just as much, if not more, than them!
I, sadly, was allowing my prayer life to become less and less important. That should never be! This lesson was exactly what I needed at the moment I needed it. God just works that way, and I am truly thankful that He does. Why? Our prayers lives are indicative of the health of our relationship with God. I never want my personal relationship with God to ever be less than all-encompassing in my life.
Now, I am going to ask you the question that I felt on my own heart that day. How often do you share your life, your thoughts, your hopes, your fears, and your needs with God?
To God be the glory,