Archiving The Lord's Prayer

I've got time to excessively blog since we're just sitting around waiting on a school-date that hasn't shown and I'm not exactly sure how long to wait because its been a really long time since I've been stood up. I'm sure there's a good reason. Probably.

Anyway, I'm letting the kids watch wild-n-crazy British television. Have any of you ever seen the Upside Down Show? Its bizarrely simple and I'm realizing addictively funny. All four kids (ranging in ages from 1 to 9) are mesmerized. Simultaneously.

So, in order to clean out my purse, I need to archive some stuff. Namely a "talk" for Awanas from a few weeks ago that I gave to the group of third and fourth graders on prayer. Afterwards, one told me "You talk a lot, but thats ok because it was good". (Hopefully, the summary of my life). Here's the notes:

Imagine if your best friend couldn't talk. Imagine you're walking along, and he's with you, but wouldn't you kinda start ignoring him because he never says anything out loud?

That wouldn't feel very good to your best friend, would it? If you didn't talk to him?

God is kinda like that. Lots of people think he doesn't say anything because they don't understand that God talks through the Bible. He wrote down all the stuff we'll need to hear.

Its like a letter, straight to us from God. he loves us and wanted to make sure we knew stuff. he couldn't tell us everything in this world, so he told the really important stuff.

Sometimes its hard to believe we are so very extra important to him. But we are.

Just because we don't hear his voice the same as we hear each others doesn't mean he isn't communicating.

So. How can we communicate with God? How can we talk to him? We can pray!

There are some question we need to know about praying: Like What and Who and When and Where and How. Cause you may think you know how to pray, but are you sure? Do you know whate the Bible says about it?

So. Whta should we pray about? Whatever is in your heart. Some people say that God already knows everything so we don't need to tell him stuff. But think about it this way" Your parents and grandparents already know you love them, but they still like to hear it. It makes them feel good! God is like that oo -- He knows everything about us, but he still likes for us to tell him.

So we can pray to tell God all kings of things, and we can ask him all kinds of things.

This might be a good time to mention our policy that we don't take prayer requests about pets. Its that we have so very little time here that we can't get to everything and so we try to focus on human prayer requests. Fortunately, God isn't restricted like that and if something is important to you , He has time to listen. Always.

Here's an example of what one famous person asked of God:

Solomon was David's son. (Remember David from last week?) After King David died, when he was very old, his son Solomon became King.

It says in 1st Kings 3:3 and 3:5 "And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the footsteps of his father David ... At a place called Gieon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night and God said, Ask! What shall I give you?"

Think about that! God would have given him anything! ANYTHING he asked for!

What would YOU have asked for?

(Pause for answers to the question)

Well, here's what Solomon asked for. In 1st Kings3:9-10 is says "...please give me an understanding heart ... so that I can tell the difference between good and evil. This speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked for this thing."

God gave it to him. In fact, God was SO pleased that he gave Solomon everything else too! Money, power, long-life, victory over his enemies. All kinds of blessings!

But it all started when Solomon asked God to change his heart. Thats a good thing to pray for, and a powerful thing! God WILL change your heart, and help you to be a better Christian! That can be hard because change is hard, but its worth it!

Don't be confused into thinking that only important kings get to pray to God!

My thinking is that if God loves you enough to send Jesus to dies for you, then he loves you enough to listen when you talk to him.

Now, some kids might think "I'm only a kid! I'm too young to matter." But thats not what the Bible says!

1st Timothy 4:12 "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, conduct, in love, in spirite, in faith, in purity!"

That means not to be upset that you're young, because you're still an example of what a Christian is.

And if you're a good Christian example, you're certainly supposed to be praying.

When are we supposed to be praying?

1st Thessalonians 5:17 says "Pray without ceasing!"

Thats means all the time. But what exactly is "all the time"?

It might mean we're supposed to not ignore God like when I had you imagine at the beginning that you were ignoring your best friend.

It could mean that we're supposed to consider Godly actions all the time.

Some people only act like good Christians on Sundays, or at church BUT NOT when they go to school or to work or at the store or other places.

Christians aren't perfect, but this verse is about communicating with God all the time so we remember to TRY to be perfect all the time.

If you're praying or thinking about God, you're probably not going to be mean or do stuff that's wrong.

A lot of time we make mistakes and sin because we just aren't paying attention. Pryaing helps us pay attention so we don't end up ignoring God.

Lets talk about the "where" part of prayer.

When God talks to us, the Bible is here on Earth with us.

So when we talk to God, it makes sense that our prayers go to him in Heaven!

Consider Psalms 100:4 "Enter into his gates with Thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise"

Thats a very kingly image, which is fitting sicne God is after all the King of Kings!

The gates might be the netrance to his holy city and the courts aren't like courts where people get sent to jail, but like "courts" which are huge rooms where kings sit on their thrones!

Isn't it amazing that our prayers go right up to his very throne!?!

SO! We know what, who, when, where. That just leaves HOW.

Like I sai before, God put all our important instructions in the Bible and sure enough it has a section on How To Pray.

Jesus'followers one day just asked him! How do we Pray.

Jeses followers one day just asked him! How do we Pray?And he answered them in Matt 6:9-13

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed by your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive our debtors
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory
forever! Amen.

Lets talk about the details. What exactly is this saying? How do we fit our lives into those words?

Take the first part: "Our father in Heaven". Its clear who we're talking to, an that we love him like he's a good father.

"Hallowed be your anme" makes it clear that we understand even his very name is holy.

"Your kingdom come, your will be done" is acknowledgin that God's will is more important than ours. Really, he knows WAY more than us. It is SO crazy to think our will (which is another way of saying what we want) is better than what God plans!

But sometimes when we're ignoring God, we kinda forget that and just wander along doing whatever we please.

This verse is like asking God to help us remember to do what HE wants us to do.

'On Earth as it in in Heaven" points out that God is everywhere and poweful everywhere.

"Give us this day our daily bread" This is about God taking care of our physical need.

"And forgive us our bets as we forgive our debtors" This is about God taking care of our spiritual needs.

"Do not lead us into temptaion" is about protecting us from ourselves. In other words, help us to be better Christians.

And "Deliver us from the evil one" is about protecting us from the Devil.

"For yours is the Kingdom and the POwer and the GLory forever! Amen" is pretty much saying that we believe he has the authority and ability to do all those previous things!

Lets Review HOW

1) We love Him
2) We understand He's holy
3) We know HIs will is better
4) He's everywhere and all powerful
5) He can take care of our physical needs
6) He can take care of our spiritual needs
7) He can help us make better decisions
8) He can protect us from the Devil
9) W have faith in his ability and goodness

Lets talk about this: What if we pray wrong? What if we don't get all the words right?

The Bible says this in 1st Samuel 16:7 "For the Lord does not see as man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart"

He knows whats in our hearts and he knows when we're sincere. "Sincere" in another way of saying we really mean it instead of just saying the right words but thinking something else.

One more thing: God will ALWAYS answer our prays. The answer just might be "no." I don't understand, because I'm not God.

Some things make no sense to me. I don't understand stuff, like why bad things happen to good people. Or why some people get miracles and others don't.

That's where faith comes in. Sometimes, you're going to have doubt. That's OK. The faith part is about giving God the benefit of the doubt.

Being able to pray to God, "I don't understand, but I believe you ...

Love me like a good father and
You are good and holy and
You know more than me and
You're everywhere and
You can take care of stuff and
You can protect me and
You are still powerful and good.

Sound familiar?

Make Waves

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