Tag Archives: Repentance

Why Jesus Came to Earth (BIBLE LESSON)


Time

25-30 minutes
Description

This lesson teaches about why Jesus came to earth.  It’s a good lesson to do around Christmas time, and it includes a game to keep things light.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:17, 20:28
  • Luke 4:18, 5:32, 19:10
  • John 3:17, 6:38-40, 6:51, 10:10, 12:46, 18:37
  • 1 John 3:8, 4:9-10

Materials

  • Cups (14 per team – teams will be about 6-10 people each)
  • Future board or cardboard (2 ft x 2 ft per team)
  • Plastic balls (14 per team – a kind that fits into the opening of the cups and that you can write on with a permanent marker)
  • Permanent marker
  • Tape
  • Small candies (at least one per cup)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Make tape loops with the tape, and use them to stick the cups to the future board or cardboard in a rounded pattern to resemble the world.  (You can stick them in rows using the following pattern: 2, 3, 4, 3, 2.)
  • Use the permanent marker to write the following Scripture summaries on the balls (one per ball):

§  “To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8”

§  “To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28”

§  “As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46”

§  “To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17”

§  “So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9”

§  “So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10”

§  “As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10”

§  “To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18”

§  “To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10”

§  “To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40”

§  “To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32”

§  “To testify to the truth – John 18:37”

§  “To save the world through Himself – John 3:17”

§  “To give eternal life – John 6:51”

  • Put a candy or multiple candies into each cup.
  • Put the balls into the cups (one per cup).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Have any of you ever wondered why Jesus came to the earth?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Why do you think He came?”  (Allow volunteers to share reasons, and expand on each one if needed.  For any reasons that aren’t mentioned, use the notes below to add to what the participants say.  You can use the notes on the balls to help you remember the reasons.

§  To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8 – The devil had authority over the world until Jesus came, so Jesus came to take that authority away.

§  To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28 – We were held captive by Satan because of our sin, so Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and exchanged His life for ours.

§  As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46 – Before Jesus came, the world was a dark place, but Jesus came as the Light of the world and pushed back the darkness.

§  To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17 – The Law and the Prophets were what we call the Old Testament.  The Old Testament promised the Jews that Jesus was coming, and Jesus was the fulfillment of those promises.

§  So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9 – We were dead in our sin, so Jesus came to give us life.

§  So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10 – And Jesus didn’t just come to give us life, He came to give us ABUNDANT life – meaning a life full of joy and love and peace.

§  As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10 – The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, which means that death is what we earn as a result of our sin.  We have to pay for our sin with our deaths, but God allowed another way.  Something or someone innocent could take our place.  In the Old Testament times, they used to sacrifice innocent animals for pay for their sins, because no human was innocent.  Everyone deserved death because of their sin.  But Jesus came and lived a perfect and innocent life that allowed Him to die for us and pay our debt.

§  To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18 – Jesus came to preach the Gospel (the good news), to heal and restore people who were sick, blind, lame or deaf and to set those who were slaves to Satan free.

§  To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10 – Jesus came to look for those who were lost in their sin and to save them by inviting them to believe in Him and join Him in heaven.

§  To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40 – Jesus said He never did anything that God, the Father, didn’t want Him to do, and He said that His Father’s will was that He save the lost so that He could present them to God the Father as His own on the last day, which is the day of judgment.

§  To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32 – Jesus came to invite those who were sinning to turn away from their sin and follow Him.

§  To testify to the truth – John 18:37 – Jesus came to be a witness to what is true and to show the difference between truth and the devil’s lies.

§  To save the world through Himself – John 3:17 – Jesus came to save the world by trading His life for everyone else’s.

§  To give eternal life – John 6:51 – Jesus came to die on the cross and pay for our sins so that we can live with him forever in heaven.

