In our nightly routine we say a prayer I said as a kid, “Good job, Mom.” Then we often open it up for prayer comments or requests and the shout-outs keep coming.
Jacob “Let’s pray for Jesus.”
Me “Good one Jacob. Gavin, do you have any?”
Me “Good one Gav. Jacob, anymore?”
Me “Sure we can pray for Mom. Gavin, anymore?”
Me “Good one. We can pray for Dad. Jacob, anymore?”
Jacob “Let’s pray for cars.”
Me “We can be thankful to God for giving us cars.”
I could type page after page about what we say. Some nights we are more distracted than others. Honestly, some nights I am tired and ready to put kids to bed. Yet, I try to stay faithful in our prayers to help them focus on them. I will tell you I avoid a lot of detailed theology. Yes, when I pray with my kids, we pray for Jesus—I’m pretty sure He doesn’t need us to pray for Him. It is really all about encouraging an open communication with little correction so we don’t discourage prayer. I am not concerned about perfect theology with them. We often end up praying for milk, heads, socks, and whatever else we think of.
One odd thing I have noticed in being a pastor, is that so many of us are afraid to pray out loud. Honestly, these are the things that keep me up at night. Why in the world would we be fearful of praying out loud? Praying is just talking to God and sharing our hearts with Him.
Yet, through time I have found out that so many of us are afraid to say the wrong thing to Him. The amazing thing is that God knows our inner thoughts. He knows everything about us. The only real thing we could say wrong would be to rebuke Him. But if we are worried about that, then we are pretty much on track with focusing on our faith. Yet, I think we are more fearful of what others will think of us. Funny, that our world which is focused on images and how we appear, has even taken over our prayer lives.
This week we will talk about Pray 1. This is the last piece of our discipleship model. To be honest, it was one of those topics that we really wrestled with through time and prayer. We believe one of the necessary pieces of making disciples in 2012 is to help us realize why prayer is important for our lives. I believe God wants us to become a church where we can pray out loud with little worry of getting our words perfect, or about what others think.
In Biblical history before Jesus came, there was a curtain separating people from a direct connection with God. But when Jesus died and rose again, that curtain was torn and opened, allowing a direct connection with Him. Now we find ourselves with the opportunity to talk with Jesus every day whenever we want. What an amazing gift God has given! Because of that gift, we are given the chance to live in direct and constant communication with Him, connecting us with our Savior and Creator. How cool is that?