Fall Gear Up: Prayer—What if...

In his booklet Utter Dependency on God, Through PrayerPastor Bud Burk beckons us to consider some "what if" questions regarding prayer in our classrooms. Here are a few of his "what if..." What if the prayer environment in our classrooms (like Sunday school) was real and growing to the degree that parents began to ask a second question next to the first after each class time, the first being “what did you learn today”? What if they began asking questions like, “were you with God today—did you spend time with Jesus—what did the Spirit say to you while in prayer and in the Word”? What if children knew that we expected God to be present in our classroom, because our expectation shaped how we prayed while among them? What if the ministry to the next generation God has placed you in was known for its obvious God-glorifying
  • Word ministry: We teach children the Bible.
  • Prayer ministry: We help children listen to and pray to the God of the Bible in Jesus’ name.
  • What if your ministry could be summarized by Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,”?
What if prayer was so important that each classroom had a designated spot set aside solely for prayer, and what if parents went to that spot each morning to pray with their children as they dropped them off in preparation for what God would bring them? What if there was a great unified environment (parents and classroom teams) of longing for God to show up through the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer, in Jesus’ name among our children in our care? What if our classrooms were so obviously marked by prayer that children became increasingly aware of their desperate need of grace for salvation and sanctification, which was purchased for them by Jesus’ blood?
  • What if some children were born again in classrooms, in part because team members spoke of God’s grace upon them and how He transferred them from darkness to light and life in Jesus’ name, and then they used those personal stories of salvation as opportunities to thank God in prayer before the eyes and ears of the children who listen and watch. (Notice, I did not say that these adults ask for sinner’s prayers or professions of faith among the children. I merely said they overflowed with joy at what Jesus had done in their lives before watching eyes and listening ears.)
  • What if children longed to become like Jesus while in classrooms because team members spoke of God’s grace upon them and used those personal stories as opportunities to thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to finish what He began?
  • What if the word “grace” and its meaning was so obvious in classrooms through prayer that children would look back years down the road and say about Sunday school, “it was about grace in Jesus’ name.”
What if the unified work of parents and classrooms teams in prayer was used by the Spirit to save and sanctify the next generation, leaving them with irresistible longings such as:
  • May I abide in You, Jesus, and keep abiding (John 14:4-5).
  • May I believe in You, Jesus, and keep believing (John 1:12).
  • May I come to You, Jesus, and keep coming (John 6:35; 7:37-38).
  • May I follow You, Jesus, and keep following (John 8:12).
  • May I look upon You, Jesus, and keep looking (John 6:40).
  • May I listen to You, Jesus, and keep listening (John 10:16, 27).
  • May I love You, Jesus, and keep loving (John 8:42; 14:15, 23).
  • May I return to You, Jesus, and keep returning, because You are the shepherd and overseer of my soul (I Peter 2:25).
  • May I treasure You, Jesus, and keep treasuring (Psalm 16:11; Matthew 13:44).
  • May I worship You, Jesus, and keep worshiping (John 9:38).
(copyright 2013, pages 39, 41-43.)
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