  • “Let’s play a game to help us remember all these reasons.” 
  • “This board and these cups represent the world, and each of these balls has a reason written on it for why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “I’m going to divide you into teams, and you will try to toss the balls into the cups from a few feet away.”
  • “The first team to fill each cup with a ball wins (if you are doing a competition – or you could just say that they are done when each cup has a ball in it.)”  (Divide the participants into groups of about 6-10, and give each team a board with cups and balls on it.  Place the boards on the floor or on a table.  Have the participants grab 2-3 balls each and step about 2-4 feet away (depending upon the age of your group and how difficult you want this to be).  Then, have them line up and take turns tossing one ball at a time and seeing if they can make it into a cup (only one ball per cup).  If they miss, they can grab their ball and return to the end of the line.  When all the cups have a ball in them, they can divide the candy inside among themselves.  You might want to let them keep the balls as a reminder of why Jesus came to the earth.  When everyone is done, have them take a seat.)
  • “I’ve heard a story that gives another reason why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “A pastor once shared about how he went to visit the pre-school children in his church’s children’s ministry.”
  • “He said that he walked into the room with his biggest smile and greeted all the children.”
  • “But to his surprise, all the children hid from him.
  • “After thinking about why they were afraid of him, he realized that he must look like a giant to them.”
  • “So, he got down on the floor and greeted the children again.”
  • “This time, the children all ran to him and begin jumping on him and climbing all over him.”
  • “He said that the Holy Spirit spoke quietly to his heart in that moment, and he realized that this was precisely one of the reasons why Jesus came to earth.”
  • “It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who’s ‘up there,’ whom you’ve never met before, who seems so unlike you.”
  • “But when Jesus came to earth as a powerless, little baby, He became someone we could relate to.”
  • “By coming to the earth, Jesus got down on our level so that God was no longer an intimidating person we had never met.”
  • “So, there are many reasons why Jesus came to the earth, but the most important reason and the reason that motivated all the others is LOVE.”
  • “God loves us so much that He didn’t want us to die in our sins.”
  • “He sent Jesus so that we could be together in heaven forever.”
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Filed under Christianity, Christmas, Eternity, Game, Games that Teach, God's Plan, Gospel, Heaven, Jesus, light, Light of the world, Repentance, salvation

7 Churches of Revelation (LESSON)


Audience

Youth and adults

Time

45-60 minutes
Description

This lesson uses John’s letter to seven churches in Asia Minor (a.k.a. the book of Revelation) to take a look at the churches of the current day and then to focus on an evaluation of our own church and even our own hearts.  The debrief is intended to lead individuals toward repentance.

 

Scriptures

  • Revelation 2-3

Materials

  • Printed copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (can be found on the Lesson and Materials Download page at www.teachingthem.com)
  • Flipchart with paper
  • Markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (one per participant).
  • Write the debrief questions and the individual reflection steps on a flipchart, but conceal them until it’s time to do the debrief. (Alternatively, you could put these on a PowerPoint slide and  project it.)
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

o  “In the book of Revelation in the Bible, John writes a message (really a letter) that comes directly from Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor (current-day Turkey).”

o  “The seven churches are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

o  “Chapters 2 and 3 are specifically addressed to each of the seven churches one-by-one.”

o  “In these two chapters, Jesus gives an evaluation to the churches and calls several of them to repentance.”

o  “Bible scholars typically believe that there are three ways of understanding these two chapters.”

o  “The first is historical.  These churches actually existed and had the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the letter.”

o  “The second is prophetic.  These churches can also represent ages in church history from the beginning of the Church in the book of Acts to the present day.”

o  “The third way to understand the descriptions of these churches is as types of different churches that typically all exist at any given time somewhere around the world.”

o  “This third way of understanding is our focus today.”

o  “We are going to use the descriptions of the seven churches to learn more about what can happen to any church depending on how it treats the claims, commands and the Person of Christ.”

o   “The church at Ephesus had lost its passion.”

o   “The church at Smyrna was under persecution but keeping their faith.”

