Tag Archives: praying

Asleep in the Garden (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This game is high energy with a spiritual teaching point about doing the things God wants us to do.  You can use it when teaching about Jesus as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

Scriptures

  • Mark 14:32-42

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

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

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Asleep in the Garden.’”
  • “It’s about the night that Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified.”  (Ask volunteer to read Mark 14:32-42.)
  • “Jesus had asked Peter, James and John to stay awake and pray, but they kept falling asleep.”
  • “This was a pretty important time for them to join Jesus in prayer, but they were very tired.”
  • “Even though they wanted to stay awake, they couldn’t seem to do it.”
  • “So, here’s how the game is played.”
  • “I’ll play Jesus for the first round, and I’ll stand over here and turn my back toward you so that I can’t see you.”  (Pick a spot at the front of the room.)
  • “Everyone should lay down on the floor like you are asleep.”
  • “Everyone can stand up one time before I turn around, but you can only stay standing for three seconds – ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then you have to lay down again and ‘go to sleep’ until after I’ve turned around.”
  • “If I turn around while you are standing, you win and get to be ‘Jesus’ for the next round.”
  • “But if no one is standing when I turn around, I’ll say, ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,’ and we’ll start over.”
  • “Also, if more than one person is standing when I turn around, keep counting, ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.’  Then lay down.  The last person standing wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play!” (Play several rounds, allowing different people to come up and be ‘Jesus.’  Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. “What did you think of the game?”
  2. “Why do you think it was so important to Jesus that Peter, James and John pray with Him?”
  3. “Why do you think it was so difficult for them?”
  4. “Have you ever found it difficult to do something God wanted you to do?  What was it and why?”
  5. “How can we do a better job at doing the things God wants us to do?”
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Discipline, Game, James, Jesus, John the Beloved, Obedience, Peter

Easter Stations of the Cross (EXERCISE)


Time

30 min

 

Description

This activity teaches about the events leading up to the resurrection of Jesus.  It doesn’t follow all the traditional stations of the Catholic version but rather focuses on the most important events for sharing the Easter story.

 

Scriptures

Matthew 26-28

 

Materials

  • One copy of each of the puzzles that represent the different Stations of the Cross.  You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Easter Stations of the Cross – Puzzles.ppt”
  • Scissors or cutting tool
  • 12 Ziplock bags (sandwich size)

 

Preparation

  • Printout one copy of the puzzles.
  • Cut along the outlines of the puzzle pieces.
  • Put each set of puzzle pieces into a Ziplock bag.
  • Create the following “Stations” around the room by setting out the appropriate puzzle at each Station:
  1. Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested.
  3. Jesus is tried by the Sanhedrin.
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter.
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate.
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns.
  7. Jesus takes up his cross and is helped by Simon.
  8. Jesus is crucified between two thieves.
  9. Jesus promises the thief eternity in paradise.
  10. Jesus dies on the cross, and the veil is torn in two.
  11. Jesus’ is removed from the cross and buried.
  12. Jesus rises from the dead.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Some Christian traditions have a ritual called, Stations of the Cross.”
  • “The Stations are different places in a room, or on a road or in a building that you walk to and then stop to think about Jesus and how much He loves you.”
  • “The Stations each have a description, and they are usually about different events related to the Easter story.”
  • “Today, we’re going to go through some of the most important events (or Stations) and learn about what happened during that part of the story.”  (Divide the group into twelve smaller groups, and assign each one to one of the Stations.  If you have less than 12 people, you can assign multiple stations to each person.  Have these groups or individuals go to different stations and put the puzzles together.  They should then read the Scriptures on their puzzle and be ready to summarize that part of the story when the group reaches that Station.  After all the puzzles are done, gather everyone back together, and go through the Stations in the order listed above.  As you reach each station, allow everyone to look at the picture, and have the person or group who completed the puzzle summarize the story for the larger group.  When you’ve finished all the stations, you can sing the Alleluia chorus or do a short wrap-up lecture on the importance of the resurrection.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Easter, Jesus, Judas, Resurrection, Simon-Peter

Don’t Break the Chain


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that unforgiveness can hinder our prayers for forgivenss.

