Matthew 7:7 Matthew 6:9-13 Mark 1:35 Philippians 4:6-7 1 Thessalonians 5:17
As part of our New Year lessons we bring you another lesson on being closer to God and of course the best way to bring ourselves and the children close to God is through prayer.
A prayer is a conversation between yourself and God. It is the most important part of our relationship with God and yet so often is the part of our relationship with God that we neglect.
Obviously there are many references to prayer in the Bible, a good one to use for the lesson is either the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) or an instance where Jesus himself makes time to pray (Mark 1:35).
Here is a worksheet to illustrate the purpose of prayers. Prayer Worksheet.
You can use the following answers to start a discussion:
1. God has many good things planned for those who open their hearts to Him. Sadly many people never ask Jesus to come into their lives.
2. God wants us to come and enjoy a good life. He has sent an invitation to everyone, but not everyone will accept the gift of salvation.
3. God communicates with us in many ways. One of the ways in which we can answer Him is through prayer.
4. God is always there for us. God will comfort and protect us, but first we must ask for His help.
People have a lot of ideas about prayer. Some people think that prayers only matter when they’re done at certain times like in the morning or before bed. Others think they have to be very long or follow a pattern. Some people only pray when they are in church. This is not so! A prayer is anything you address to God, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. There are lots of ways you can pray; you can be kneeling down, singing, standing, saying the Lord’s prayer but regardless of how we do it God still hears us.
When we pray there are some things we usually do. We confess our sins, we thank God for what He has given us and we pray for things we want, need or for our friends. A prayer doesn’t have to do these things, but it is a start. A prayer is a conversation with God, so we must remember to listen too! If we do not make the time to speak to God our spirits miss Him and he misses us, just like we miss people that we love when we do not see them for a long time.
Think about your house. Imagine you want to fill every container in the house with water. First you turn on all the taps to fill the sinks and the baths. Then you fill all your buckets and saucepans. Then you fill all the cups and mugs. Finally you can fill anything that will hold water, bowls, eggcups, money boxes, everything! But there is still water in the tap. This is like God’s longing for us. No matter how much we pray or worship He always wants us to come to Him, it never ends.
– Who is your favourite person to talk to? What makes them your favourite?
– Think about a time you really wanted to talk to this person, why did you want to talk to them so badly?
Maybe something good had happened and you wanted to share it with them. Or maybe something bad had happened and you wanted them to comfort you.
Think about how our lives would change if we treated God like our favourite person. God would love us to tell Him when something good happened to us, and He would like to comfort us when we have bad news.
– When you have a problem and you need help, who do you tell?
If we need help we might tell a parent, a sibling, a friend, a teacher or an adult. If we don’t tell anyone about the problem then nobody can help us. It’s the same with prayer, if we don’t tell God when something is wrong and ask for His help, He cannot help us.
You will need:
A bubble tube
This is a very simple game that descends into hilarity quite quickly. All you do is blow bubbles into the air. The children have to pop the bubbles before they hit the ground, but before they can pop them they have to shout out something to pray for or give thanks for.
Instead of crafts, for this lesson we have a few prayer patterns to give children some structure to their prayers. The children can write them onto coloured paper with felt pens to make them attractive and can later pin them up wherever they do the most praying.
-Write out the letters A-C-T-S going down the page.
-Next to the letters write what they stand for. A= Adoration and Praise (Praising God for what He has done). C= Confession (Confessing our sins). T= Thanksgiving (Offering thanks for what we have). S= Supplication (Pray for our needs and the needs of others).
2. The Hand Prayer
– Draw around your hand. On each finger, in order, write one of these phrases; Praise God – Confess your sins – Thank God – Pray for others – Pray for yourself. And in the centre of the hand write the word Amen.
3. The Lord’s Prayer
– Write out the Lord’s Prayer but leave gaps between some of the lines, so you can use the phrases as titles. For example; And give us this day our daily bread (gap) and forgive us our trespasses (gap) as we forgive those who trespass against us (gap). In each gap pray for something inspired by the previous words, after ‘forgive us our trespasses’ confess your sins, ‘as we forgive those…’ think of people who have wronged us whom we should pray for.