Devotions

There is something in a name.

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

There is something in a name. My parents, Robert and Felecia, gave me the name Joshua. I remember my mother in my childhood bedroom telling me stories about Joshua from the Bible. She taught me how God provided for Joshua, and Joshua’s people, even in the midst of what seemed like some impossible circumstances. The words from Joshua 1:9 are illuminated in my heart and spirit right now.

I remember my grandmother, Carolyn Crowder, saying these words to me in a sleepover long ago at her house in Thomasville Heights. I remember my aunt, Jane Graddy, presenting these words to me on a necklace before I went away to college. My elders yearned for me to find strength in God’s abiding presence in every season of life. This is why I can picture God, our eternal provider, saying these words to us now.

For God indeed has proven to be with us at all times in Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus, God took on the fullness of human life; both joy and pain. Church, there is something about the name Jesus. It is the sweetest name I know. In Jesus’ name, may we find REST from confusion, COURAGE on the journey, PEACE in the midst of dismay, HOPE in every season, and a faithful LOVE that endures.

 Josh Miles

Posted by Josh Miles

Prayer

Prayer Devotion and Activity

Bible Background: Matthew 6:5-15 (excerpt from the Spark Storybook Bible)

The disciples had seen Jesus do many amazing things- heal the sick, teach in the temple, and pray to God. They wanted to learn everything they could from Jesus. “Teach us to pray,” they said to Jesus. Out of all the things Jesus did, they thought this was the most important.

“When you pray,” Jesus said, “don’t be like the people who stand on the street and use big words, loud voices, and long prayers. Find a place where you can be alone. Then you will think only about God.”

Jesus said this prayer to show the disciples how they could prayer: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

When Jesus said these words, he was saying that God is holy and important here on earth and in heaven too. He was asking God to give him what he needed each day. Jesus was also teaching us to ask God to forgive all of our sins (which God always does!), and help us to learn to forgive other people. He asked God to help him remember to do what’s right and not what’s wrong. He finished his prayer by saying that everything in the world belongs to God, forever and ever.

Jesus taught the disciples so much about prayer! They never forgot how Jesus told them to pray or the words Jesus used to pray.

How to Talk to Your Kids:

  • What is something that someone taught you to do that you are very thankful for? Who taught you how to pray?
  • Did you know that you can talk to God anytime and anywhere by praying? He loves it when we talk to Him! Just like we heard in the story, we do not have to use fancy words or pray a specific way. We can talk to God just like we would talk to our friends or family!
  • When you pray, you can praise God, thank God, ask God to help other people or yourself, and ask God questions. What questions would you ask God?
  • Pray as a family, asking your children what they want to pray for. You can use the prayer below, allowing your children to take turns praying, and close with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Prayer
    • Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your Word and for teaching us how to pray. In everything we do, may we always turn to you. Give us ears to hear your Word, eyes to see your goodness, lips to speak your praise, and hearts to love like you. We love you! Amen.

Activities

  • Make a special prayer place in our house or outside. You can pray there as a family or encourage your child to go there when they want to talk to God alone.
    • Write down your prayers! Create a prayer chain or a prayer journal as you pray. Go back as a family to see how God has answered your prayers! (Younger children can draw their prayers, too.)
  • Create a Prayer Collage
    • Use pictures, things from nature, and other things you and your children find around the house to create a prayer collage. Talk about what these items and picture mean (a person you are praying for, something you are thankful for, something you need help with, etc.) Glue your collage onto a large piece of picture and hang it in your prayer place!
  • Create a Prayer Bracelet
    • Using beads, pasta, or cereal, create a bracelet. String a bead for each person you are praying for!

Send us a picture of your prayer collage, prayer place, or prayer bracelet!

(Pictures can be sent to )

 

Posted by Jennifer Golden

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