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Praying With Scripture in Times of Darkness

The news of the shooting in Uvalde, TX is weighing heavily on my heart today.  I have been praying for the families and community affected and for you and your children as you navigate and process this most recent tragic event in our nation’s life together. I remember the fear that seized my heart after the Columbine shootings, and I wanted to offer you and your family a way to pray together with the story of Jesus Calming the Storm

There are many resources about talking to your children about difficult news stories. This isn’t that. This is a suggestion of one way to meet Jesus in the midst of difficult news stories. 

The suggestion below is basically one idea for how you could use Mark 4:35-41 in FAITH5, or a family devotion time: reading a story, wondering about it together, praying, and blessing one another. 

Text

Mark 4:35-41

You can read this text together, or watch our Word & Wonder video of the story here (*note* I do reference a “very sad day at a school in Texas” towards the beginning of the video):

Wondering Questions

I wonder what it was like for the disciples to get into this boat with Jesus with their hearts full of stories about how wonderful, amazing, and surprising God’s kingdom could be.

I wonder if it was really easy to forget those stories in the middle of a storm.

I wonder what it was like to see Jesus sleeping in the boat in the middle of a storm.

I wonder what it was like to shout, “Wake up Jesus!”

I wonder what it was like to hear Jesus’ voice say “Peace. Be still.”

I wonder what the disciples thought when Jesus asked “Where is your faith?”

I wonder how we carry the good news about God’s kingdom in our hearts, even in the middle of all these storms.

I wonder how it feels to know that Jesus is right here. With us. That he holds our faith in his hands.

I wonder if you have any storms–hard or scary things–that you want to talk to Jesus about.

I wonder if you can imagine Jesus saying to you, “Peace. Be still.”

Pray

Spend some time in prayer, offering your worries to Jesus, praying especially for the storms each family member identified in the wondering time. Spend time praying for those families who are grieving the loss of someone they love. Thank God for those who are helping to make things right.

Blessing

Remind your children that Jesus knows and that he is near–to them and to all who are brokenhearted. (Psalm 34:18) One day, Jesus will make everything new again, and there won’t be any more sin, sickness, or suffering. God’s kingdom is already here on this earth, and one of the church’s jobs is to be people who help others to see & experience God’s kingdom, where love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control are the norm.

Additional Resources

Books for praying imaginatively with kids:

Isaiah and the Worry Pack (Kids ages 4-8): https://www.amazon.com/Isaiah-Worry-Pack…/dp/1514001063

Imaginative Prayer (Kids ages 7+): https://www.amazon.com/Imagin…/dp/0830846255/ref=sr_1_1…

Songs:

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