We recognize that this is an unusual and even unprecedented time to be doing ministry. This post pertains to more normal times, and you may not find it relevant in the next few weeks. However, we are also aware that, with many of us working from home, some people may have more time to read blog posts now than they usually do. We hope that you will be able to read this now and use its guidance at such a time as our activities return to normal.
“Would you like to lead us in prayer?” As a child, I remember thinking, “Really? What am I supposed to pray about? How do I start?”
What a relief it was for me to learn that the Bible includes a collection of 150 songs and poems that have been used as a prayer and song book for years—the Psalms! With 150 to pick from, we can all find a few Psalms that help us to pray.
We find ourselves and our feelings in the Psalms. Here we are reminded to talk to God about the best and the worst parts of our daily lives—the big and the little stuff! Be angry, cry, complain, be sad and disappointed. Say thank you, express your awe, celebrate and shout for joy. Honesty is the best policy! God cares about us and always listens as we talk about our feelings in prayer.
We also find God in the Psalms. We see that God is active and on the move. Not only does God listen, but God responds with love, justice, forgiveness, comfort, power, direction, compassion, and delight.
When introducing children to the Psalms, I highly recommend the Spark Story Bible Psalm Book: Prayers and Poems for Kids. This delightful book uses child-friendly language to highlight key portions of 50 different Psalms. It includes four sections:
- Prayers for Morning and Evening reminding us of God’s presence at the start or end of our days
- Prayers of Praise for when we are thankful to God and want to celebrate
- Prayers of Comfort for the times we feel alone and in need of God’s help
- Prayers of Creation to help us ponder God’s creation creativity
Can’t read yet? No problem . . . children can visualize the Psalms and the promises of God via the fabulous illustrations in this book.
In the classroom, read together and then invite the children to add their personal insight to a Psalm saying:
- These are the words someone else used. How would you say it?
- If you took a picture of someone saying the words in this Psalm, what would that picture look like?
- What would God look like in this Psalm?
The Psalms will help you learn how to pray. God is waiting to hear from you. And because God is still speaking, you can expect to hear from God, too!