I can’t pinpoint when my prayer life changed from reciting memorized prayers to having a relational conversation with God, but I can tell you when I became aware of the shift… when I began writing the opening and closing prayers for the children to recite during Bible Adventures. This is super embarrassing to admit, but I’ll put it out there… the first time I sat down to write these prayers, I drew a complete blank, I had no idea where to start; so I googled “how to write prayers for kids”. What I found were three words: Praise, Thank, and Ask.
In the Gospel today, Jesus cleansed ten leapers. Of those ten leapers only one took the time to return to Jesus; to thank him and glorify him.
“And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.”
When we pray, it is easy to have the “Ask” part down… “God, please keep my family safe”, “Jesus, help me pass this test”, or “Lord, please let me win the lottery”, but sometimes we leave out the “Praise” and “Thanks”.
However, the “Praise” and the “Thanks” are really the heart of the relationship; without them, our relationship with Jesus is completely one sided. Would you want to be in a relationship with someone who does nothing but ask you for favors but never once takes time to thank you? When God does answer our prayers, do we want to be of the nine who walked away or the one who returned to thank and glorify Jesus?