Conversation Starters: Prayer
Posted by Karah
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can try to avoid bad news. We can pretend it’s not there. But that doesn’t change reality. We have to face up to bad news when it happens. That’s what Nehemiah was faced with in today’s Scripture: a mountain of bad news that hit him like a truck. Nehemiah’s example invites us to do as he did: Nehemiah responded by turning to God in prayer. His example can help us do the same. Whatever we’re facing, we should seek God and turn to Him in prayer. God has given us prayer as a way to have constant communication with Him.
Matthew 4:23-25; 5:1-2; 6:5-13
LIFE POINT: Jesus traveled, taught in the churches (synagogues, temples), preached about God, and helped people. Large crowds followed Jesus. One day, Jesus went up the mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him. Jesus taught everyone. He said, “When you pray, go to a special place by yourself and talk to God. God will see you and hear you. Remember, God knows what you need before you ask Him.” Jesus said, “Pray like this: ‘God, we love You. Help us do the things You want us to do. Give us the food we need. Help us remember to love those who hurt us just as You love us. Help us to make the right choices. Amen.”
LIVE IT OUT: Pray with your child and begin teaching her to pray. Help her learn, not by using memorized prayers, but by praying in simple words she can understand.
LIFE POINT: Jesus taught His followers many things. One thing He taught them was how to pray. Jesus told them not to pray just so others would see them. He told them not to use lots of words that did not mean anything. Jesus said that God knows what people need even before they ask Him. Jesus told His followers to pray by talking to God their Father in heaven. He taught them to pray that God would be honored. He wanted them to pray for God’s will to be done. Jesus taught people to ask God for what they need. He taught them to ask God to forgive their sins. He taught people to pray that they would not keep sinning. Jesus also told the people that they must forgive others if they want God to forgive them.
LIVE IT OUT: Jesus modeled how we should pray. You can model prayer for your child. Give him many opportunities to pray at home. The more he prays, the more comfortable he will be with praying in public.
THE POINT: Push forward by leaning into prayer. What do you pray for? Talk about the difference in praying for what we want versus praying for what God wants. Discuss the following quote:
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.”1 — Brother Lawrence
LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:
If he or she plans to complete Push Back:
• Talk to your student about how God wants us to come to Him with our fears, worries, and problems.
• Set an example by leading out in prayer, showing your student what it looks like to lean into God through prayer.
If he or she plans to complete Focus, Focus, Focus:
• Your student will study more about fasting in a couple of weeks, but you can begin laying the foundation by helping him or her understand how fasting from something can help us connect with God.
1. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God as quoted in Joel Balin, The Spirit, Soul & Body of Worship (Norcross: Ampelon Publishing, 2006), 39.