By Tobin Schmidt
Today marks the third installment of Next Gen Thursdays – each Thursday during this series; we will focus on praying for and with the Next Generation.
Why do I even close my eyes to pray? Why do I fold my hands?
Did you just see it in a movie? Did your parents tell you that’s how you pray, and now it’s just what you do before you eat?
Each Sunday, I sit in on a Preteen small group to help facilitate conversations, foster Christ-centered relationships, and pray together. If you’ve ever met a fifth or sixth grader, you know their least favorite thing to do is sit still and be quiet. (to be honest, I struggle with focus, too.)
When it comes time to pray, I first ask for requests, which vary from sick family members to praying for “Robux” (a digital video game currency), and then I ask them to close their eyes and fold their hands or if they choose to do so, hold their palms up.
“But for why?” – A Preteen
When we close our eyes, we focus on God and not on what’s happening around us, even if the food looks great, even if your phone just got a notification, even if you’re at Disneyland.
Folding your hands is an excellent practice as it doesn’t allow you to do much, and it’s another way we can show God, “Look, my hands aren’t busy.” Holding your palms up gives you a posture of receiving and showing God that your hands are empty and you’re ready to accept whatever He has for you.
So the next time you sit down to pray, consider taking up an intentional posture that can even help a Preteen focus on the creator.
Sometimes it helps to get back to basics. Young people can help us refocus and get clarity when they ask simple questions like “Why?”. Thank God today for simple practices that help minimize distractions while you pray, and thank God for the young people who remind us of these things!