Prayer: Talking to God with Your Hands(Ask the following questions):
- Does anyone here like to talk on the phone?
- Do any of you talk on the computer with emails, IM, or Skype?
- Who do you like to talk to and what about?
- How many of you have cell phones?
- How many of your parents have cell phones? Do they get upset if they lose their phones?
So if talking to people is easy and we do it all the time, why is it so hard to spend time talking with God?
(Invite responses such as: We get busy. We don’t see Him all the time so we forget. We don’t know how. We might question whether God is really listening. We might think our problems are too small.)
Why is it important to talk with God?
- God wants us to know Him.
- God really does answer prayer.
- God loves us through prayer.
- We love God through prayer.
T: TAKE the TIME: (Have children point to a pretend watch on their wrist.)
Find time in your day to talk to God. Pray at the same time each day. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth. Ya’ll brush your teeth, right?
A: AHHHHHH…. Quiet: (Have children take a deep breath with you.)
Find a quiet place in your home. Turn the TV off, your music off, and find a way to escape from your little brother. Sit under a table, go in your closet if it’s big enough, make a fort, whatever!
L: LEARN from God’s Word. (Have children place hands palm side up as if holding a Bible.)
Read one verse a day. If you’re up for the challenge, read one chapter a day. Try to understand what God is saying to you. Ask a grown-up who knows Jesus for help if you need it.
K: KEEP a Prayer Plan. (Have children pretend like they are writing.)
Write down how to pray. Pray that way. Write down praises, prayer requests, and verses that mean a lot to you. Keep it simple or else you won’t keep doing it.
(Repeat each component at least once, if not twice to ensure retention.)
Do any of you like to talk with your hands? (Mimic people who talk with their hands: chefs, airline stewardesses, tour guides, photographers, pastors, etc.)
Today our hands are going to help us learn how to pray. As long as your hands go home with you today (please tell me they will!) you should remember our lesson. You’ve got five fingers and we’ve got five parts of prayer. You ready?
1. PRAISE: Praise is saying what you love about someone. It’s saying, “God, I love that you are good. I love how you made the ocean. I love that you sent Jesus for our sins.” (As you list each example, number them with your fingers and invite the children to do the same.)
2. CONFESS: Confession is a big word for spit up. It means to get the junk out of your life. It’s when you ask for forgiveness of your sins. It’s saying, “I’m sorry that I lied. Forgive me for getting in a fight with my brother. I’m sorry for not loving you like I should.” (As you list each, use your hands to mimic throwing up.)
4. ASK: God says in Matthew that, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Pray for others. Pray for yourself. Ask for people to be saved, for God to provide, for wisdom to understand, for help in temptation, for people to be healed. (Invite children to fold their hands as in prayer.)
5. THANKS: God has done so much for us. What can you be thankful for today? (Invite children to list items. Lead the children in a lively worship song of praise/thanksgiving such as “He has made me glad.” Have them clap their hands in thanks.)
(Review each of the parts of the Prayer Plan with the hand motions to cue the students’ memory. Review a second time with only the bolded words. Have students demonstrate the hand motions for each. Close the lesson in prayer. Follow the prayer plan, keeping it brief to hold students’ attention.)
Matthew 6:9-13 ESVPray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
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How many of you know who Jesus is? Raise your hand if you know who Jesus is?
After taking some time to count all of the hands out loud, say, Wow! A lot of you know about Jesus! That is wonderful. Now, how many of you know that God loved the world so much that he gave His only Son Jesus so that whoever believes in Him can have eternal life with God?
Pause for children to raise their hands.
That is wonderful! I am thankful that so many of you know who Jesus is and that He is the only way to be with God in heaven some day! Are you glad that someone told you about Jesus?
Can you guess how many people there are in the world? Raise your hand if you have a guess.
Allow several children to give their guesses, then write the actual number on the chalkboard. Start from the right and just keep adding digits until you have written the whole number! Then read the number to the children
That is a lot of people! I can’t even imagine how many people that would be! Hmm, some of those people have probably never heard about Jesus. How many people do you think that that would be? How many people have never really had a chance to believe in Jesus? Any guesses?
Take several guesses, and then begin writing again.
This time write the number of people who have not had an adequate opportunity
to hear the gospel. Read the number to the children before commenting, Wow! That is amazing! About half the people in the world have never heard that Jesus is the way to God. Let me show you what that means.
Invite one child to the front to represent each billion people.
(For about 6 billion people in the world, invite 6 children to the
Let’s pretend that these are all the people in the world. According to what we have just learned, half of all people have never heard that Jesus died for their sins. They don’t know that they can have eternal life if they believe in Jesus.
Separate out one child for each billion people who have not heard an adequate presentation of the gospel. This will be about half of the children. Round the numbers as needed to make the illustration work. (If you need half of a person, consider asking one child to turn sideways between the two groups.)
That means that out of all these people, this many do not even have a chance to believe in Jesus!
Point to the children who in the world who have not heard an adequate presentation of the gospel and say.
Did you know that so many people have never had a chance to know Jesus? They really don’t have a choice to believe in Jesus. How does that make you feel?
Point to the other half of the children. This many people have heard about Jesus. But…Separate about one-third of the “evangelized” children from the others.
…only about this many of the people who have heard about Jesus believe in Him. That means a lot of people do not know Jesus! We have a big problem! What can we do about this problem?
Allow the children to make some suggestions. If no one suggests prayer, add that suggestion to the list.
You have some fantastic ideas about what you can do to help people who haven’t believed in Jesus! I hope that you will try some of those things. One of our ideas was to pray. Do you think your prayers really make a difference?
I will be giving the children handouts to take home on learning the Lords Prayer.
Lastly, I will finalize with reading the beginning of the story about Jesus that was in the handout.