Materials

  • One “Energy Ball” from www.stevespanglerscience.com. (This ball sends a small electric current through your body when you touch a metal strip on the side. (You cannot feel the current.) The current will pass through as many people as you link together (through holding hands). As long as everyone is touching in the chain, the ball will light up with the last person touches the metal strip with you.)

Preparation

· Purchase the “Energy Ball” (under $10). Allow a few weeks for shipping and delivery.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “How many of you know how important it is to forgive other people when they do something that upsets you?” (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “When we won’t forgive someone, it separates us. Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask for a volunteer to come up.)
  • (Child’s name) and I are good friends. We are very close.” (Give child a side hug.)
  • “But if I get upset with (child’s name) because of something he/she does, it separates us.” (Gently push child about an arm’s length away.)
  • “As long as I’m mad at (child’s name), we are no longer in fellowship.”
  • “But when I forgive (child’s name), it brings us back together. (Give child a side hug.)
  • “Now, God says in the Bible that if we are angry with someone and won’t forgive them, He won’t forgive us of our sins.”
  • “How many of you knew that already?” (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “Well, I didn’t know it for a long time. Let’s look at the Scripture that says this.” (Ask a volunteer to read Mark 11:25-26.)
  • “Jesus is saying that if we are upset with someone, we shouldn’t even bother praying for forgiveness for our own sins until we have forgiven that person.”
  • “What He is not saying is that if we don’t forgive someone we can’t go to heaven.”
  • “The only thing you have to do to go to heaven is believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept the gift of his sacrifice on the cross.”
  • “But what He is saying is that your relationship with God will suffer until you forgive that person you are upset with.” (Ask for a second volunteer to come up. Put this volunteer on the opposite side of you.)
  • “It works like this. When I’m close to (first volunteer’s name), then it’s possible for me to be close to God. (Give both children a side hug at the same time.)
  • “But when I won’t forgive (first volunteer’s name), then it’s not possible for me to be close to God.” (Gently push both volunteers about an arm’s length away from you.)
  • “God wants us to forgive others just like He has already forgiven us for all our sins. In other parts of the Bible, He points out that the person who is forgiven of much should also forgive others of much.”
  • “Let me show you another way. Let’s say this ball (show Energy Ball) will tell us if God will or will not answer our prayers for forgiveness.”
  • “If it lights up, God will answer our prayers. If it doesn’t, He won’t.” (Have child put finger on one sensor, and you put finger on other sensor. Then, join hands in a circle with volunteer representing God.  The ball should light up.)
  • “Good! I don’t have anything against (first volunteer’s name), so God will answer my prayers.”
  • “But if I’m upset that (first volunteer’s name) took the last piece of dessert at lunch (separate from both children and touch one sensor while the first volunteer touches the other sensor), God won’t answer our prayers until I forgive (first volunteer’s name).” (Join hands in a circle again while touching sensors, and ball should light up.)
  • “Cool, huh? Let’s see what happens when we add people.” (Get a few more volunteers and have them form a circle and each hold hands with the person next to them.)
  • “So, now what we are creating is the Body of Christ, which is made up of all the people who trust Jesus as their Savior.”
  • “When we love each other and forgive each other for things that upset us, God is pleased and answers our prayers.” (Have the original volunteer stand at the beginning of the circle and touch a sensor while the last person in the circle touches the other one— the ball should light up.)
  • “But if one of these people is mad at this other one because he jumped on top of him in the swimming pool…” (point to two children as you say this, and separate their hands as you do so – they should not be touching in any way. — The light will go out),
  • “…God won’t answer their prayers until this one forgives this one.” (Have them join hands again, and the ball should light up.)
  • “Now, let’s see what happens if we add everyone else to the circle!” (Allow all the other children to join the circle. They should hold hands like the others, and the first and last people in the circle should touch the contact points on the ball.)
  • “Hey! God must be answering our prayers!” (Let individuals in the circle break the chain and then reestablish it to see what happens to the ball.)HHey
  • “Jesus said that people will know we are His followers if we love one another.” (John 13:35)
  • “Loving one another makes us look so different from those who don’t know Jesus that they will want to know why we are so different, and that gives you a chance to tell them about Jesus.”
  • “You can’t love someone in the same way God loves us (unconditionally) if you are resentful of them, so let’s keep practicing forgiveness so that we can show the world what a forgiving God we have!” (Let other children be the ones to touch the contact points on the ball and experiment with it.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, forgiveness, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, unconditional love

