Let’s face it; most of us would like to be better prayers…especially when we’re around people who are more spiritually mature than us. Those people always seem to know the right thing to say, in the right way, with the right Christian words…and we just kinda sound like regular joes when we pray. The problem arises when we try to be something we’re not during prayer. When we try to use other people’s words or try to imitate them instead of having an authentic conversation with God, we get ourselves into trouble. That’s because the whole point of prayer is to talk with God about our life and His will…not try to impress our friends. Let’s talk about that for a few moments in our small groups so we can learn this lesson once and for all.
Michael, Jr. is a Christian comedian who is totally clean…and completely hilarious. He’s made the circuit in churches, as well as comedy clubs, and even on several of the late night talk shows, too. His fans can always count on getting a great laugh and an honest perspective on what it means to live a Christian life.
In this clip, Michael, Jr. talks about an experience he had in church in which he was asked to “pray with his neighbor.” The entire concept was new to him…and he describes it in brutal honesty in this clip. Take a look at the mistake he confessed to.
Answer the following questions:
Read the following passage: Matthew 6:5-13
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Answer these questions:
The whole purpose of prayer is to be heard by GOD…not others!
That’s the one lesson we all need to learn right now. We need to be praying with our hearts and minds set on God…not the people sitting beside us.
We don’t need to try and impress others when we pray. We don’t need to try and impress God when we pray. We need to try and be authentic and genuine when we pray. We need to focus on telling God the truth about ourselves when we pray…no matter what that sounds like.
I know this is tough for some of us. But I want us to actually practice prayer. Put yourselves into groups of three or four and pray for the following:
2. Your family
3. Your school
4. Our youth group
In YOUR OWN words and from YOUR OWN heart, talk to God about these things.
Adapted from a lesson from the website; www.thesource4ym.com , written by David R. Smith