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DEAR GOD LETTERS

Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Dear God Letters study. We'll look into all aspects of the Bible seeking truth, understanding and then peace within.





DEAR GOD LETTERS

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Dear God Letters study program. This is our Dear God Letters study taking a look into Dear God Letters and how the absolutely awesome concept of Dear God Letters and their messages affect your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.




The key to effective prayer can be ...

PARTNERS IN PRAYER

We want to thank our dear friends Sassy and Ditto for sharing the photos of children praying with their partners.

FOR AS JESUS SAID ...

Matthew 18:20
Where two or three are gathered together in my name ...
there am I, in the midst of them.


God's Children of all ages have questions or statements
that they would like to share with God.

Or maybe you are an adult and have your own questions and/or statements you want to share with God.

There are so many different ways to "write" a letter to God.

A Dear God Letter doesn't necessarily have to be written.In fact there are many people that begin almost every prayer they utter, whether out loud, in their mind, or written down with ... Dear God . . .

Of course everybody prays differently. Sometimes you may pray for hours at a time, and sometimes you may just whisper one word (like Alleluia or Thanks or Amen). How you pray is entirely up to you. Just remember, there are no limitations on prayer, small or large. Your Father judges your heart, and the only thing that He wants from you, is sincerity.

Here is the sample prayer Jesus gave us ...


Matthew 6:9-13
AFTER THIS MANNER therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Remember this is a SAMPLE prayer as the Lord said.

He is NOT suggesting you just repeat this as your Christian prayer:


Matthew 6:7
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

One might call prayer the gateway to peace in our lives. An important thing to remember when praying, is that if we pray for God's Will to be done in all matters, things are bound to turn out right.

Jesus prayed for God's will to be done:


Matthew 26:39,42
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying,
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying,
O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.


HOW TO PRAY FOR GOD'S WILL

The more you grow in in the Lord by following His plans, the more you become like Him. You will sense His will, because He lives through you, guiding you and conforming you to His image. The more you become like Him, the closer you’ll be to the center of HIS will for you and for your life. All you have to do is follow Him, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Make a sincere prayer and voluntarily surrender your life to the Holy Spirit, who lives in you, and moment by moment, walk in dependence upon and sensitive to His leadership and His guidance, and surrender your body, soul, and spirit to Him with childlike faith that He will be what Jesus promised Him to be in you … Your Comforter and your Helper.

Here is a well known prayer that asks for God's will to work in your life:


SERENITY PRAYER

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.


PRAY FOR ISRAEL

Israel is God's chosen people. He wants us to pray for them. He wants us to be blessed and prosper and the Word of the Lord says that if we pray for blessings upon Israel, we will be:


Genesis 12:3
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


Psalms 122:6
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.


THE PSALMS

The Psalms are prayers, mostly written by king David to God. He was the Apple of God's eye, and probably one of the reasons was because of the "Dear God Letters" that David wrote to Him.

You may recognize this one:


Psalms 23:1-6
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


A CLASSIC DEAR GOD LETTER

"NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP"
(An excerpt from Wikipedia)

Perhaps the earliest version was written by Joseph Addison in an essay appearing in The Spectator on March 8, 1711. It says:

When I lay me down to Sleep,
I recommend my self to his care;
when I awake, I give my self up to his Direction.

A later version printed in The New England Primer goes:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Other versions

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
His Love to guard me through the night,
And wake me in the morning's light.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
thy angels watch me through the night,
And keep me safe till morning's light.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
Bless me Lord my soul to take.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Angels watch me through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.
Amen

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guide me safely through the night,
Wake me with the morning light.
Amen

(Additional third verse)
If I should live another day
I pray the Lord to guide my way.
Amen

A WELL KNOWN DEAR GOD LETTER

The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer composed by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). A short version of this prayer is well known to many people. This is said to be the original version:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.

THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
(Information from Wikipedia)

Here is another famous prayer that can also be deemed a Dear God Letter. This prayer has been known in the United States since 1927 when its first known translation in English appeared in January of that year in the Quaker magazine Friends' Intelligencer (Philadelphia), where it was attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Francis Spellman and Senator Albert W. Hawkes distributed millions of copies of the prayer during and just after World War II.

One of the numerous English translations of the Prayer is reproduced below:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.





DEAR GOD LETTERS FROM JESUS

Below you'll find scriptures which contain words that Jesus prayed to our Heavenly Father. What better examples of Dear God Letters could there possibly be?


Matthew 11:25-26
At that time Jesus answered and said,
I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

John 11:41-43
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said,
Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

John 12:23-29
And Jesus answered them, saying,
The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

John 17:1-26
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Matthew 26:36-46
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples,
Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Luke 23:32-34
And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus,
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Mark 15:33-37
And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

John 19:28-30
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith,
I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Luke 23:44-46
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

John 19:30
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,
It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.



NOTE TO PARENTS:

Children have a natural curiosity and innocence that are precious beyond compare. Sometimes the questions they ask are questions that challenge the minds of even the most prudent adults. Questions that they ask God, are especially thought provoking, so take time share thoughts with your children about some of the questions that your dear little ones ponder on. You might marvel at the fact that many of them are questions that we have wondered ourselves, and seeking the answers to them may be a rewarding experience that strengthens both your relationship with the Lord, and with your children.


If you would like to learn more about prayer, check out this study:

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