Archive | September 16th, 2013

Teach Us to Pray

September 16, 2013

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We have been studying the Sermon on the Mount in my 3rd-5th grade class the last couple of weeks. We used the opportunity to talk about and review how Jesus taught us to pray. (Luke 11:1-4, Matthew 6:5-15) The formula is so simple, everyone from the young boys to grown men can benefit from it when facing the need to give a public prayer.

Some people are deathly afraid to get in front of an audience to speak as it is, but add the weight of leading a group of people in prayer and it can be truly overwhelming. Sometimes we speak of someone’s ability to lead a beautiful prayer and it creates a false impression that God will only hear a prayer that is “beautiful.”

Luckily, we know that is not the case. Paul assures us that even when we misspeak, the Holy Spirit is there to tell God what we really meant. (Romans 8:26-27) We can take comfort that all of our prayers are powerful (James 5:16) and that God did not make it difficult to speak to him. Based on the lessons Jesus taught, here are a few pointers about prayer:

Praying need not be complicated or showy.

Praying need not be complicated or showy.

  • prayers should be short
  • prayers should acknowledge God’s greatness
  • we need forgiveness and deliverance from temptation
  • long showy prayers and vain repetitions are sinful
  • even Christians are sinful and need forgiveness
  • avoiding temptation is as important avoiding sin
  • Christians must be forgiving as well as forgiven

One last pointer that I have for the young boys that I have taught over the years (which works for grown-ups too!) is to pray aloud even when we are alone. This helps tremendously to get used to hearing our own voice in that context and keeps us focused on our prayer while we are talking to God.

Daily Bible reading for September 16

Psalm 46
2 Samuel 6
Ezekiel 6
Luke 11:1-36

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