When you pray to God what do you talk about?
King David was a great king over Israel. He loved God very much. And he never stopped worshiping God like lots of other kings did. But King David also committed some pretty bad sins. Sins that made God very sad. Sins that hurt other people very badly.
In Psalm 103 David teaches us some very important things about God. Here is part of Psalm 103. Listen for what does it tells us about God?
Psalm 103:8-12. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
What did you hear?
You know many people believe that God is like a teacher who hands out grades like in school. If we succeed we get good grades from God. But if we fail, we get bad grades. Or others see God as a policeman who is just waiting for us to sin so he can arrest us. Many Christians think that God keeps track of all our sins and adds them up, and then either gives us good or bad things depending on how we do. They think that God is like Santa Claus – “He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”
But Psalm 103 tells us something very different about God doesn’t it?
God is kind to us. He is patient with us. He doesn’t want to be angry at us. And he doesn’t keep track of our mistakes. He doesn’t get even with us when we hurt him. In fact, he has forgiven all our sins, and he loves us to infinity and beyond. God is a good, good dad to us.
So when we pray to God, he doesn’t only want us to talk to him about how bad we are. He wants us to talk to him much more about how good he is – which is what David is doing in Psalm 103.
Do you only talk to God when you’ve sinned or made a mistake? Is the only time you pray when you have to say “I’m sorry” to God?
Now, of course, it’s OK to talk to God when you’ve sinned, and it’s good to tell God that you’re sorry for mistakes. But there’s so much more that God wants to talk with you about. There’s so much more that God wants you to think about and pray about. God really, really, really wants us to talk more about Jesus than about our sin. He wants us to remember that because of Jesus all our sins are already forgiven. God would much rather talk about how amazing Jesus is with us than about how bad we are. God would much rather talk about his kindness than he would about how you failed to be kind today.
Why? Because God knows that we won’t stop sinning by talking about all the times we sin. He knows that if we think about Jesus and his love, his kindness, and his forgiveness, then we might just stop sinning. We might stop being mean if we remember how nice Jesus is. We might stop being angry if we remember how forgiving Jesus is. We might stop being selfish if we remember how much Jesus has shared with us.
So yes, talk to God about your sin when you need to. But talk to him way more about how your sin is forgiven and think way more about how much he loves you because of Jesus.
Because of Jesus all your sins are forgiven.
With Jesus you can choose to not sin.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Practice talking to God (praying) saying good things about God and Jesus (like Psalm 103). You might go around and have everyone add one line to the family prayer, a line that says something good about God or Jesus.
Talk about how the more we think and talk about God and his love, the less we want to sin.
You are better than anything else. Because of you I know that God loves me and has forgiven me.
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