When teaching about prayer, it’s easy to stick with the different aspects of prayer like expressing praise and adoration, confessing our sin, making petition, and thanksgiving. After all, we do find different aspects of praying in biblical examples and principles. We may point to some of the commands to be devoted to prayer, to always pray and not give up, etc..
But, what is it that will cause people to come to God in these ways persistently and consistently?
Help Students Want to Pray
Until we get to the point where we want to pray, our prayer life is going to more likely be ruled by our circumstances. When life gets rough, we’ll pray. When we need something, we’ll pray. And, what happens when prayer doesn’t seem to work? Answers don’t always come in the package we might expect.
Bible teachers can help their students get to the point where they want to pray when they help them understand that praying is about so much more than getting the help we need.
An Acrostic to Use in Teaching Students about Prayer
Help students take a step back and understand how critical prayer is in their walk with God.
P – Pursuit of God and His Kingdom
Bible teachers need to help their students understand that the pursuit in prayer goes beyond finding answers to finding God Himself. His presence brings peace and comfort even in the most difficult circumstances. God promises that we will find Him when we seek for Him. (Matt. 6:33; Matt. 7:7-8; Ps. 42:1-2; Jer. 29:12-13; Lam. 3:25)
R – Relationship-Builder with God
Christianity itself is about a relationship — about who we know, not a religion — not what we do. Prayer is a means to building that relationship with God. (Gal. 4:6; Ps. 66:20; 145:18; Jn. 15:7)
A – Access to the Almighty God who is our Father
Because of Jesus we can come boldly to the throne of grace, into the presence of the One of whom there is none greater, coming to Him not as to a dictator or distant God but as our Father who loves us and wants to spend time with us. (Matt. 6:9; Heb. 4:16; 10:22)
Y – Yielding to Sovereignty of God
When prayer is more about pursuing God and building a relationship with Him as we come into His presence, we get to know Him better. We more and more see Him for the God He truly is and are able to yield whatever we talked with Him about to do as He deems best. We get to the point where we truly believe, “for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:13, KJV). (Matt. 26:38-42; Matt. 6:9-10)