Category Archives: prayer

Satan’s Tactics (GAME)


Roaring LionTime

15 minutes
Description

Satan has many different ways to attack us.  This game will help children to understand that they can attack back with prayer.  The game is a tossing game in which children will try to knock out targets with beanbags or something else that they can throw.

 

Scriptures

  • 1 Peter 5:8

 

Materials

  • Board with cutouts for targets (I recommend a sheet of plywood with sixteen (16) rectangles cut out of it (made to look like a collage picture frame).  There should be four cutouts per row and four rows.  Each cutout should be approximately six inches tall by 4 inches wide.  Sheets of paper will be taped to the back of the board over the holes. The board should have a stand so that it is free-standing (or leaning) and can withstand being hit with beanbags.  You can find a diagram in the file “Satan’s Tactics – Board Diagram” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teaching.them.com.  Alternatively, you could tape the Tactic Cards mentioned below to the floor and have participants try to throw a beanbag on top of them.)
  • Tactic cards to place in each of the cutouts  (You can find these in the file “Satan’s Tactics – Tactic Cards” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teaching.them.com.)
  • Tape to tape the cards in each of the cutouts and to mark the throwing line
  • Beanbags (3-6 – you can substitute tennis balls or some other throwing object – label them with the word, “PRAYER.”)
  • Scissors for cutting out the tactic cards
  • Permanent marker for labeling the bean bags
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Create your target board.
  • Print out the tactic cards and cut the pages down the middle. (There are two tactic cards per page.)
  • Tape the tactic cards in the holes on the back of the target board with the words showing out.
  • Use the tape to mark a throwing line about ten feet away from the target board.
  • Label the beanbags to say “PRAYER.”
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We have an enemy, and he is trying to attack us.”  (Have a volunteer read the 1 Peter 5:8.)
  • “Satan has many different tactics (or ways) that he uses to attack us, but we can attack back with prayer to God.”
  • “We’ve put many of Satan’s tactics on the target board over there, and your goal is to knock them all out with these bean bags, which represent prayers.”
  • “Everyone gets two chances to throw a ‘prayer’ at the targets and try to defeat one of Satan’s tactics.”
  • “Then, we’ll rotate.  We’ll keep going until all of Satan’s tactics have been defeated.”
    • “Any questions?”  (Answer questions if there are any.  Then, play the game, allowing the youngest person in the group to go first.  When all the Tactics have been knocked out, discuss the Debrief Questions below. You can use the Rhyme Time to reinforce the main point of the lesson.)

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. Have you ever been attacked in one of these ways?  Which ones?
  2. Do you think prayer would help?  Why or why not?
  3. Do you know of any other attacks Satan makes against us?
  4. How can you fight against those?

 

Rhyme Time

When Satan attacks

Send a prayer back!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fear, Game, prayer, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Warfare, temptation, Worry

Lectio Divina (DEVOTION)


Lectia DivinaTime

25-40 minutes
Description

This method of studying Scripture was originally established by St. Benedict in the 6th Century.  Lectio Divina means “divine reading.” It focuses on Scripture as the Living Word and engages us holistically: heart, mind, spirit and body. Use this method when you want participants to go deep into a particular Scripture passage and come away with personal Words from God.

 

Scriptures

  • Any of your choosing

 