ACTS Prayers for Kids


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches the ACTS model for praying (Adoration – Confession – Thanksgiving – Supplication), but since kids won’t likely recognize these terms, this lesson uses more familiar language.

Materials

  • Printed PowerPoint slides (in download file, “ACTS Prayers for Kids – PowerPoint” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page) or your own signs that say, “I Love You!” “I’m Sorry!” “Thank You!” “Please!”

Preparation

· Print or make signs (the bigger you can get them, the better)

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “You may know this already, but there are many, many ways to pray. There are long prayers and short prayers, prayers for things and prayers for people, prayers of praise and prayers of thanks.”
  • “If you’ve got a way of praying that works well for you, keeping using it. God just wants you to talk to Him, and prayer of any kind is the way we do it.”
  • “For those of you who might be struggling to know how to talk to God, I want to share four simple things that you can say to Him every day.”
  • “I’m going to need four volunteers to help me.” (Select four volunteers, and give each one of them a different sign.)
  • “These four signs represent four things that it’s good to say to God every time you pray.” (As you introduce each type of prayer, put your hand over the head of the child with the appropriate sign. Ask that child to hold up the sign.)
  • “I love you!”
  • “I’m sorry!”
  • “Thank you!”
  • “Please!”
  • “Everyone, say these with me.” (Go through them several times.)
  • “First, let’s talk about ‘I Love You!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “God loves for us to tell Him that we love Him. That’s why He created us.”
  • “I understand how He feels, because I love to hear my kids tell me that they love me.”
  • “Sometimes, if they haven’t said it in awhile, I’ll say it just to see if they will respond.”
  • “They could say, ‘Dad, I told you last week that I loved you. If anything changes, I’ll let you know,” but that wouldn’t make me feel very good.”
  • “Of course I know they love me, but I want to hear it!…..a lot! They can’t say it too many times for me!”
  • “That’s how God feels. He knows what’s in your heart, but He wants to hear it, and He wants to hear it a lot!”
  • “There are lots of ways to tell God you love Him. Can anyone help me with a few?” (Listen for “sing worship songs,” “tell God how great He is,” “just say ‘I love you, Lord.’ and other ideas.)
  • “Those are all terrific, and if you want to REALLY let God know how much you love Him, you should tell Him WHY you love Him.”
  • “For example, I tell God sometimes, ‘I love you, God, because You gave me my wonderful wife and because You helped me get out of a tough situation last week and because You helped me get well when I was sick.’” (Supply your own examples.)
  • “But don’t just tell Him you love Him because of what He DOES…tell Him you love Him because of WHO He is!”
  • “Can anyone give me an example of WHO God is?” (Listen for the use of the names of God, ex. Creator, the Great Physician, Jehovah, Jehovah-Jireh, Jesus, Lamb of God…)
  • “Great! That’s exactly what I mean! Telling God who He is to you is a great way to tell Him that you love Him.”
  • “I always try to say, ‘I love you!’ to God in my prayers. Sometimes I do it with His names. Sometimes I do it with the things He does for me, and sometimes I do it by singing a song to Him. But I always try to tell Him I love Him, because I know He wants to hear it from me.”
  • “Another part of my prayers is, ‘I’m Sorry!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “All of us mess up at some time. I mess up almost every day in some way.”
  • “When I do, it’s important for me to tell God that I’m sorry.”
  • “Now, I want to be clear about something.”
  • “When Jesus died on the cross, He forgave us for all the sins that we will ever do.”
