This has been a busy and stressful week for me and my family, for various reasons. There’s really no need to go into the details, but just wanted to “set the scene” here.
Wednesday of this week was probably the peak of the stressfulness for me, and by the time 4:00 came around that afternoon, I realized I had not had any time to prepare my lesson for our Wednesday night children’s program at church. “Just great!” I thought. Church was only a couple hours away, so what was I going to do? I had briefly thought about calling in sick, as I DID have a stress headache brewing, and was totally not in the mood to be surrounded by a room full of loud, active children. I remembered how, the previous week, my partner and I had some behavioral issues to deal with, and sort of lost control of the kids a couple of times. And, I remembered how disrespectful many of them had been when it came time to pray at the end of the lesson. I truly did not want to go through that again with the kind of day I had just experienced. But, at the same time, I did not want to let my partner down, as it was my turn to teach.
I began searching around the room for an idea and came across a book I have read to my own children here at home. It’s a book about prayer that answers a lot of questions kids might have about it - what it is, how to do it, when and where, why, etc. - and also includes Bible references to go along with each small paragraph.
I read through the book and decided it would be good to use for our class, especially considering their disrespect towards prayer the previous week. So, I wrote out all the Bible verses on index cards (19 of them) and was set to go.
During class time, after first having a talk with the kids about their behavior the previous week, I passed out the index cards with the Bible verses. As I read the book to them, I had them read the Bible verses out loud when asked. It went really well - actually a lot better than I expected. We had some good discussion come out of it, and I think they all left the class with a little better understanding of what prayer means.
I think its so interesting how this event so closely coincides with the topic I posted about last week.... even in our weaknesses, we are made strong. I know there’s no way I could have come up with the idea to read the prayer book on my own. It was God who led me to the idea. And, even though I was mentally and emotionally weak, the Lord enabled me to follow through with my commitments. All in all, the Lord was glorified and His strength was made evident in my weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 -- "And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
If anyone is interested, the book we read is: "What is Prayer?" By Carolyn Nystrom