Tomorrow we will begin with a discussion on what they (the 7th and 8th grade girls) believe prayer to be. What they have been taught about it thus far. When they pray, how, how long/often, what for, yourself/others, do you see Him answer? Things like that. Then i'm going to throw out 2 ideas that people have told me, and see what they think about them :
- Prayer is a relationship.
- Prayer cannot be seperated from lifestyle.
From there we will take our preconceived beliefs and match them up with God's Word and see what He tells us about PRAYER.
The main passage our bible study program is wanting to use is 1Timothy 2:1-8. Paul is writing to Timothy, the leader of the church in Ephesus, giving him instructions on worship. The first 6 words of this opening verse are, 'I urge, then, first of all....' Whatever he is about to say to them is obviously important, he is URGING them to do this FIRST, and that is to PRAY. He list all these different types of prayer and then tells them why it is important to pray. Then he goes on and speaks about Christ, how He gave His life as a ransom for us, and now is the mediator between God and us.
We will disect this passage. We will define each of the types of prayer. Then, move on to why it is important to communicate with the Lord- relating other scripture to it. Next, we will talk about how Christ death relates to prayer.
Every week i try to give the students an opportunity to pray...
"Would anyone like to pray?"
"Alright. Let's bow."
Each week i get the same response, but it's never a surprise. I remember being there. Actually am STILL there, but not to that extent. It's like we are so afraid of what people are going to think... 'umm well you see, my words aren't big enough' ... 'i dont know how to' ... you remember the feeling. I always hated whenever our youth director would scan the audience and select someone to pray for us- AHH you would like look at the floor, trying so hard not to make eye contact with him. Being the leader in this class has really made me step it up when it comes to certain areas of my life - such as praying. When i was at that age I don't remember ANYONE ever saying a prayer and me thinking WOW they are an idiot. What I remember is wanting to be brave like them! It isn't man's approval we are after, it's the Lords.
I want these girls to be able to see the importance of prayer, but to understand that it's not about the words we use or how smart we can sound. It's US! It's our hearts. God just wants YOU, ALL of you! He already knows what is going on in your life, He already knows how you feel about it, and heck, He already knows the outcome... He just wants you to be willing to come to Him and talk to Him about it. He wants a RELATIONSHIP with you! So we don't have to come to Him and pretend to be WISE, extremely happy, or whatever... be real with Him! That's what He wants.
At the end of class we are going to have signs posted on the wall-
There will be little slips of paper for the girls to write down things/issues for themselves, friends, family, answered prayer, whatever the case may be... and they will take those (anonymous) and place them underneath the category that it fits. We will each get in line, walk up to the signs and read through each slip and lift it up to the Lord. silently. Because otherwise, they probably won't participate... but atleast it will get them started. Then hopefully one day, one of the girls will surprise me and offer to open us up in prayer, infront of her peers! And i will let her know, the Lord is SO proud of you, and so am i!
If you would have told me whenever i was in Junior High, let's see that would be uhm... about 8 or 9 years ago.... that i would be teaching Sunday School... I would have FLAT OUT laughed in your face. I was the one who felt like i needed to pray and shouldn't feel ashamed about it, but was always too scared. I was the one who saw all the people who seemed so in love with God and i wanted what they had, but never understand how come i wasn't experiencing it too. I was the one who tried to read her bible, but never understood it. I was the one who wanted acceptance, wanted to be popular... the list goes on. I always try to let the girls know how i was at their age, that they are NOT alone, i felt the same things, i remember SO distinctly being there, i know how i thought, how i acted, the things i tried to do... i know how hard it is to start reading your bible/have a quiet time and feeling like you don't have a CLUE where to start or what it's saying. I have been there. We all have! I think it's so important at that age for them to realize they aren't aliens. If you get what i'm saying! I'm not going to try to act smarter than them, or anything like that, i want them to feel like they can come to Sunday School and be completely themselves, and know that they are accepted by the Lord and by me! I want them to know that they too are precious and smart enough to understand and know Him!
K! Well i don't know why i told you all of this... just didn't really have anything else to blog about. It's been a real challenge trying to get back on Junior High level and teach a lesson... making sure i'm getting it across to them. If you have any advice, i would gladly listen! I hope you each have a great day! Love!
1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually.