Here is a sample lesson based upon Psalms 20 from the newly published Light & Power Company Curriculum. You can view a 360′ video of this lesson at this link.
Lesson 8: Psalms 20 (p 636-637)
Praying for other people
Begin by asking people how they sat or stood or walked this past week.
Remind class members of our Psalms memory verse.
Psalms 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
It seems that when we pray for other people, we are mostly praying for them because they are sick, or someone in their family died, or for them to get a job. There is nothing wrong with those prayers. But this psalm gives us lots of other ways that we can pray for people. Let’s go through the different examples it gives.
In each of the below, you can assist those who need it by giving them a sample prayer. So for example in verse one, you might say, “Keep (name of someone) safe. Amen.”
V1 In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
We all get into different kinds of trouble when we go through our lives. Sometimes the trouble we get into is deserved because we did something wrong. Other times the trouble we have is not our fault in any way. Either way, we can ask God to help others when they get into trouble.
Think of someone who is in trouble in some way. Pray that God will help them in their trouble, either by protecting them or helping them to stop doing bad things. God will sometimes allow us to get what is coming to us when we do things that are wrong. As Ezekiel says He does it so that we will know that He is the Lord (see p 935 of the BYS Bible and also commentary on Ezekiel 6:19 regarding this). So if someone you know of is in trouble, ask God to use that trouble for them to come to know that He is the Lord.
He then prays to keep someone safe in just going through their life. That they don’t get sick or don’t get hurt. Think of someone and pray that God will keep them safe.
V2 May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
Sometimes we need help in our lives. The help we need could be for a variety of different things.
What are some things that people might need help with?
Think of someone you know who needs help and ask God to help them.
V3 May he remember all your gifts and look favorably on your burnt offerings.
These are things people did in the time of David to worship God. So something that you could pray is to ask God to remember all the good things that someone has done in their life. What kinds of good things do people do?
Think of someone you know and ask God to remember the good things that that person has done in their life.
V4 May he grant you your heart’s desires…
Everyone wishes for different things.
Is it wrong to want a nice house? No.
It is wrong to want a car that runs well? Of course not.
It wrong to want to visit your family? No
Is it wrong to want to go somewhere and see beautiful things? No it isn’t.
So then, think of someone you know and ask God to give that person the things that their heart desires.
V4 …and make all your plans succeed.
What are plans that people have? People have plans to do things like get a job, or plans to get married. Think of someone you know and ask God to make their plans succeed. Talk through different types of plans that people have to help them to be sensitive to these plans and then pray to ask God to give them direction and success in the plans.
V5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
In 1 Corinthians 12:26 it says …if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
Sometimes we remember to thank God for the many good things, the many blessings He gives to us…but not always. But probably we really forget to thank God for the good things He does for others. Think of someone you know and thank God for the good things that He has done for that person. Try to think of specific things that you can be thankful for.
V5 May the Lord answer all your prayers.
It is a wonderful thing to pray for other people. All of us want to see those around us, especially those we love, blessed with the things that they ask God for. So once more, think of someone you know and ask God to answer all their prayers! God knows what is best for you. In Matthew 7:9 it says that if you ask for bread would God give you a stone and if you ask for a fish would God give you a snake? In Luke 11:11 it says if you ask for an egg would God give you a scorpion? Matthew 6:8 says that God knows what you want before you even ask for it. So you can just pray, “Dear Lord, please answer (name of someone) prayers.”
This is a really good way to pray. It helps you to take your eyes off of yourself and put them on other people. Try to practice this type of praying this week. This is also a good lesson to repeat periodically. You can use it to pray for your pastor or even political leaders.
Another idea from Kathi
Ask a few of the class members to close in prayer, specifically requesting God to answer the prayers of others in the class and give them the desires of their hearts.