o   “The church at Pergamum was following worldly ways and false teachers.”

o   “The church at Thyatira was compromising and tolerating false prophets and immorality related to sex, money and power.”

o   “The church of Sardis was spiritually dead.”

o   “The church at Philadelphia was small but spiritually alive.”

o   “The church at Laodicea was so rich that they had stopped depending on God for anything.”

o  “In your table groups, I would like to you to read through Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.  You can do it out loud or individually.”  (Allow time (5-10 min) for reading through the two chapters.  As they do, pass out the handouts of the charts to each table – one per participant.)

o  “I have passed out to you a chart that summarizes the descriptions of each of the churches.”

o  “It tells what their Strengths and Weaknesses are from Jesus’ perspective.”

o  “Then, it tells about Jesus’ Instruction, Warning and Promise to each church.”

o  “Read through this chart individually, and underline or highlight anything you want to remember.”

o  “Then, when everyone at the table is done reading, work through the questions on the flip chart at the front of the room.”  (Reveal the debrief questions.  Allow 15-20 minutes for discussion and individual reflection.  Then do a large group debrief to capture what they learned.)

o  “I want to give you an opportunity now to think about your own church and about your own spiritual condition.”

o  “Take some time in quiet, individual reflect to work through these steps.”  (Show the flipchart with the Individual Reflection steps, and allow 10-15 minutes for personal reflection.  Afterward, give an opportunity for anyone who feels especially led to share something that God put on their heart.)

o  “When a church or an individual has unconfessed sin in their life, it drives a wedge between them and God.”

o  “It doesn’t mean that they lose their ‘lampstand’ or their personal salvation, but it puts distance in the relationship.”

o  “In order to restore the relationship, the individuals in the church or the individual for himself has to confess and repent.”

o  “There is no restoration without repentance.”


Debrief Questions

1.     Do you feel these descriptions match churches that are in existence today?  Why or why not?

2.     Give some examples of churches today or from what you know of past churches or ages within the church.

3.     How do you know that these churches are like the ones described in Revelation?

4.     What do you think needs to be done for these churches (at least the ones that need to repent) to become the types of churches God wants them to be?

5.     What do you think will happen if they don’t repent?

 

Individual Reflection

1.     Which of the seven churches is most like your church?

2.     Why do you think that is?

3.     What needs to be done?

4.     Which of the seven churches is most like your heart?

5.     Why do you think that is?

6.     What needs to be done?

7.     Take some time now to talk to God in prayer.

a.     Confess any sins of your church or in your personal life that the Holy Spirit has brought to your attention.

b.     Repent of these sins, and commit to making changes that will please the Lord.

c.     Write down your commitments and put them someplace you will remember to look at them often.

 

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Filed under Church, Evaluation, John the Beloved, Lesson, Revelation

Repentance (DEVOTION)


The Bible has a lot to say about repentance.  In your groups, read through the following Scriptures, and then discuss the questions below.

o  Psalm 51:1-17 (Create in me a pure heart)

o  Proverbs 1:23 (Wisdom’s rebuke)

o  Jeremiah 15:19 (If you repent, I will restore you)

o  Jeremiah 17:7-8 (If that nation repents, I will relent)

o  Ezekiel 18:30-32 (Repent and live!)

o  2 Corinthians 7:8-11 (Godly sorry brings repentance)

o  Revelation 2:4-5 (You have forsaken your first love)

1.    How would you define repentance?

2.    In what ways do you think repentance before you know Christ compares to repentance after you know Christ?  (How are they the same; how are they different?)

3.    What are the benefits of repentance?

4.    What are the consequences of not repenting?  (Read Psalm 32 if you need some help.)

5.    How often should we repent?

 

After your discussion, take a few moments individually to sit quietly and ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas in which you need to repent.  Take this opportunity to confess and repent in those areas as you pray.

