Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Prayer Suitcase

The class with Bethany and me. And of course, they have
their prayer suitcases packed and ready to go.
On Sunday, Bethany and I taught the children's church at Covenant Church of Easton, which is the church that she grew up in. It was fun to remind the kids that we were once exactly in their shoes and that God has exciting things for their lives. We had a great time with these kids.


When we asked the boys and girls if they knew what language the people in Austria spoke, one little boy's hand shot up. He said he knew what language they spoke and that it was German. We were pretty impressed at this little guy! Some adults aren't 100% sure about the answer to that question. He also said that he knew how to speak German, which was equally impressive and would right now put him ahead of us! So we proceeded to ask him in front of the class how you say 'Good morning' in German...and his reply made all of the adults in the room crack up laughing. To say 'good morning' in German, he merely said, 'Good morning' in English but with a German/Swedish-Chef accent. It was a pretty spectacular moment.


At the end of our time with the kids, Bethany did a craft project that was really great. We knew that the children wouldn't be able to come visit us anytime soon to see the ministry that God is doing in Austria. So because they couldn't pack their real suitcases, Bethany had them pack a prayer suitcase instead for the times when they would pray for us. They put in it everything that they would need to pray for us: an Austrian flag, our picture cut out from our prayer card, a few prayer requests written out to remember, our theme verse, and then any decorations that the kids wanted to add.  Some added a flag pole for the flag or drawings of mountains.


The more I thought about this, the more I was intrigued by this concept. Somehow we think that spending time in prayer and how to prepare for prayer, because it is a spiritual activity, is totally different than other activities and requires few tools or time or preparation. But are we wrong in our thinking?


If I want to go rock climbing, I have a mental list of things I need to pack: my shoes, my harness, rope, and other pieces of gear. Nothing is worse than getting to a climb and realizing I forgot something that will make the day either miserable or unsafe. Have you ever tried to spend an entire day outside without a water bottle? You get thirsty pretty quick.


So when it comes to prayer, I am beginning to think about what I would need to pack to spend more time in prayer. Like many other parts of my life, planning and preparation are a growth area for me. Like any relationship, this is something that both grows organically and requires you to be intentional. 


So here is the question: 
What do you put in your prayer suitcase?
How do you organize and prepare for your times of prayer?