To get to know someone, you have to talk to them. This is pretty basic social science, but when it comes to knowing God better, we often skip the "talking" part! How silly would it be if I talked to everyone I knew about my best friend, but I never actually talked TO my best friend? I bet that "best friend" wouldn't stay a best friend for long, right? In fact, that friend would probably say something like "you don't even really know me, you just know about me." God tells us over and over again that He longs for a real relationship with us, and gives us a clear way to get to know him: through prayer!
KNOWLEDGE: Gaining understanding of the truth
MEMORY VERSE: “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement." Proverbs 9:10 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Know God by talking to Him through prayer
This week we looked at a very famous passage on prayer: Matthew 6:5-13. Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray. He gives them some guidelines, and clearly highlights prayer as a crucial element of our relationship with God our Father. It's important to note that Jesus's prayer in this chapter is not meant to be exactly what we have to say every time we pray, but it does give us a helpful format to start with when we pray.
- Read Matthew 6:5-13 together. What sticks out to you about Jesus's description of how we should pray?
- How does Jesus say we should NOT pray?
- Do you think God expects you to say the perfect words when you pray? Do you ever get nervous to pray?
- Read Philippians 4:6-7 together. What do these verses say we are able to pray about?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
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TEACHER: Memorize God's Word
At dinner this week, review this month's memory verse (Proverbs 9:10) together as a family. Last week we discussed the importance of knowing God by memorizing His Word, so see how everyone has been doing with that! If everyone has this month's verse down, see if any of you know Philippians 4:6-7, since it's a great couple verses to memorize on prayer! (Bonus: can any of you sing the song to go with the verses?)
FRIEND: Talking to Friends
While driving in the car this week, ask your kids about their best friends. Who are they? How do they stay close with their best friends? How can they grow those friendships? Then ask your kids if they can think of ways to grow in their relationship with God. Brainstorm ways to grow that relationship that are similar to growing a relationship with a friend!
COUNSELOR: Talk About Temptations
During bedtime this week, ask your kids if they ever get nervous when they pray. Why or why not? Go through the P.R.A.Y. acronym with your kids (Praise & thanks, Repent, Ask for others, Yourself), and see if you can start practicing that model for prayer at bedtime each night. Start tonight! Encourage your child that God is not looking for us to have the perfect words when we pray (see Matthew 6:7), but rather He just wants to hear from us!
One morning or afternoon this week, make a poster to hang up somewhere in your house with the letters P,R,A,Y written largely across the top. Under each letter, write what the word stands for (Praise & thanks, Repent, Ask for others, Yourself). Under each column, as a family, write things under each column to be praying for this week. Keep adding to the list each morning or afternoon during the week, and be praying together!
Thank God for the amazing gift of being able to approach Him personally thru prayer. Ask Him to help you live a prayer-filled life not to get results but to grow closer in relationship to Him.
Next week is we will continue studying KNOWLEDGE, and we will look at Isaiah 29:13 and Psalm 51:16-17 explaining how knowing God leads to a life of worship.