Good News & Prayer

Good news & Prayer – My husband and I try to take a moment most nights and pray for our family. We keep a running list of who we are praying for.

I was over at my mom’s house celebrating Mother’s Day last week and I didn’t blog. Hopefully though, all of you moms out there had a wonderful day and felt loved. If it was a crazy day, remember, no matter what, God loves you. Maybe this week will be better. Ask God to help you see the good news, even if the only good news you can find is Jesus. Jesus is very good news. He is our comfort, our intercessor, our strength, our redeemer, the Mighty One, our friend and He is forever with us! That, my friend, is good news!

When sharing good news, especially the good news about Jesus, we may not know where to begin with someone. Do we simply invite them to attend church with us and leave it at that? Do we go through the A, B,C,s of the gospel? Do we give them a religious book to read? Do we try to turn the conversation to God every time we can or do we simply try to be kind and loving and hope they get it? Maybe you’ve even went so far as to write out what God has done for you and tried to share that with others. All of these ways of sharing, may be good and may work for someone, yet often times, sharing good news is not a one time event or even something that brings immediate response. It certainly can be. Just read Acts in the New Testament and see how many times people were healed instantly or how after hearing Peter or Paul or another one of the apostles preach, many came to believe. Yet sharing good news of any kind often takes time and a little sensitivity to the other person. I think it also takes being real, acknowledging that we have bad days too and life isn’t always rosy, sometimes life hurts. So no matter what kind of good news you are sharing, be sensitive to the other person and their feelings. The best news of all for someone who is hurting may be a hug and a I’m praying for you or a helping hand.

When you and I are not sure how to share the good news, bathe it in prayer. Prayer brings the power of God into the situation. Ask for God to give you divine opportunities and wait to see what happens. Who are you hoping to share good news with? Perhaps it’s a neighbor or a family member who is not making good decisions right now. Perhaps it’s a friend who always seems to be a little on the negative side or a coworker. Maybe it’s just a good friend who doesn’t yet know that God loves them. Ask God to help you understand how they feel. Pray for the one you are wanting to share with and just be there. I believe that as we pray, God opens doors. He shows us who to speak to and what to say. He blesses our efforts and He helps us to be bold in telling about Him or if necessary, confronting an issue.

I’ve had several friends recently say that they really want to confront one of their family members about their alcoholism. They want their family member to know that they can have freedom from their addiction, which is good news . However, they are not sure if they should or when they should confront. It’s a sensitive issue. They want to be loving and yet bold in confronting this issue which is making such an impact on their family. What do you say in these sensitive situations? How can you share good news? Is there good news to share? Yes, there is good news to share. Yes, your family member can experience life-changing freedom from addictions. Yes, Jesus can make a difference. Keep praying, keep trusting and keep looking to God. It’s can also be helpful to get professional help in these situations. Direct your family member to a treatment center or recovery program and continue to give that tough love within loving, safe boundaries. And never underestimate what God can do when we pray. I do believe in doctors, counseling and treatment centers, but I also believe in my supernatural, amazing God. God can heal immediately and God can heal through wise doctors and counselors. Either way, God gets the glory. To Him be glory and honor and power.

What other situations are you facing where you want to share good news? Do so with love, understanding and lots and lots of prayer. Never stop praying, even when you are afraid. Saul/Paul shared the good news about Jesus wherever he went, but before he shared, Ananias prayed for his sight to be restored. Yes, he prayed after Saul had encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, but God did restore His sight. He gave Saul eyes to see who He was and He restored Saul’s physical eyesight when Ananias prayed. God still wants to restore sight to many today. Ananias was a little concerned about going to pray for Saul. After all, Saul was known for his persecution of the church. But Ananias did so because God told him to go. Keep praying and as God directs you,. take a chance like Ananias and go. Remember good news is best shared when we remember to pray.

PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Father God,
Remind me of the power of prayer. As I look around me and want to help others, I realize that I can only help to the degree that others want that help. Yet, I can still share good news and as I share, I can pray. I can pray for eyes to be opened, for hope to be restored, for life to be given, addictions to be broken and most of all I can pray that those I come in contact with understand just how very much you love them. I don’t always know how to share good news or how that news is going to be received, but I do believe that as I pray, you will open doors of opportunity to keep sharing and praying and shining a light in my world. With your help, I can bring a smile to someone’s face, brighten someone’s day and perhaps help to carry their load. I can see healing take place and hope take root. I will persevere and I will keep sharing as you give me strength to do so. Guide my day and yes, please do guide what I say. Most of all, may others know what an incredible, amazing God I serve. Amen

PRAYER
Prayer is simply communicating with God. It’s talking to Him and listening to Him. Ananias listened and although, not sure what the outcome would be, he obeyed and did go to pray for Saul like God asked him to.

