Sometimes I feel like the most overlooked aspect of planning and preparation for (me personally) teaching Bible study is often prayer. Prayer is critical in our plan to teach boys and girls the deep truths of Scripture and without an intentional prayer life we may struggle to plan. The good news is that the Bible itself gives us great encouragement about prayer. Here are a few things we can learn from Scripture about prayer.
Jesus is our example. Many places in the gospels record Jesus separating Himself from the crowds and seeking the Father in prayer. Here are just a few for you to consider, but feel free to find more examples on your own. Matthew 14:23; 26:36; Mark 1:35; 6:46; 14:32; Luke 5:16; 6:12. Jesus’ example of prayer shows how important prayer is to a healthy spiritual life. As we plan, we should take Jesus’ example and seek God consistently in prayer.
Jesus prayed for children. Three of the gospel accounts show Jesus’ care and concern for children as these snapshots talk about a time when parents were bringing their children to Jesus so He could bless the children. Check out Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; and Luke 18:15-17. Jesus knew the importance of praying for children. As we prepare for teaching, we should share Jesus’ love and concern, and pray by name for each and every child whom we teach.
Prayer is commanded. Many places in Scripture give us encouragement on prayer. Sometimes we might not know what to pray, but God, through the Holy Spirit, will help us do that too (see Romans 8:26.) We should always be in an attitude of prayer, trusting God to hear us and answer us as He wills. See a few other verses that encourage prayer. Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; and 1 Timothy 2:1.
I love to tell kids that prayer is just a conversation with God. One definition defines prayer as “talking to God and listening to Him.” This definition evokes a conversational attitude where two people are talking and listening to each other. Our communication with God is not just important in the quiet times we spend with Him, but we should be the outward example of that communication as we lead boys and girls to discover how to talk to and listen to God. As we begin helping kids discover a closer relationship with God through prayer, they will grow deeper in their understanding of and relationship with Him!
What are some ways you are praying for the boys and girls you teach and how can we pray for you?
Tim Pollard teaches 3rd graders at Tulip Grove Baptist Church. He’s passionate about helping kids dig deep into Scripture, which he pursues through his daily work as leader of the Explore the Bible: Kids team. Tim lives with his wife and daughters in Mount Juliet, TN.