Materials

  • Optional – Slide that describes the four parts of Lectio Divina to use as a handout or to project on a screen (You can download the slide from the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page at www.teachingthem.com.  It’s named, “Lectio Divina – Slide.”)
  • Optional – Computer, LCD projector and screen if you want to project the slide
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Optional – set up screen and projector to project slide or make copies of the handout for all the participants.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to use a method of studying Scripture that was originally established by St. Benedict in the 6th Century.”
  • “It’s called Lectio Divina, which means ‘divine reading.’”
  • “It focuses on Scripture as the Living Word and engages us holistically: heart, mind, spirit and body.It is made up of four steps: (Advance slide each time as you mention “heart, mind, spirit and body.”)
  1. We Read or Hear the Word and allow it to speak to our hearts. (Advance slide.)
  2. We Reflect on the Word with our minds. (Advance slide.)
  3. We Respond to the Word by praying through our spirits. (Advance slide.)
  4. We Rest in the Presence of God with our bodies. (Advance slide.)
  • “Let’s practice this.  I need a volunteer to read the Scripture we’ll study today.”  (Have a volunteer read the Scripture you have chosen.)
  • “This was the Read step.”
  • “Now, I would like you to Reflect.”
  • “Take about five minutes and think about what you’ve heard.”
  • “What is God’s personal message for you through His Word today?”
  • “If it helps you to journal your thoughts as a way of reflecting, feel free to do so.”  (Allow five minutes for reflection.)
  • “Would anyone like to share a personal Word or insight given to you by the Holy Spirit.”  (Allow several people to share.)
  • “I need another volunteer to read the same Scripture again.  Listen carefully for words or phrases that God wants to highlight for you.”  (Have a volunteer read the same Scripture.  Sometimes it’s good to try different translations or even different languages if your participants are multi-lingual.)
  • “Let’s Reflect again, but this time, do it in your groups (or in pairs).”  (Allow groups or pairs 10 minutes for discussing what they are hearing from the Scriptures.)
  • “Okay, let’s read the same passage one more time, listening carefully for God’s unique message for you.”  (Have a volunteer read the passage again.)
  • “Now it’s time to Respond and Rest.”
  • “Take the next 10 minutes, and pray and rest in God’s Word for you.”
  • “You’ll take the first few minutes to pray – or take as long as you need.”
  • “When you finish praying, just sit quietly, and try to keep your mind clear.”
  • “Allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to you during this time. (You can have participants pray individually or in pairs or in a group. After they finish praying, they will sit quietly until the time has expired and just allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to them.  When the time is up, you can ask people to share what they heard through the study and how they feel about Lectio Divina as an approach to doing devotions.)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible study, Devotion, prayer

Team Member Highs and Lows (ACTIVITY)


Thumbs Up and DownTime

30-90 minutes (depending on team size and sharing times)
Description

This activity is a great way for teams to connect when they haven’t met for some time.  Each member shares their “high” (best experience) and “low” (worst experience) since the last time the team was together.  After each person shares, you might want to have another team member pray for that individual.

 

NOTE:  This activity can get very emotional.  Have a box of tissues available.  Also, if you don’t set clear guidelines at the beginning regarding how long people should share, it will be difficult to do it later if you notice you are going over time.

 

Audience

Children, youth, adults

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

  • None

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Since we haven’t been together for some time, I would like for us to spend some time sharing about our personal highlights and struggles.”
  • “We are going to go around the room, and each person with share their ‘high’ (best experience) and ‘low’ (worst experience) since the last time the team was together.”
  • “While they are sharing, I ask that everyone just listen carefully.”
    “Once they are done, I would like to ask for someone from the group to pray for that person.”
  • “We have _______ minutes for this activity, so I would like to ask each person to try to keep your sharing to ________ minutes or less.”
  • “I’ll go first so that you can hear what I mean by highs and lows.”  (Be the first person to share.  It’s important that you model the type of sharing you want from the group.  If you share something superficial, most of the others will probably do the same.  But if you disclose something meaningful, many others will feel comfortable doing the same.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Icebreaker, prayer, Relationships, teambuilding

Bargaining with God (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures, and then discuss the questions below.

