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FOCUS OF THE MONTH: PRAYING TO GOD
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For week one, ask the first question over an unhurried meal. Let the children think about it and then offer their own answers. The children should talk more than the parents. Throughout the week, offer the different reasons highlighted and let the children discuss them. (Parents, read through the relevant Bible passages in advance.) Challenge the children to look up other verses addressing the question. Do the same for the following questions each week for the month.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOUR FAMILY GROW
Why should we pray?
Read: Mark 11:22-26 and 14:38, John 16:26-28
- God wants to have fellowship with us—He wants us to spend time talking with Him, just like we would with our closest human friends and family members.
- Prayer is part of the Great Commission, to share Christ’s message of salvation with the world. God allows us to actively influence the lives of others for good through prayer, interceding for others and giving thanks for them as well as for ourselves (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- When we pray, whether for ourselves or others, we acknowledge our dependence on God for His mercy and care, and show our gratitude for what He does for us.
- Prayer is also an exercise of faith—just as we do not doubt that our parents will give us the things we ask for, if they are in accordance with what is best for us, so we should come to God in faith when we pray, knowing that He is already planning great blessings for us.
How do we pray?
Read: Matthew 6:6-13, Luke 11:1-4
- Jesus outlined prayer for us in the Lord’s Prayer
- Reverence for God and communion with Him as our Father is central to prayer.
- We pray for His Will to be done, rather than for our own selfish, limited aims.
- We make our petitions to Him in confidence, relying completely on His goodness.
- Confession and forgiveness, constant reminders of our salvation in Christ, form a key part of prayer.
- We are grateful to God and praise Him for His glory; prayer is a time for us to remember how great God is and tell Him how wonderful we think He is and how much we love Him, knowing how He loves us.
How does God respond when we pray?
Read: Matthew 6:25-34 and 7:7-11, Luke 18:1-8
- God always hears our prayers—nothing is too small or too great to pray about; He is interested in everything about us and in helping us with all our concerns.
- God answers our prayers according to His great, all-seeing wisdom. We cannot see the future, so we sometimes expect God to answer a prayer right away, when He may be using that time of waiting to prepare us and our circumstances so that the answer to our prayers comes at the very best possible time for everyone.
- Sometimes God does not answer our prayers the way we want, but He never says no without having something even better planned. A refused prayer can be an exciting opening for a greater surprise blessing to come.
- God answers our prayers according to our faith. He knows when we are really trusting Him and when we are merely asking as a matter of routine and don’t expect anything to happen. We have to believe in His Grace in order to receive His Grace—this happens with salvation as well as with smaller requests.
What should we pray for, and when?
Read: Psalm 55:16-17, Matthew 10:29-32, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
- Pray about everything! God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.
- We can pray at any time, and whenever some special need or cause of thanksgiving comes up, it is a good idea to pray about it right then, instead of waiting for an “official” prayer time. But it is good to have” particular times set aside to talk with God—just like you might talk with your best friend anytime, but will still set a certain time to call or go out together to have a free, uninterrupted time to talk. Quiet time alone with God is the best time to pray specially, but we don’t have to stop praying just because there are other things going on around us.
- Thanking God is a part of prayer that is often overlooked. While it is important and necessary to ask for His help, it is even more important to thank Him for all the blessings He gives us, especially those we didn’t ask for. Considering that God spends most of His time doing things “above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20) for us, it is a small return to thank Him for it constantly!