Monday, January 9, 2012

Prayer Exercises

Yesterday your elementary kids and I explored a connection between how we exercise our bodies and how we can strengthen our prayer life through different disciplines or routines. Looking at the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, where Jesus explained to His disciples how to pray, we saw three areas to focus our prayers:

Just like stretching helps warm up your muscles so that you don't injure yourself, Jesus shows us to start off by focusing ourselves on praising the Father God. This can get us into the proper mindset and help us to pray with the heart and will of the Father.
"Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
As stretching is to praising God, weight lifting is to praying for others. When others sin against us one of the most difficult responses is to respond in love through prayer and forgiveness.
"as we have forgiven those who sin against us"
And lastly, one of the best ways to keep your body healthy is by getting your heart rate up. Cardio workouts strengthen your heart so it can take much needed oxygen throughout your body and in the same way Jesus shows us how to pray for our needs.
"Give us today the food we need, and forgive us of our sins, ...don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one." 
An easy way to remember this, is to always pray with J.O.Y. (Jesus, Others, Yourself)

2s: Learned about God keeping David safe when he defeated Goliath.

3s: Learned about the people praising Jesus as he rode through Jerusalem on a donkey.

4s: Learned about God creating the plants of our world.

5s: Learned about God protecting Daniel in the lion’s den.

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