  • Genesis 18:16-33
  • 2 Kings 20:1-6
  1. Do you think it’s okay to “bargain” with God?  Why or why not?
  2. How would you compare or contrast these two examples of bargaining with God?
  3. Do you think it’s possible to change God’s mind through these types of prayers?  Why or why not?
  4. If you continue reading in Genesis 19, you learn that Lot was saved with his two daughters.  But shortly afterwards, Lot got drunk, and his daughters slept with him.  From these incestuous acts, the nations of Moab and Ammon were created.  These two nations became a thorn in the side of Israel, waging war with them and leading their people into idolatry.  Do you think Abraham would have bargained for Lot if he had known what the outcome would be?  Why or why not?
  5. If you keep reading in 2 Kings 20 (verses 12-18), you learn that after Hezekiah recovered, he welcomed emissaries from Babylon and showed them all the treasures of his kingdom.  Isaiah tells Hezekiah that his pride has caused the future downfall of Israel and that all these treasures will be carried away to Babylon.  Hezekiah lived 15 more years, and during that time, he fathered Manasseh, who reigned 55 years and undid almost all the good work his father had done.  He led Israel into idolatry and “shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end…” (2 Kings 21:1-18)  If Hezekiah had known the final outcome of his bargaining, do you think he would still have done it to gain 15 more years of life?  Why or why not?
  6. Back to the first question…Do you think it’s okay to “bargain” with God?  Why or why not?

Leave a comment

Filed under Abraham, Abram, Hezekiah, Negotiation, prayer

Yes, No, Wait (GAME)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

Peter says that God is attentive to (really pays attention to) our prayers, but sometimes we don’t get the answer we expect or want and sometimes we don’t get any answer at all.  It’s helpful to know that God always answers prayer with one of three answers, Yes, No or Wait.  When He says yes, we can move ahead.  When He says no, we should take a step back and reconsider what we are asking.  If God doesn’t want us to have it, it either isn’t good for us or doesn’t fit with His bigger plan.   When God doesn’t seem to answer, He is most likely saying that we should wait.  He wants to grant us our request, but it’s not time yet.  This board game will illustrate principles of prayer.

 

Scriptures

  • 1 Peter 3:12

 

Materials

  • Gameboard (1 per group of 4-6 – You can download this from the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Yes, No, Wait – Gameboard.”)
  • Something small to use as game pieces (like coins, beads or beans – one per person)
  • “Yes, No, Wait” dice (1per group of 4-6 – You can download this from the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Yes, No, Wait – Dice Pattern.”)
  • Scotch tape (1 roll)
  • Scissors (1 pair)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Print out the gameboard and the “Yes, No, Wait” dice.
  • Cut out the dice pattern, and crease it along each of the edges.
  • Tape the edges of the dice pattern together.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Yes, No, Wait.’”
  • “It’s about how God answers prayer.”  (Have a volunteer read 1 Peter 3:12.)
  • “Peter says that God is attentive to (really pays attention to) our prayers, but sometimes we don’t get the answer we expect or want and sometimes we don’t get any answer at all.”
  • “It’s helpful to know that God always answers prayer with one of three answers, Yes, No or Wait.”
  • “When He says yes, we can move ahead.”
  • “When He says no, we should take a step back and reconsider what we are asking.”
  • “If God doesn’t want us to have it, it either isn’t good for us or doesn’t fit with His bigger plan.”
  • “When God doesn’t seem to answer, He is most likely saying that we should wait.”
  • “He wants to grant us our request, but it’s not time yet.”
  • “Here’s how the game is played.”
  • “Everyone starts with their game piece on the START space.”
  • “The person who gets to go first is the one in your group who is the youngest (or the one with the closest birthday).”
  • “On the first turn, each player will say something out loud that he/she would like for God to do for him/her.”  (To keep it light, you might want to give an example like, “Please give us three weeks off from school!”)
  • “Then, the player will roll the ‘Yes, No, Wait’ dice.”
  • “If the player rolls a ‘Yes,’ he/she should move ahead 3 spaces.”
  • “If the player rolls a ‘No,’ he/she should move back 2 spaces (or stay on the START space if it’s the first turn).”
  • “If the player rolls a ‘Wait,’ he/she should stay in the same space until the next turn.”
  • “After the first player rolls and makes a move, play passes to the person on his/her right.”
  • “This continues until someone advances enough spaces to reach the ‘God’s Will For Your Life’ space and becomes the winner.”
  • “It’s okay if you get to move more spaces than you need to win on the last roll. You just need at least enough to reach the end space.”
  • “Want to play?”  (Determine who goes first, and let them make their first roll.  Continue playing until someone reaches the end space.  You may want to ask the debrief questions below while the game is being played to save time.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. Why does God sometimes say, “No” to our prayers?
  2. What should we do when He says, “No?”
  3. Why does God sometimes say, “Wait” to our prayers?
  4. What should we do when He says, “Wait?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Game, Peter, prayer

