Topic: Uncharted Prayer
Student Involvement: Kids were taking pictures, working our cafe, leading small groups, sharing Uncharted Kindness testimonies, playing on the worship team, greeting, and checking others in.
Fun Stuff: Took a couple of Poll Everywhere polls on prayer.
Attendance: 166 with 6 first time visitors
Bible Verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 1:5, 1 John 5:14 - 15, Hebrews 4:16, James 5:16
The "Big" Idea: Why I Pray (My seminary professor wouldn't be very happy with my "main" thought so it's a good thing I'm not getting graded on it ... lol)
Night Review: We continued our "Uncharted" theme and tackled the topic of Uncharted Prayer. I'll be honest, I often have more questions about prayer than I do answers. It's a very mysterious thing to me and I am so unable to wrap my mind around it. The idea that I can talk to God (who is so far above anything that I could ever understand) and the idea that this same God, although He could work any way He wants to work, has CHOSEN to work through our prayers ... well, that concept just blows my mind. I don't understand it ... but I want to do it. I'm trying to be a person of prayer and not just a person who prays.
Our Poll Everywhere poll showed that 96% of our kids believed that prayer was important, but 86% of them spent less than 10 minutes a day praying. Interesting. If we truly believe something is important, would we spend more than 10 minutes a day doing it? (Talking to myself more than anyone else, here). Anyway, I simply spent time talking to our kids about why I pray. There are 5 simple reasons: 1) It connects me to God - I try to pray throughout the day in various ways. Sometimes my prayers are like text messages (160 characters or less), sometimes my prayers are like status updates ( I just tell God how I'm feeling), and sometimes they are like face to face conversations (there's more serious stuff that I need to talk to God about so I have extended conversations with Him). 2) People are sick and are in trouble - I used personal examples of people I know who are sick or hurting and how, often times, the only thing I know to do is pray ... but what better thing to do! Our prayers can unleash the power of God in the lives of other people. 3) I don't know it all - I realize this may be hard to believe, but I really don't! :) I shared how I have so many different responsibilities (a husband, family leader, church leader, have to pay the bills, have to stay on budget, counsel people, etc) and I often feel lost in how to do those things. I need to go to the one who DOES know everything and who gives us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5) My pride often keeps me from going to God b/c I think I can figure it out on my own. That's usually when I get in trouble. Pride drags us from God. Humility moves us toward God. 4) God deserves my prayers - My life has been drastically changed since God introduced Himself to me. Prayer is not a chore. It's a priviledge. 5) Prayer makes a difference - I shared several verses in the Bible where our prayers are shown to hold power and God chooses to use them.
Some Personal Thoughts on the Night: It was a small group night for us and so those in a small group went with their leaders to discuss prayer and the feedback from the leaders has been that it was just a GREAT night for them. For me personally, our middle school time was a bit rough. I really had some difficulty connecting with the kids while I was sharing. A lot of them were distracted, I was distracted, lots of talking ... just a night that made me go "grrrrrr!" Lesson learned: If I can't keep their attention, it's generally not their fault. It's mine.
Our senior high time went very well and I think my teaching style just naturally connects with senior high students more so than middle school. Overall, though, a good night with some valuable lessons learned.
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