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  • Writer's pictureDevoted Educator

Growing in Prayer

Read: Luke 11:1-13, Luke 18:15-17, and 1 Thessalonians 5

PRAY: Pray. Repent. Ask. Yield.

PRAY: Praise God. Revelation. Absolution. Yearning.

ACTS: Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication.

HEART: Honesty. Endurance. Awe. Repentance. Trust.

HEART: Honor God. Examine Your Life. Ask for help. Request for others. Thank God.

There are many popular acronyms these days that we can use to guide our daily prayer meditations and that we can use as a tool to help new believers learn how to pray. What is important about this process, regardless of how we do it, is that we recognize that God sent His son to save us, thank Him, share our needs with him, and ask that His will be done in our lives.

According to the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Thessalonica (within modern-day Greece), "Rejoice always, / pray without ceasing, / give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." These actions do not always come naturally to us, and even when they seem to make sense, they can be difficult to describe or articulate to others.

I recently asked young people of different ages what prayer is. Here are descriptions they gave me:

  • My 6-year-old daughter: "We pray before we eat and before we go to sleep. We can also pray with our baby dolls and when we have girl time."

  • My 10-year-old son: "Prayer is when we talk to God. We do it together, and I can do it by myself."

  • One of my 15-year-old students: "I pray because I'm supposed to." (Why?) "To talk to God." (What does it look like, or when do you do it?) "In the morning or at night. When I need to calm down."

  • Another 15-year-old student: "Anyone can pray. I pray when I need to talk to God or ask for help." (Why?) "It makes me feel better." (How would you explain prayer to a new believer or someone who doesn't understand it.) "There are people at my church who could probably explain it better, but I would probably pray with them to show them how to do it."

I love how, in these descriptions by children and teens in my life, I was about to see progressions in the development of their conceptions of prayer - and even how the 4th teen on the list above, although he wasn't sure what his specific words would be, said that he could try to lead by example by praying with someone to show them what prayer is. People around us see what we do and hear why we do it.

Ultimately, we can pray with and in front of others to share our thankfulness, our needs, and our belief with them. We can also pray alone and focus on our connection with the Lord. Both serve to build our connection to Him. Let's lead by example in praying with our children, inside and outside of church.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for your guidance in our lives. Please give us peace and a willingness to do your will. Let your will be done through us in our personal lives and the lives of those in our community. May we be a example of how to serve you as we serve and lead our children. We ask these prayers in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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