Knock, Knock! (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This game is a bit of a “Knock, Knock” joke about Peter’s situation when he was released from prison by an angel.  Even though the believers had prayed for a miracle, they didn’t really believe one would happen and were surprised when he showed up at their prayer meeting.  Children will sit in a circle and try to say the right thing when it becomes their turn.  If they say the wrong thing or hesitate, they are out.

 

Scriptures

  • Acts 12:12-17

 

Materials

  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Peter was once locked in prison by King Herod, but an angel came during the night and released him in a miraculous way.”
  • “All the Christian believers had been praying together for him, but they were totally surprised when he knocked at their door.”
  • “Let’s read about it.”  (Have volunteer read Acts 12:12-17.)
  • “That’s pretty funny, huh?”
  • “They were praying for a miracle, but they didn’t believe it when it happened!”
  • “Let’s play a game about this story.”
  • “Everyone sit in a circle.” (Have children arrange themselves in a circle.)
  • “I’m going to pick someone to start, and that person will say, ‘Knock, knock’ to the person on their right.”
  • “The second person will say, ‘Who’s there?’ and the first person will respond, ‘It’s Peter?’” (You might want to practice this much so that they don’t get confused.)
  • “Then, the second person will turn to the person on their right and say, ‘It’s Peter!’”
  • “The third person will then deny that it’s Peter to the person on their right.”
  • “For example, person #3 could turn to person #4 and say, ‘No it’s not!’”
  • “Then the forth person and everyone after them has to turn to the person on their right and deny that it’s Peter in a different way.”
  • “For example, person #4 could turn to person #5 and say, ‘That’s impossible!’”
  • “And person #5 might turn to person #6 and say, ‘Unbelievable!’”
  • “And person #6 might turn to person #7 and say, ‘You’re making that up!’” (You might want to practice this once so that they get the idea.)
  • “This continues all the way around until even ‘Peter’ (the first person) denies that it’s him!!!”
  • “This starts a new round, and person #2 (who said ‘Who’s there?’ in the first round) now becomes Peter and turns to the person on their right to say, ‘Knock, knock.’”
  • “This continues until someone hesitates, says the wrong thing or uses the same denial someone else used in the same round.  If they do, that person is out.”
  • “The game is over when there are only two people left.”
    • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer questions, and then start the game. Play several rounds, starting with different people each time.  Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. Would you have believed it was Peter at the door?  Why or why not?
  2. Why was it so hard for the “believers” to believe in this situation?
  3. Have you ever prayed for something and been surprised when God gave you what you asked for?  What happened?

Leave a comment

Filed under Belief, faith, Game, Miracle, Peter, prayer

Garbage Collector (QUICK DRAMA)


DESCRIPTION

This short drama highlights our tendency to not trust God with the garbage in our lives.  Often, prayer is a last resort after we have tried in every way to fix the problem ourselves.  God is waiting for us to bring all our garbage to Him.  He’s not shocked by the stuff we’ve been carrying around, and it doesn’t make Him love us any less.

