Prayer 101: Introduction
(Excerpt from 12-Week Study)
“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1)
In the first sentence of Tim Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, he says the following: “In the second half of my adult life, I discovered prayer.” This statement gave me great pause in my attempts to write a study on prayer. But Keller goes on, and this time quotes the great D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
Prayer is nonetheless an exceedingly difficult subject to write about. That is not primarily because it is so indefinable but because, before it, we feel so small and helpless. Lloyd-Jones once said that he has never written on prayer because of a sense of personal inadequacy in this area.
Let me just say that I already felt inadequate to write on prayer simply based on my own personal struggles – I’m inconsistent, I’m easily distracted, I’m undisciplined. Then I read of theological greats like Keller and Lloyd-Jones feeling ill-equipped and almost gave up. I’m humbled and intimidated at the task ahead, but then it occurred to me – isn’t that a good place to be when thinking or writing about prayer?
I say all of that – not simply because it’s true – but because I’m fairly certain most of you teaching this material feel intimidated by the subject. Maybe you share the inconsistencies and distracted mindset I so often have? And if you aren’t intimidated by teaching on prayer…you should be. But remember, that’s a good place to be.
In many ways, prayer is a difficult thing to define. If we’ve grown up in the church, we’ve heard people pray, we’ve prayed, and many of us have been taught about prayer, but it’s a mysterious thing. In one sense, we don’t know what’s going on. That is, we cannot fully grasp what it means for a wretched sinner to come into the presence of a holy and just God who spoke all things into being. Our finite minds simply cannot grasp that.
In another sense, we do know what’s taking place. We know that a holy and just God welcomes sinners into his presence because he looks on us through the righteousness Christ accomplished and the Holy Spirit is interceding for us with “groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26b). However, even knowing this truth from Scripture, we are talking about something that’s beyond our finite capacity. We are talking about something that is too deep for words.
Yet, the Scriptures are not silent on teaching us to pray, and God expects his children to pray; therefore, it is our job to teach it to the next generation. However inadequate you feel in your own life, remember that teaching from a point of weakness and humility is a great starting point.
Like our other study, Bible 101, this study is aimed at middle schoolers but could be easily adjusted for high schoolers. The lessons are designed to be taught in a thirty to forty-five-minute time slot, but they also could be modified to fit into your schedule.
As is the case with our other studies, this is available for free. RYM seeks to serve the local church, and offering resources for free is one way we do that. We also hope to periodically revise our resources in order to improve upon them, and offering them for free guards you from a need to continually make additional purchases.
With that said, RYM is a certified 501c3 organization. We are sustained by God’s grace alone, and his grace is made manifest in various ways. One of those ways is financial support from churches and individuals donating to this ministry. If you feel led, please give financially to support this work and others we are involved in.
One last word about the study. Be encouraged by the great privilege it is to teach students truths from God’s Word. Prayer and Scripture reading are a Christian’s daily sustenance – we simply cannot live without them. God has chosen you to teach on prayer to these students. By his grace, you can be passing on biblical truths about this great gift that can impact students, families, and churches in years to come. Pray that this would indeed be the case. Remember, you are praying to a God who does more than we can ask or imagine.
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 12-WEEK STUDY]
Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (Dutton, 2014), 9.
Bible 101 - Introduction
(Excerpt from the 12-Week Study)
On episode 1026 of “Ask Pastor John,” John Piper was asked the following question – “What’s the last thing you would tweet?” He replied, “I thought about saying, ‘Read your Bibles and pray for insight,’ because there is so much that needs to be known about God that cannot be put into one sentence.” Instead of saying that, he summed the gospel up in 140 characters.
However, a longtime pastor and theologian thought about boiling his last words down to: Read your Bible and pray. He said that there’s so much that can be said which is difficult to fit into 140 characters. Therefore, he’s encouraging God’s people to open up the Word and ask the Spirit to work through their reading.
This is exactly what this study seeks to do. More specifically, it seeks to teach students (and parents and youth leaders) what the Word of God is and how they should read it. There are so many things about life we must be teaching the next generation, but if we boil it down to one thing, Bible reading is essential. Can you think of anything more important? If we raise a future generation of Christians who know how to learn, live, and love God’s Word, we will be raising a generation prepared for whatever this world throws their way.
Bible 101 is broken into twelve weekly lessons. It is an introductory study on the doctrine of Scripture . . . hence, 101. While the study is aimed at middle school students, it can easily be adapted for high school students. It would also be a good refresher for any student or adult. You know your church context best and where your students are – theologically speaking – so you may think this is well-suited for your high school students.
Each lesson should fill a thirty-minute time slot, but again, this could be adapted. If you need it to extend the lesson, feel free to add some original illustrations or examples from Scripture. If you have less time, modify the lesson to fit your time slot.
While this study is designed for a classroom setting, it can easily be used for small group or one-on-one study. You can even share copies of the material with students, read through it individually, and then come together to discuss it.
The point is the major leg-work is done for you; now you can amend it to fit your local church needs. Whether that’s shortening or lengthening the time, teaching it to older students, or using it with one-on-one discipleship, use it to fit your needs.
Lastly, Bible 101 is completely free. When we say “completely free,” that means not only monetarily free, but with no strings attached. That means you don’t have to sign up for our newsletter, you don’t have to share this on a social media platform, etc. Reformed Youth Ministries seeks to spread the good news of the gospel by reaching students for Christ and equipping them to serve. Part of that goal is fulfilled through the production of resources.
It is our prayer that you use this Bible study material to spread the beauty of the gospel to the next generation and that you, too, are more enamored with the treasure of God’s Word in the process.
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE STUDY]
Piper, John. Ask Pastor John. Desiring God (April 10, 2017). http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-s-the-last-thing-you-would-tweet
 One advantage to offering free Bible study material is the ability to update and make revisions. Throughout the years, RYM may improve upon and revise particular sections of our material. When we do so, we will make that known but the consumer won’t have to purchase new material. We hope this is a way to serve the church in a more faithful manner.
© Reformed Youth Ministries