Sunday, November 09, 2008

Prayer and Children's Ministry

I admit it. I’m a worrier. I joke that I make excellent stew. I can sit and stew about matters for hours.

A prime time to make stew is Sunday morning. It’s amazing the petty things that will come into my mind in the moments between seven and nine in the morning that I need to worry about. All the church politics, all the gripes I have against my husband, all the concerns I harbor about my girls at college like to surface Sunday morning.

I did something different the last two Sundays. It’s nothing new. It’s something I’ve known for a long time. But I so easily forget. The last two Sundays I prayed.

I didn’t pray about my worries. I purposely, intentionally turned off the fire under my stew pot. Instead, I prayed for the worship service. I prayed about my lesson. As I curled my hair, I prayed for individual students. As I applied my makeup, I prayed over the points of my lesson and prayed that this Sunday, my students would “get it.” As I scrambled eggs, I prayed for the other church leaders. I prayed for families to have serene mornings so they would come ready to worship. I prayed that children would wake up refreshed and desiring to come to church.

The last six months have been difficult months in my children’s ministry. We’ve had ardly any younger children. My senior high Sunday School class has been bursting at the seems with young people who are, well, just very different from me and from what I’m used to. I think I can honestly say without exaggeration that the last two Sundays have been the best of any Sundays over the last six months.

What was different? I got through my material. Explaining biblical concepts flowed naturally. The students connected with me. They didn’t fool around as much. Today my high school class was into the topic more than I’ve ever seen them. We also started a different kind of program for junior church today and we had nine children attend!

I know to pray. I know things go better with God. It’s a wonder I forget. Yet the enemy would like nothing better.

“Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, loking for someone to devout. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that you brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:8,9

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:18

Next Sunday, don’t let the devil tempt you or distract you. Let’s both spend our preparation time Sunday morning praying for our work Inside the Classroom.

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