This year, each Confirmation Student will meet up with the Faith Mentor for two discussions that explore Christian faith and life. Students: Schedule a time when you and your mentor can meet (preferably in person) sometime in the next month. When you’re finished, email Pastor Andrea with your answers to the closing reflections (no later than January 5).
MENTOR CONVERSATION THEME:
As Christians, our life is spent in relationship with God. Like any other relationship we might hope to have, nurturing a meaningful relationship with God means spending time together. Prayer is how we spend time with God.
This mentor conversation will last about an hour and help you explore prayer together:
What is prayer?
What does prayer do in our lives?
How do we pray?
Powerful and loving God, you are more ready to listen than we are to pray. Search our hearts and our minds, that we may know you and seek your will for our lives. Bless our time of learning. Help us to entrust those we love to your care. Thank you for the gift of prayer, here with our friends, and whenever we come to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
PART 1: WARM UP
Highs/Lows: Think about the last week, and share something that was a high point, and a low point of your week.
Would you rather:
Would you rather have to eat a whole turkey in one sitting OR never be able to eat turkey again?
Would you rather wear a Santa outfit OR an elf outfit to school/work every day for a month?
Would you rather have holiday decorations up all year OR never be able to put them up again?
Would you rather get one amazing holiday gift OR ten okay holiday gifts?
Share one Thanksgiving or Christmas tradition in your family that’s important to you.
PART 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Pick 2 or 3 of these to discuss briefly:
If you could take a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why? Who would you take with you?
What is your favorite hobby? How long have you been doing it? What do you enjoy the most about it?
What is one thing about you that you wish others would notice more?
Do you have any nicknames? Share one and explain how you got this name.
PART 3: WHAT IS PRAYER?
There’s no one “right” way to pray. Our prayers can take many different forms, and express many different emotions! Watch this montage of movie prayer moments together.
Reflection questions to discuss: What is prayer? How would you define it? On a typical day, when do you pray? What kinds of prayer do you say? Is it the same every day?
PART 4: HOW DO WE PRAY?
What makes a prayer good? Here’s a clip from the movie Bruce Almighty where the central charter has a breakthrough:
Reflection questions to discuss: What makes a prayer good? How is prayer different from making a wish? Lots of people struggle with feeling like they don’t know HOW to pray. Is this true for you? If so, what have you found helpful and encouraging to pray more freely and have confidence that God will hear and answer?
PART 5: BIBLE STUDY
Read Psalm 23 (have one person read it to the other), then discuss:
The psalms are filled with prayers that offer praise, ask for forgiveness, and cry out for help. This psalm has provided comfort for more people than perhaps any other psalm. Why do you think that is?
What are some of the “comforting” images in this psalm?
Do you have any memories associated with Psalm 23? If so, share those with one another.
Read Luke 11:1-4, then discuss:
How/when did you learn the Lord’s Prayer? Who helped you learn it?
The disciples wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray. If you could ask Jesus a question about prayer, what would you ask?
What do you think it means when we pray for “daily bread”?
Which part of the Lord’s Prayer feels most important/meaningful to you?
Read Romans 8:26–27. The apostle Paul wrote this to some people in Rome who were afraid that they don’t know the right words to say when they pray. What advice does he give to them (and to us)? How would you recognize when the Holy Spirit is guiding us in prayer?
PART 6: TRYING OUT A PRAYER PRACTICE
While traditional or scripted prayers, such as the Lord's Prayer, are always appropriate, sometimes we want to pray less formally and in our own words.
Not knowing what to say may be a problem (for you, perhaps, but never for God!). One simple way we can focus our prayers is to use the acronym ACTS:
A = Adoration. Say words that praise and honor God. For example, you can start sentences with: “God you are…” “God you have done such amazing things, like…”
C = Confession. Think about your life and where you know you did the wrong thing or made a bad choice. Tell God about it, and say how sorry you are. Name the places and situations in your life where you need God to give you a fresh start. For example, “I am sorry that I …” or “Forgive me for…”
T = Thanksgiving. Tell God all of the things you’re thankful for!
S = Supplication. This word means asking for something on behalf of someone other than ourselves. This is a prayer for the needs of others, including people we know but also people in our community or the whole world. For example, praying for the sick, struggling farmers, or those experiencing homelessness.
Take a moment and write a brief prayer that follows the ACTS outline. Use your own words, your own way. Don’t stress about getting it perfect. Once you’ve written the prayer, talk about the process. Did the ACTS acronym help? Which part of the prayer comes most easily? Which is most difficult?
Close your time by praying the Lord’s Prayer together.
Send an email to Pastor Andrea (email@example.com) by January 5 that answers these three questions:
What was the theme of this Mentor Conversation?
Where and when did you meet with your mentor?
What NEW thing did you learn about your Mentor during this conversation?
Share 3 things you learned from your mentor about the THEME and how it connects to their life and faith.
What’s one thing your mentor said that you want to remember later?