I am absolutely convinced that prayer for Sunday School has become a rare occurrence. No, I am not talking about preparation of a lesson. I am sure there are lots of prayers every week lifted up asking for God to bless "my last minute preparation." (Do you sense a note of sarcasm?)
No, I am talking about prayer for Sunday School as a ministry. I am talking about lessons and ministry, outreach and relationships, spiritual growth and service, and so much more. There is power in prayer. God cares. The Holy Spirit helps us to know how to pray.
But what would happen if we really took the opportunity, privilege, and responsibility to pray for Sunday School seriously? What might happen if we listened to God and followed His lead? What would happen if our hearts became more aligned with His? What would happen if these prayers led us to be more faithful in our stewardship of our Sunday School ministry opportunities? Let's find out. Let's give it a try. Let's pray for God to use Sunday School!
Let me close by sharing some quick thoughts about the objects or focus of our prayers and methods for regularly remembering to take advantage of praying for God to use Sunday School:
- PRAYER FOCUS. First and foremost, prayer should be time spent seeking God. He deserves praise and thanks. Take time to recognize how awesome He is. Seek His first. Then ask Him to restore your relationship with Him. Be honest and confessional. He already knows, but we need to acknowledge our sin and need for Him. Next, seek His leadership. Ask Him to bless and use your Sunday School. Ask Him to work through the pastor, staff, director, teachers, and other workers. Ask Him to bless preparation and relationships. Ask Him to lead classes and individuals to take steps toward unenrolled and uncommitted people. Focus on lesson preparation, outreach and ministry contacts, leadership development, new classes and teachers, organization, training, planning, and so much more. Pray for the people and for the ministry.
- PRAYER METHODS. Sometimes we grow weary in well-doing. Why not provide variety in the methods of praying while being consistent to pray? Set aside monthly time to pray in a leadership/planning meeting. Take time in class to pray for more than the "sick list." Assign prayer partners a different focus each month or each week. Have a monthly or quarterly prayer emphasis throughout the Sunday School focusing on a different age group, a different category of unenrolled persons, a different group of Sunday School leaders, or a different aspect of Sunday School ministry. Pray as prayers, as small groups, as classes, as leaders, and as a church. Why not ask other groups to pray for Sunday School: deacons, WMU and mission groups, prayer meeting, prayer warriors, and more. Don't assume prayer will happen; schedule it.
For more ideas about prayer, check out these blog posts:
- Don’t Just ASK Your Sunday School Class to Pray, TEACH Them to DO It, Part 1
- Don’t Just ASK Your Sunday School Class to Pray, TEACH Them to DO It, Part 2
- Could Too Much Prayer Time Be an Obstacle for Revolutionary Adult Classes?
- Is Your Class a Praying Class?
- Contract Prayer as a Sunday School Class
- Helping Sunday School to Focus on Prayer for Outreach
- Leading Attenders to Meet God in Bible Study, Part 3
- A Key Question to Deeper Sunday School Relationships
- Sunday School Effectiveness Begins with Prayer and Evaluation
- Should We Take Time for Prayer Requests and Prayer in Sunday School?
- Care Groups: Prayer, Ministry, Assimilation, and Invitation
- Sunday School Enrollment: Attendance List or Ministry List?
- Ideas for Sunday School’s Ministry to Homebound Adults
- Sunday School Class FISH Team Training
- Sunday School Teaching Believers to Listen to the Voice of God, Part 1