 

PREPARATION

  • Use a thick marker to write the following words (each word in large, bold letters and each word on a separate sheet of paper): SIN, SHAME, HURT, PAIN, ANGER, BITTERNESS, UNFORGIVENESS, DISAPPOINTMENT, FEAR, REGRET, BETRAYAL, DISHONESTY, ADDICTION, LUST, ENVY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, HATRED, GREED, SELFISHNESS, PREJUDICE, RACISM, THEFT, UNFAITHFULNESS, MEANNESS (Feel free to use other words that better suit your audience.)
  • Crumple up all the sheets of paper.
  • Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)

  

SCENE:  Jo/e enters from the side or back of the room, harried and unsuccessfully trying to hold onto armfuls of crumpled sheets of paper.  Each time she/he drops one, she/he stoops to pick it up before continuing toward the stage.  Dressed recognizably in a white robe and having a beard – Enters casually following Jo/e, watching her/him curiously as they both move to the stage.

 

Jesus –      “Hey, Jo/e, watcha got there?”

 

Jo/e –        (Clearly uncomfortable and trying to hide the crumpled paper from Jesus) “Oh, hi, Jesus.  I’m not sure what you are referring to. I don’t have anything.”

 

(As she/he is talking, several of the crumpled papers fall to the ground.  Jo/e hurriedly tries to pick them up, but Jesus stoops and picks one up before Jo/e can get to it.)

 

Jesus –      (Uncrumpling the paper and holding it inconspicuously in a way so that the audience can see what is written on it or reading it aloud) “Jo/e, this is garbage.  Why are you carrying this around?”

 

Jo/e –        (Trying to take the paper back from Jesus) “Oh, Jesus, don’t worry about that.  I’ve got that taken care of.” (Drops more papers in attempt to get the one Jesus is holding.)

 

Jesus –      (Keeping the first paper out of Jo/e’s reach and picking up another one from the ground, opens it and reads it aloud.) “Jo/e, this one, too?  Don’t you know that you can give this stuff to me? ”

 

Jo/e –        (Trying unsuccessfully to get papers back from Jesus but dropping more each time.) “Jesus, please let me have those back!  They’re mine, and I’m handling them.”

 

Jesus –      (Picking up another paper and reading it aloud.) “Oh, Jo/e!  This is too much for you to carry!  All this garbage is making your life a mess!”

 

Jo/e –        “Jesus, I really don’t want you to see those. And I’m doing fine with them, really!  I’ve had them for a long time.”

 

Jesus –      “I know you have, Jo/e.  I’ve been waiting for you to bring them to me, but you’re stubborn, and you’ve been holding on to them for far too long. Your garbage is starting to stink, Jo/e, and you can’t hide it any longer.  Let me take it away for you.”

 

Jo/e –        (Clutching the papers) “But I don’t know how!  It’s part of me, and I’m afraid of letting it go.”

 

Jesus –      “I’m not asking you to let go of all of it at once. We can start small. How about we start with this one? (Gestures with one of the papers He has collected.) Can I keep it?”

 

Jo/e –        (Looking pained and indecisive for a moment before relenting) “Oh, okay! Keep it!  But just that one!” (Reaches over, grabs the other two pieces of paper from Jesus, crumples them back up and replaces them in the pile in her/his arms.)

 

Jesus –      (Smiling) “Okay, Jo/e, it’s a start…and a good one.  Let’s talk about where this came from and how to keep it from controlling your life.” (Turns and begins walking toward the exit.)

 

Jo/e –        (Stooping to pick up any dropped pieces of paper before following Jesus out of the room.) “Hey, you know, Jesus…I feel a little better already.  I may have another one in here somewhere that I’m ready to give you.”

 

Jesus –      (Before exiting with Jo/e following) “Excellent, Jo/e!  From now on, I want you to consider me your personal garbage collector.  I do pickups anytime, day or night.”

 

EXIT


END SCENE

2 Comments

Filed under acceptance, Confession, drama, forgiveness, prayer, Problem solving, Quick Drama, Repentance, Sin, skit