National Day of Prayer

I got to spend my morning focused on prayer. My day started a bit earlier than usual as I arrived here at work to prepare to partner with the school attached to our building. I did my personal prayer, following a devotional format that’s been around for several centuries now. Then, I ran audio/visual for the school as they used song, movement, words, and writing to direct their morning prayers. They then prayed over many different aspects of family and society at prayer stations led by people who filled those roles. After a short break I led a session on praying for the president of the United States. Finally, the groups prayed for the media. The rest of my morning dealt with organizing prayer response times for the next few months in our Sunday morning program in the elementary age group.

Prayer has been a big part of my day, and it still is as mysterious as it is effective. We compared it to the lift on an airplane today – invisible, but powerful enough to lift a heavy object into the air. I am still amazed at how God answers prayers – especially when it happens in a way I never expected. He is faithful and continues to show it.

I want to brag on my preteens. I set up prayer stations for our overnight retreat a week or so ago that covered the stories of Gideon and Mary. (Both had similar experiences of a messenger out of the blue, a big ask, and their own questioning, and final acceptance of their call.) Five stations covered their stories using silent prayer, prostrate (face-down) prayer, writing, and drawing. Would you believe nine 10-12-year-olds were quiet enough to hear a pin drop while they listened, prayed, and responded to God’s prompting?

Kids are capable of connecting with God easier than adults, I think. They haven’t set up as many mental blocks to that kind of direct communication with God. Adults often feel silly or wonder if their prayers are being heard. Ask a child to talk with God, and they’ll do it without hesitation – and without any kind of doubt whether or not God hears them. This, in part, is what I think Jesus was talking about when he says that we need to have faith like a child. Faith here being a trust that goes beyond simple belief.

So take some time today, be silent, be prayerful. Write a letter, a poem, or draw a picture while you talk to God. Just spend some time with Him. He is a Parent, so we know He enjoys time with His kids. Don’t come in as an adult with qualms and feeling like it’s silly – be like a child.

What does your prayer life at home look like? How do you model prayer at home? What do you most often pray about? Do you mark and celebrate answered prayers with your family?


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