I started attending a Sunday School small group at my church. I had balked in the past, mostly due to the fact that Addy was little and I didn’t want her to have to be in the nursery forever, because it would end up being a long morning and she would be tired and fussy afterwards. Also, part of me didn’t want to commit to something; some days I don’t feel like getting out of bed and making myself presentable, much less dragging the kids to church with me if Phil is working.
But… recently my church started offering up small groups again, and they began with six-week studies, which seemed doable for me. I picked a women’s prayer group, partly because I know the lady who is leading it, partly because it’s just women… and also because I really struggle with prayer. Perhaps I would learn a thing or two?
I went to the first meeting, then missed the next two due to the fam coming down with colds and our trip to Deerfield, but I’ve enjoyed the two meetings I actually attended.
We follow the acronym for ACTS – Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. We start by singing songs and writing down or telling things that God has been doing in our lives. We take time to ask God’s forgiveness – either by writing in our journals or praying silently. We list things for which we are thankful, and share with the group as we feel led. Then we ask for prayer for those things which are on our hearts – big things, little things, whatever they may be.
There are some activities our leader has incorporated – praying as a unified group for needs in the church, praying for missing children (the ones you see on food boxes), regularly praying for something specific.
Each week, a poem is passed out, and this past Sunday’s poem is called Body Prayer. I find praying through music or written word helpful, because they can often say and express what I cannot. This poem resonated with me, and I’d like to share.
Body Prayer – anonymous
I pray today with my head, Lord, lifting it heavenward in adoration.
I pray today with my eyes, Lord, looking for things that are not seen.
I pray today with my hands, Lord, raising them in jubilant praise.
I pray today with my knees, Lord, bowing in submission and contrition.
I pray today with my feet, Lord, working with all my might.
May you be please with my prayer.
The theme for the week was Prayer Posture, and the songs, verses, and poem highlighted the different forms people take when they are praying to God. I shared that I tend to pray when I’m standing or driving – sometimes laying in bed – but this usually distracts me. If we take the time to purposefully pray, raising our hands or bowing our heads, saying our prayers out loud, I think they would be more meaningful. Here is an interesting post about the significance of different prayer postures.
One of my favorites verses about prayer:
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”