Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Praise God first.
There are days when feel good moments come and you just have to take it all in. Planning for my children’s choir rehearsal is always exciting as I visualize how each song will go and what movements we can do to make songs more fun. Most of the time, my thoughts in planning are more spectacular than they turn out to be. This rehearsal was different. This rehearsal seemed special. As the time began, it was slow as everyone had not arrived and I was playing guitar and leading the children in some sing-a-long songs. Then, without an accompanist, I began playing piano and directing which never goes as well as I visualize. As I planned the lesson part of our rehearsal, I thought some about it in planning but not totally. The activity shared in the small groups was to have the children draw their hand on a paper, then we were to share the “steps” in praying each represented by different fingers on the hand. I had heard the “steps” before but working with children made it very special. They quickly understood that the thumb was the first step that represented giving God the praise, the index finger represented thanking God, the tall finger represented confession, the ring finger represented praying for others, and the pinky finger represented praying for ourselves. As we discussed the steps, they shared back with us and each other their understanding of each step. Now, they, and I, have a visual to help them in their daily prayer.
Many times, at least for me recently, prayers tend to come from our needs first and then we end with saying “The Lord’s Prayer” and finish rather quickly. As I watched the children and thought about the prayer activity and what it taught the children, I began looking at my own prayer time. Do I give God the praise first, before I pray for myself? Do I pray for myself after I have prayed thanksgiving, confession, and for others? No, typically, I pray for my needs first…..out of my mouth pops out a need for my family and for me, then later I get around to thanking God. So, today I hold up my hand. First, I praise God for Who He is. Then, I thank God for what He has given. Next, I confess my sins which are many. I then pray for the needs of others. Finally, I pray for my needs. What a simple concept to pray in a way God deserves from us every time we pray!
Prayer: God, Almighty! You are incredible and amazing. Thank you for all You give us each day as You show Your love to us. Please forgive us our sins and help us understand ways we need to change. Please be with those who are hurting or grieving in some way. Lord, give us our daily needs. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Those wanting to pray more intentionally