Gather your favorite artsy supplies and your creative juices, and let’s make a prayer book or prayer journal. This project can be as simple or as involved as your imagination, creativity and time constraints allow. If you are a scrapbooker, or painter, or smashbooker, you may have some supplies or techniques that you want to incorporate into your journal. The purpose for my little book of prayer is to break down and illustrate the Disciples’ Prayer into bite sized pieces for reflection and meditation. I’m keeping it simple for now, but may want to embellish down the road as I pray through it in the future. This would make a fun VBS craft for kids, especially if you had cutouts ready to glue on for quick pages.
I chose to use the tiny composition notebooks (found them 3 for $0.88 at Walmart), but if you like to write out your prayers, you can certainly use a larger one (they are marked down to $0.50 each for back to school sales!!!) I also have some kiddie scissors, a glue stick, colored pencils, and sharpie markers.
This is the outside of my book. I thought about keeping it simple and leaving it plain, and focused on the inside first. Then I found a card that was sent to me a few months ago from a friend, and decided to reuse some of it for my project. I may continue to embellish the outside later, or I may just choose to leave it as it is…like I said, the sky’s the limit with the project, and will be a personal reflection of the author.
I found this shadow picture through an online search for images on prayer, I traced it, then put it under the first page in my book and traced it again. I liked it so much, I turned it over and did the right side the same for a cool double image. I like to imagine it’s me and my husband, or me and a friend, with heads bowed, agreeing in prayer. (Matthew 18:19,20)
Tip: Because my black sharpie marker bled through the page, I attached the first page to the inside cover of my book, then glued the second image to the page behind it. I like how sturdy and thick that page feels and decided to do the same with the other pages.
In Luke Chapter 11, Jesus is praying in a certain place, and one of his disciples says to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” Some days I feel like that disciple. How do I address God? What do I say? How do I present myself?
Well, here Jesus doesn’t blink, but lays it right out for them, how to pray.
2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread;
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”
My brother once pointed out that three of us six siblings were named with “y” in our names. And we are the three that wore our parents out with asking “why?” I love it when Jesus explains Himself and His ways. Matthew’s account of this gives us even more information, first we get instruction on “how not to” pray as well as the “why not”. I love this about the Lord…especially in teaching us how to approach our Father.
Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
This passage reminds me of the parable in Luke 18 of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee stood in a high place where he could easily be seen, arrogantly looking down his nose on “sinners”, and bragging to God on his own superiority and works of righteousness. The tax collector in humiliation and shame would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but recognizing his sin and need for a savior, beat his breast, and begged for mercy. Jesus said one of those men went home justified. Care to guess which one?
Social standing, outward appearance, and eloquent words do not move God to justify man. He isn’t looking at the outward stature of a man, but at the inward posture of the heart. He isn’t impressed with our performance, and He isn’t looking for many words, but humility in spirit, and genuine words of sincerity. Before I pray, I need to empty myself of my self, lay my heart out bare before myself and Him, and ask Him to teach me to pray as He taught His first disciples.