Hello Parents! This week we are focusing on the fact that God WANTS to hear from us. Your kids and I talked about how the creator of the universe, the One who hung the stars in the heavens actually cares about us... and has a plan for each one of us! How awesome is that!
The PACT for this week includes a simple structure for prayer. By no means is the is the only way we should pray! The ideas below are some suggestions to help you remember some of the things we can talk with God about.
The acronym P.R.A.Y. has helped me a lot in this area.
Above all, help your children remember that there is no secret formula or specific way to pray. Prayer is just talking with God! Plain and simple. Help your kids remember that God wants to hear from them and cares SO much about them.
Positions of Prayer
The Bible gives many different positions for prayer. Look up the verses to find a way to pray, and then pray that way. You could tack up each verse at a different place, find each one, read the verse, and say a short prayer at each spot.
Psalm 123:1 (eyes open and looking toward Heaven)
Psalm 95:6 (kneeling)
Psalm 63:4 (lifting up your hands)
Deuteronomy 9:18 (laying on the floor)
You can call out to God wherever you are—no matter the position of your body. The praying position is not as important as what you are thinking or saying. God cares more about your heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
Pray, Repent, Ask, Yield
David poured out his heart to God in Psalm 44, honestly sharing his feelings. (God sees and knows what we are thinking anyhow.)
Is it hard to talk to God even though we cannot see Him? Why?
Encourage your kids to put an empty chair in front of or beside them when they pray. Ask them to imagine that Jesus is sitting in the chair wanting to hear what they have to say.
Students in the upper elementary classes learned to pray using the PRAY acronym. Encourage them to use this as a guide when having a personal quiet time. You could even read the verses and talk about each one together; then STOP and "practice" each part.
Start your prayer by thinking about God, not yourself.
Read Psalm 145:1-3,8-9. Say good things about God.
Read Psalm 51:1-2
David admitted he had done wrong—no excuses, no hiding it, no keeping it!
Tell God what you have done: I have____________. Please forgive me.
Read Psalm 57:1-3
You can ask God for anything; He has promised to answer if it is according to His will.
Read Psalm 19:14
David realized he belonged to God. He wanted everything he thought and everything he said to please God. The only way to come to God is to yield (give) our selves to Him to do His work and to live for His glory (not our own). Tell God you want to do His work and make Him happy.
Items Needed: Materials needed to make sock puppets (white socks, black felt or construction paper for the ears and a black marker)
*If you don't have any white socks without mates wasting away in the laundry room, you could make the puppets from paper lunch bags and add the ears and draw the faces with a marker.)
Make sheep and shepherd puppets (kids could choose which they want to make) and put on a puppet show.
Read Psalm 23 (the psalm we studied) aloud.
What does David compare God or the Lord to? (His shepherd)
David compares God to a shepherd and praises Him for providing everything he needed.
If you have kids who are readers, ask them to look at the verses and find something the shepherd does for the sheep. (He gives them food; he leads them; he stays close to them; he guides them; he protects them; he comforts them; he honors and blesses, etc.)
What does God do for us? (Gives us food, leads us, stays close to us, protects, etc.)
Pair up a shepherd and a sheep and ask them to make up a puppet show, presenting how the shepherd provides for his sheep. (The shepherd could lead the sheep into a pen and then fight off a wolf that comes to attack.)
We can be glad God is a good shepherd who provides for us.
Items Needed: Construction or copy paper, markers or crayons
Ask kids to illustrate a verse from Psalm 23 of the shepherd and the sheep. For example, they could draw a picture of the shepherd leading the sheep to water or the shepherd protecting the sheep from a wolf.
Ask them to write a sentence of thanks to God at the top or bottom of their picture. (Thank you for giving me water. Thank you for protecting me while I sleep.) Take turns letting each one tell about his picture and then say the prayer of thanks aloud.
If you have older kids, assign each one a verse and pray through Psalm 23.
Psalm 23:1—Thank you for being my shepherd. You give me everything I need.
Psalm 23:2—Thank you for leading me and giving me strength.
Our Great Provider
After dinner, invite family members to leave the table, choose one thing they are glad God has given them, and hide it (while the others aren't looking). Take turns looking for each person's item as he or she gives you clues telling if you are "hot" or "cold."
Take turns allowing each family member to say 'thank you' to God for the item they chose and hid.
God is kind and good to give us what we need! We focus on God as our Provider; we respond to Him by being thankful.
If you have any questions about this lesson or anything else please feel free to eMail me at here. We are on this journey called parenting together!
We will study the book of Psalms for the next several weeks in the D6 Curriculum with a focus on worshiping God. King David wrote many of the psalms, which were actually songs the people sang as they worshiped God. Each week we will FOCUS on one characteristic about God and how we can RESPOND to Him in worship.
Take a PRAISE WALK with a digital camera or your phone in hand. Look at God’s creation and let family members snap pictures. Load these to your computer and praise God as you look at the pictures.
God is the creator of Heaven and earth. He is worthy (same root word as worship) of all praise!
All Creation Praises God
Items Needed: play-doh and slips of paper with an animal name written on each one
Write the name of an animal on each slip of paper and put the papers in a basket. Let each child choose a slip (animal) to shape from Play-Doh. (If you have older children, allow them to choose two animals and make a completely different animal combining the two.)
What do we know about God from looking at and thinking about His creation? (He is wise, creative, powerful, fun, etc.)
Ask an older child to read Psalm 8 aloud.
What does this tell us about God? (God's glory fills up the earth; He made everything; He has put man in charge of all the animals; He is so great and yet He made and cares for us, etc.)
God is worthy to be praised!
Make a Joyful Noise!
Items Needed: Praise CD, Instruments (make your own with spoons and pans, dried beans in a plastic container, comb and tissue paper, etc.)
Students will begin learning Psalm 100 in the coming weeks (one verse at a time). Write out the Psalm together and post it somewhere it will be seen often.
Read Psalm 100 aloud.
What does Psalm 100:1 tell us to do? (Make a joyful noise or shout to the Lord)
Play a CD and invite the kids to sing and play along with their instruments. Hopefully, it's a joyful noise!
Throughout the week, set an alarm at random times during the day or evening and give a reward to the first one who arrives at the fridge (where the verse is posted) and says Psalm 100:1.