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I've seen others, and I think we can't go wrong with using the Lord's Prayer as a model (Jesus was - after all- teaching us HOW to pray). I'm interested to hear all your thoughts about prayer. If you're comfortable, share the triumphs and shortcomings in your prayer life.
I have to admit that often when my life is more stressful, my prayer increases. This is not something in which I am proud. I want to be one who prays continually. This is one of the verses I use for my own personal guide. I definitely fall short of this.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
We pray in our Toddler Sunday school room- that's the only experience have with it. We have the kids sit, close their eyes- and keep it short. I do think that as teachers- there is a limit to what we can do to really teach. It's one of those things that is up to parents to really teach kids to pray by nurture, model, and expectation. I think with a class full, being a good model is the best place to start.
I'm not one to believe that there is a certain pose one must take when speaking to God. I teach my girls that they can pray anywhere at any given time. We use prayer where many parents would use timeout. In a classroom setting, I'd start with the basics- being quiet, listening, talking about prayer. Personal prayer and community prayer have their differences, and would have different rules.
What sort of classroom? If it's for Sunday school, I'd do an series on it, starting out with the Bible- what it is... etc. Often we spend so much time on creation and noah's ark at this age, that the basics get missed.
Interesting topic, Manda, especially considering if I have a weakness in all of this I think it is my prayers. I have no idea how to teach it honestly!
Did your parents teach you how to pray? No. My parents never went to church & my grandparents who I did go with as a young young child never really taught me anything really. To me back then church was something you did on Sundays, nothing more. Not like what it is to me now... it's a relationship with Jesus, not church on Sundays. That's what I want to teach my children hopefully by modeling it to them. Are you comfortable in your prayer life? Ummmm, yes & no. I'm comfortable in my PRIVATE prayer life but not if I have to pray PUBLICLY. I talk to God, like I'm talking to you now. I do start by thanking him but it's not an eloquent prayer like so many others do & I'm kinda embarrassed to pray out loud. This is something I am still working on b/c I want to be that light. That's part of why Austin & I do a prayer walk once a week (well, we will start up again when school starts) but I have to admit, I do most of the talking to the residents & let him do the praying. I do want to teach my children evangelism & I do think that the prayer walk will teach this so even though I'm not sure of myself at times this is the one thing I have started that I feel really good about! Where do you pray? Everywhere... like I said, I talk to God so I could just start up a conversation while driving down the road, while sitting here on my computer, lying in bed, in the shower, you name it. One thing that I am going to incorporate into our HSing schedule is prayer every morning before school. What verses on prayer do you use an an example of how/when/where to pray? ??? None yet!
I've been apprenticing to be small group leader at church and have had to pray in a small group setting- and I'm totally uncomfortable with it also, but I'm being promoted to leader this fall, and I just have to get over it. Something I have found that works for me is splitting the prayer up- Like I do adortion, Jim does confession, Diane does Thanksgiving and Julia does supplication. Or we take prayer requests, and assign someone from the group to pray for that particular person. I think a LOT of people are uncomfortable in praying publically, but my role is a small group leader is 1. to get over it and 2. to help people come out of their comfort level and do the same. Our small groups are more like family- so that does make it a little easier. Those who would be mortified I never ask in front of people, but I might mention before our group starts that I might call on them to offer up part of the group prayer.
Well, last year when we went on our mission trip to Romania the game plan for mission work is to spend the ENTIRE week in one location... one village to build a relationship with the people & hopefully bring them to Jesus, not try to change their church but bring them to a relationship with Jesus. So after getting back from the mission trip I felt called to basically do the same sort of thing here in the US so the Lord laid it on my heart to do the same sort of thing with this one neighborhood in my community. Austin & I go once a week... we go door to door & after introducing ourselves, ask if the residents have any prayer requests they would like us to pray about. They tell us their requests & usually Austin prays for those requests on the spot unless the residents ask us not to. Basically I'm building a relationship with the residents of this neighborhood. I have become friends with several of them already... one sweet little old lady prayed for us & for me to get pg. I told her when I got pg but I still haven't told her about my m/c yet... not looking forward to that! She's going to be crushed... she was so happy when I got pg! I've even seen one guy (a resident) at the local grocery store once & he wanted to know when we were coming back! He wanted us to come back & pray for him! It's a really good thing, IMO, & it really helps some of the residents... they really like it. Of course we've run in to a few who shut the door in our face as soon as they hear the word prayer come out of our mouths too!
Of course it isn't a punishment- for any outsider lurking on this thread. But it works for us instead of being put in some place to think about why we're there, we pray to God for what we've done, ask guidance to help us when we're angry, sad, etc. We talk about how she could have better handled the situation, and what God tells us we should do (honor your mommy and daddy). We talk about what we could do better next time- then we pray, then we go on our merry way.
My parents didn't really teach me to pray. I mean, they sent me to Catholic school, so that kind of counts? This is a subject that is really important to me, and I don't know how to teach my son to pray. Partly, that is because my husband believes that he is not religious at all. I feel underqualified in this area to teach my son, but I am working on it!
__________________ Joanna wife, mother, blogger, support group leader, perpetually behind on laundry