Praying Psalm 103
Each week we’ll be providing prompts for praying the psalm preached the previous Sunday. Start with Pastor Josh’s blog post covering Three Ways to Pray the Psalms. This week's post focuses on praying with kids.
Have you ever wondered how to help children grow in the discipline of prayer? They learn as you model and encourage them to pray beyond the memorized prayers at meals and bedtime. Memorized prayers are a wonderful first step in helping children develop the habit of prayer. But look for opportunities to encourage children to pray beyond what they have memorized. To pray from their own thoughts and out of their own experiences and also to grow in their ability to pray in response to what they read in the Bible. Read Psalm 103 together and guide your children through the ACTS method of praying this psalm (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
David does not want to forget the benefits of God! Scripture often instructs us to ‘remember’ or ‘don’t forget.’ Why do you think that is? We so easily forget! Begin your time with prayers of adoration for God’s benefits. Remind one another as you think aloud about his character, his faithfulness in redeeming his people, his presence with you through the Spirit. Be specific in praising God for ways that he has helped you and worked in and through you. If children have a hard time thinking of things, remind them of times he has answered their prayers, ways God has protected them, and how God calls them to himself. Ask God to help you remember all that he has done for you.
We often think that life should be fair—which means, people should get what they deserve. If you are good, then good things should happen to you. If you are bad, then you deserve bad outcomes. How does God work? Praise God that he is merciful and gracious. Praise God for Jesus, the ultimate expression of God’s love! Jesus paid the penalty for sin. So if we place our faith in him, sinners like us receive blessings in this life and after death. Forgiveness and blessings we don’t deserve. Confess your sins to God, rejoicing that he forgives sins and doesn’t hold them against us.
How much does God love us? As Buzz Lightyear would say, “To infinity and beyond!” David wants us to see how immeasurable and uncontainable God’s love is. Thank God for his love that is beyond limits and understanding. Thank God for his creation and especially for people. Thank him that his love moved him to act to redeem a people for himself.
What requests does this psalm bring to mind? Here are a few ideas to help you get started!
- Ask God to help you know him more. Pray that he would help you see him through his creation around you, through his Word and through Jesus.
- Ask God to convict you of sin and disobedience. Pray for hearts that would be eager to confess sin and delight in obedience.
- Pray for those who don’t know God’s love and forgiveness. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with those who have not heard or have not yet believed.
Remember, praying is hard work! Don’t expect children to retain and practice what you did together with this psalm. Make a plan to continue praying together so your children have more opportunities to learn and practice. Growth doesn’t happen overnight—take advantage of the days we have been given during these weeks of limited activities to practice praying Scripture together!