  • Not sure what to say? Use the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern. Start by addressing your Father God with honor and praise – “hallowed be your name”,
    “Your kingdom come, your will be done…” What does God want? What is His will? Ask Him. Ask Him to establish His kingdom in your heart. Allow Him to take His rightful place as king of your life. Ask that His will be done here on earth, in the lives of your family, friend and coworkers.
  • “Give us this day our daily bread…” What do you need just for today. Ask God to order your day and give you what you need for today. He knows what each day will bring and we do not yet. Ask for what you need and what He knows you will need and thank Him too.
  • “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” Ask God to forgive you, but don’t forget to forgive others too. Having trouble with this? Ask God to help you forgive even as He forgives. It’s easier to forgive when we remember what God has done for us.
  • “…Deliver us from the evil one.” God can help us stand against temptation and evil when we ask Him to. Nothing is too hard for Him, so ask. I believe He can even help us eat right if we ask and listen, so dare to ask and believe, then share the good news.

Kid’s Section

SHARE A STORY WITH YOUR CHILD: Paul Meets Jesus – Acts 9:1-20
Before Paul met Jesus, he was called Saul. Saul didn’t love Jesus because he didn’t know who Jesus was. He didn’t know that Jesus was God’s Son. Because he didn’t love Jesus, he was mean (Make a mean face.) to Jesus’ friends. He put a lot of Jesus friends in jail! (Say, “Go to jail!”)

One day, Saul was on his way to the city of Damascus (Walk, walk, walk.) when a bright light from heaven shone down on him. (Turn on flashlight.) It was so bright that he couldn’t see. (Cover eyes.) He fell to the ground and he heard a voice saying, “Saul! Why are you hurting me?”

Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”

The voice said, “I am Jesus. Go into the city and I will tell you what I want you to do.”

When Saul got up from the ground, he couldn’t see where he was going! (Close your eyes and feel around with your hands.) His friends had to lead him into the city. (Take the hand of a friend.) When Saul was in Damascus, God sent a man named Ananias to pray for him. Ananias prayed (Put hands together as though praying.) and then Saul was able to see again. (Yeah!)

After Saul met Jesus on the road, he changed. He stopped hurting Jesus’ friends. God gave him a special job to do. Instead of hurting people, Saul started telling everyone about Jesus. God loved Saul. (Give yourself a hug.) He wanted Saul to know about His Son Jesus so He stopped him on the road to tell him. Soon Saul’s name changed to Paul. Everywhere Paul went, he told the good news about Jesus. He said, “Jesus is alive and He is God’s Son. He loves you.” He shared God’s love (Give yourself a hug.) wherever he went.

You can share Jesus’ love (Give yourself a hug.) and tell good news wherever you go too. God will help you share good news with others. What can you say about Jesus? (He is alive! He loves you. He will help you. He is God’s Son. Let kids come up with answers.) Just like Paul, we can remember to tell about Jesus this week and like Ananias, we can pray for others. Praying for our friends is one very good way of sharing Jesus with them.

MEMORIZE: Mk 16:15 ERV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
Go everywhere – (Stand up and walk in place)
In the world – (Make w’s with your fingers and circle)
Tell the – (Cup hands by mouth)
Good News – (Clap twice)
To everyone – (Spread hands outwards)
What’s the good news? The good news is that Jesus loves you.

PRAYER:
Dear Jesus, Thank you for loving me. You show your love in so many ways. I want to tell others how much you love them just like Paul did. Help my friends to know how much you love them. Amen

KNOW: Jesus loved Paul. Jesus loves me.
TALK ABOUT: Sharing Jesus and praying for friends.
ASK: Who loves you? Jesus loves me. Who can you tell about Jesus? I can tell everyone.
DO: Invite a friend to church.

FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
*  Play a game of “Follow the Leader” with your child, stopping every time a light is turned on. Talk about how Paul was stopped on his trip when a bright light shone.

*  At the dinner table, think of some good news to share and share it. Finish by sharing the best news of all, “I love you and Jesus loves you!”