  • “That’s a crazy thought, but He knew way back then that I was going to be irritable with my kids next week. He knew that I was going to forget to spend time with Him for several days next month. (Supply your own examples.) He knew about all our sins, and He forgave us forever.”
  • “But, if we sin, and we don’t tell God we are sorry, it starts to make our spirit sick.”
  • “We start to grow farther and farther away from God.”
  • “It’s like if you got into a fight with your best friend, and you knew you were wrong. If you didn’t tell your friend that you were sorry, what you did would start to hurt your friendship with him or her.”
  • “So, tell God you’re sorry every time you do something you know you’re not supposed to do.”
  • “He loves to hear it, and He will fix your relationship with Him right away.”
  • “The third part of my prayers is, ‘Thank You!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “Have you ever done something nice for someone, and they didn’t even say thank you?”
  • “How did that make you feel?” (Take responses.)
  • “Right, it’s frustrating, isn’t it?”
  • “Well, God does great things for us all the time, and many times, we forget to even tell Him thank you.”
  • “If you’re praying, and you can’t think of anything to be thankful for, remember that He allowed you to take that breath that you just took. He gave you an incredible brain to think with. He gave you friends to hang out with and clothes to wear. There is always something to be thankful for.”
  • “The last part of my prayers is, ‘Please!’” (Point to child holding this sign.)
  • “Sometimes, I ask God ‘please’ for me, and sometimes I ask God ‘please’ for someone else.”
  • “He says to us in the Bible, pray for whatever your heart wants. If it will be good for you, I’ll give it to you.”
  • “How many of you know that God doesn’t give us everything we ask for?”
  • “Can anyone think of why God might sometimes say, ‘no,’ to us?” (Take responses.)
  • “God wants the best for us, so He always gives us what we need and He often even gives us what we want, but sometimes He says, ‘no,’ to protect us from some of the silly things we ask for.”
  • “So, there you have it! Four little prayers that you can pray every day!”
  • “Let’s do something!”
  • “When I put my hand over the head of one of these volunteers, I want you to say the prayer that he/she is holding out loud.”
  • “Ready?” (Hold you hand above the volunteers’ heads in succession. Go down the line several times. The kids enjoy participating in this type of activity.)
  • “Some days, my prayers are a little different.” (Hold you hand above the volunteers’ heads again in succession, but when you get to ‘Please!’ keep putting your hand over that volunteer’s head. It should sound like this: “I love you! I’m sorry! Thank you! Please! Please! Please! Please!….)
  • “And some days, my prayers are like this: (Go down the line again, but linger on ‘Thank You!’ this time.)
  • “And some days, they are like this: (Go down the line and linger on ‘I’m Sorry!’)
  • “We all have days like that, right?” (Go through a few more time, playing with the sequence and the repetition. This is an excellent reinforcer for your lesson content, and it’s high energy for the kids, too.)
  • “Excellent! You guys are terrific!” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)
  • “I’m wondering if there is anyone who would like to practice one of these prayers by praying for us as a group.” (Encourage someone to volunteer. They can pray any one of the four prayers out loud. Then encourage someone else to do one. They can choose the same type of prayer or a different one. It’s possible that the children may not want to do an ‘I’m Sorry!’ prayer in a public setting.)

6 Comments

Filed under Adoration, Christianity, Confession, Intercession, Object Lesson, Praise, prayer, Repentance, spiritual disciplines, Supplication, Thanksgiving