In our Sunday morning services we take a few minutes to focus on learning about God, kid style. We tend to use shorter words, we find tangible examples and we like experiments! We’ve been talking about prayer over the past few months, what prayer is and how we get started. I know that no matter how old we are, we can all grow in our prayer lives, so even though this was ‘for the kids’, its really for all His kids, and this was what we talked about this morning.
We know that prayer is talking to God and we know that we can tell God anything. Most of the time when we talk about prayer we talk about things we’ve asked God to do and how He answered those prayers. Often we talk about prayer being a time to confess our sins and asking God to forgive us.
One thing we don’t talk about often is that prayer is worship! When we pray we can acknowledge who God is, it’s kind of like telling someone what you like about them. When we pray we can tell God things we know about Him and recall what He’s done.
Listen to this prayer from Psalm 100.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
When I read prayers like this I can’t help but smile. Praising God makes my heart smile and when my heart smiles, it leaks out onto my face. When I pray: ‘God you are amazing! You made everything and you love me!’ I can’t help but smile.
Now, it’s kinda fun to smile by myself. But it’s way more fun to smile with other people, right!?! That’s what happens when we worship God together, like on Sunday mornings. When I’m praising God for who He is my heart is smiling. And when the person next to me is doing the same thing their heart is smiling and before you know it, we’re all smiling together.
We see the smiles on each other’s faces, but it goes so much bigger and deeper than that. And that got me wondering what does it look like to God when our hearts smile? What does God see that we can’t?
I don’t know exactly what God sees, but when I saw this Skittles experiment it was just the mental picture I was looking for.
Each of the kids took a turn praising God, saying something they know about him and what He has done. Then they placed a skittle on our plate.
‘God is Holy’, “He forgives us’, ‘He sent his son for us’, ‘He heals us when we are hurt’, ‘He listens to us”, ‘He made the earth’.
The Bible also tells us that when we gather together, He is with us. His presence binds us together.
Now our plate is full of praise, side by side, each of our hearts smiling, bound together in worship of our Father in Heaven!
Notice how the colours all mix together in the middle. Out on the edges you can see what each Skittle contributes. Our individual worship is like that. God wants to talk to each one of us. He wants to hear from each one of us. But he doesn’t want us to stay all by ourselves, God wants us to worship together! See how much prettier it is when all the colours come together! God wants us to enjoy our place in His family!
Having a church family is great!
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve made it to church. Maybe the church has hurt you so you stay away or maybe the church community feels too risky so you haven’t given it a chance. Don’t be shy, come grab a seat and get ready to taste the rainbow!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him!: Psalm 34:8