Tonight we continue our exploration of The Lords Prayer with the 3rd and 4th petitions, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” and “Give us today our daily bread”. We’ll be answering a very tough question when people begin to discuss the intersection of God’s will and our own:
Why should I pray when God doesn’t answer all my prayers?
According to the Bible, prayer changes God. Abraham negotiated with God on behalf of people. Moses did the same. We are to pray without timidity or fear. The Psalms are excellent examples for us, showing us ways to reveal our full emotions. Jesus taught us that when we pray with persistence, God – like a man holding tightly to his loaf of bread – will eventually relent.
Jesus himself prayed in the Garden of Gathsemane, asking that God would let him avoid suffering. But God didn’t respond to that prayer the way Jesus wanted, nor does God always respond to our prayers the way we would like. The other thing to keep in mind is that prayer changes us. By being in regular contact with God, we are constantly made aware of how God sees the world.
In the end with Jesus as our example, prayer should be our way of life – less about making requests of God, and more about engaging God with the stuff of our lives. Tonight we’ll explore some different prayer postures that we might assume by looking at scripture passages throughout the old and new testaments. Then in small group we’ll look at some of the ways things around us everyday (like street signs) can remind us to pray as we consider God’s sense of humor.
This week’s Take Home Activity is to practice praying without words throughout this week by using drawings, magazine cutouts, or other items which represent prayer. Then CREW members will be asked to consider God’s gift of communication with us.