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6. God Listens and Responds, page 42For young people a big question about prayer is: Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? Why don’t I get what I ask for? Young people will want to discuss this. e answer, of course, is that God knows what we want, as well as what we need. More important, he knows the di er- ence between the two. God does answer our prayers, but he often answers them in a way we do not expect. You might want to share these anecdotes with your students. e Snowy DisappointmentWednesday afternoon, Becky heard the weather report for  ursday, the day of the big math test. Forecasters were predicting a major snow, maybe enough to close the schools. Becky hadn’t studied for the test and had planned to hit books on Wednesday night. At 7:00 pm, her neighbor, Roxy, invited her over to play a new game. Becky went—just for an hour, she thought. But Roxy’s older brother and a few of his friends were there, too.  ey had such fun that Becky stayed until almost 10:00. Becky didn’t have time to study because 10:30 is “lights out” at her house.So that night, Becky prayed really hard that the bad weather forecast would come true. She even promised God she’d never be so foolish again if just this once he’d make it snow. e next morning Becky awoke to damp streets and a clear sky.  e storm had passed to the south of the city. Becky failed the math test.Ask students if God answered Becky’s prayers. Most will say no. But could Becky have learned something from this expe- rience? Maybe it was good for Becky to learn that life is full of surprises and that it’s better to be prepared as Jesus says in Mark 13:33-37.Becky’s LossBecky’s happiest memories are of the times she spent with her grandmother when she was a little girl. Grandma never scolded Becky. She never had to. Becky always behaved well with Grandma. It was because the two of them always did things together. Becky never had time to get bored or troublesome.But Becky’s grandmother got very sick suddenly. In fact, the doctors said she couldn’t get well.  rough her last days, she had time to visit with all of her family and to give them her love and her prayer that they would all have happy lives.Becky was terribly upset. She prayed that her grandmother would get well and they could have their happy times together again. But one night, Becky’s grandma died quietly in her sleep.Becky felt betrayed. Her prayers had not been answered and she was disappointed. In fact, she was angry.  en one day after school, she told Ms. Williams, her soccer coach, how she felt. Ms. Williams asked Becky to think about these questions as she thought about her feelings.• Was it possible for her grandmother to get well?• Did she have a long illness that caused her a lot ofsu ering?• Did she have the confusion and mental decline that somany old people experience?• Did she leave her children and grandchildren happymemories of their time together?• Did she leave her family a wonderful example of how aChristian behaves as she approaches a happy death?• Might Becky and her family discover that their lovedone is still with them in the wisdom she has passed on to them?When she thought deeply about her grandmother’s  nal illness and her death, Becky had to admit that her family had been truly blessed in her grandmother’s life and death. Becky is still sad that Grandma is gone, but she realizes that part of the sadness is the sadness of passing time.  e years she had with Grandma could not last forever. Becky’s years as a child were rapidly passing, and had Grandma lived, their relationship, though still warm and loving, would have changed as well.God answered Becky’s prayers with a lesson we must all learn. All human beings are subject to the changes that time brings, but the values of love and family tenderness go on forever.7. The Lord’s Prayer, page 42Ask students to consider just the  rst two words of the Lord’s Prayer. What do these two words tell us about how Jesus wants us to approach God?Our.  is pronoun is plural. It’s not My Father but Our Father.  e word Our indicates that we should approach God as a community of believers. We are social creatures who depend on one another in our daily lives and in our e orts to work out our salvation.  is approach emphasizes our need to respect one another and to accept the diversity we discover in our Christian brothers and sisters.13

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