 

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God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (GAME)


God's Riches at Christ's Expense Gameboard

Time
30 minutes

Description
This game teaches that we have God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (G.R.A.C.E.), but we have to keep returning to God every time we sin in order to keep the relationship strong.  If we don’t, we wander further and further from God.

Audience
Children, youth

Materials
•    Copies of the Grace or Guilt Gameboard (See the file, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense – Gameboard.ppt” on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
•    Copies of “Grace Cards” (included at the end of this lesson text) – You will need a set for every group of six.
•    A copy of the “Debrief Questions” at the end of this lesson.  You will need one printout per group.
•    Something to act as game pieces.  You can use coins, torn pieces of paper, poker chips…  You will need enough for all the children to have one.
•    Dice (one per group)
•    Optional – Prizes for the winners.

Preparation
•    Print the “Grace or Guilt – Gameboard,” and tape the two pages end-to-end.  You will need one gameboard for each group of up to six children.
•    Print out a copy of the “Grace Cards” at the end of the lesson, and cut them out. Place them face down beside the gameboard.
•    Print out a copy of the Debrief Question (one per group).
•    Practice the script

Procedure
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
•    “We’re going to play a game to help us understand how sin takes us away from God and the many blessings He wants us to have.”
•    “It’s called, ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
•    “First, I’ll need to divide you into small groups.”  (Divide children into small groups of no more than six each.  Then, hand out the gameboards and game pieces.)
•    “Here’s the way this game is played.
o    First, you will all roll the die (singular for dice) to see who goes first.  The highest role wins and goes first.  The next-highest roll goes second and so on.  If you get a tie, those people should re-roll until someone rolls a higher number.
o    Players should put their game pieces on the paths that match their playing order.  For example, Path 1 for the first player, Path 2 for the second, and so on.
o    Next, you will roll the die to see how many spaces to move your game piece.
o    Each player starts in the “God’s Riches” space.
o    At the end of every turn, you will draw a card.
o    The card has a letter (or letters) on it.
o    You want to collect all the letters in the word, “GRACE.”
o    It’s okay if you have extra letters, but you need to have at least one of each of the letters on your cards.
o    If you get the right letters to spell, “GRACE,” you can return to the “God’s Riches” space.
o    You should put any cards you used to spell “GRACE” in a discard pile.  If the group draws all the card in the draw pile, the discard pile will be shuffled and used as the new draw pile.
o    The game ends when someone rolls a number that forces them to move more spaces than are left on the path.
o    The winner of the game is the person who is closest to “God’s Riches.”
o    In the event of a tie, you can let the tied players roll again to see who is the closest to “God’s Riches” after the roll.”
•    “Does anyone have questions about how you will play?”  (Answer questions.  Then, let them get started.  When they are done, award a prize for the winners if you like, and hand out a copy of the Debrief Questions on the next page.  Give groups ten minutes to discuss the debrief questions, and then talk with the entire group about their answers.)

Debrief Questions

o    Why is the game called, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense?
o    What are “God’s Riches?”
o    What does “Christ’s Expense” mean?
o    How is this game like our Christian walk?
o    Read Proverbs 4:14-15.  What do you think the spaces represented?
o    Read Proverbs 4:26-27.  What do you think it means?
o    Grace allows us to return to God after we have sinned, but what do we actually need to do to return to Him?

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Filed under Christianity, Confession, Daily walk, forgiveness, Game, Games that Teach, Obedience, Repentance, Spiritual Health

Radio Waves


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how both God and the devil are competing for our attention. It uses the metaphor of radio towers sending signals to a radio.

Materials

  • Old radio (doesn’t need to work)
  • Two wire hangers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Printouts from “Radio Waves Construction” slides (see “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
  • Tape

Preparation

· Make radio tower headpieces for two children. (Directions are in the “Radio Waves Construction” file on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)

· Practice the script.

radio-waves-construction

Procedure

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

  • “Hey! I found this old radio at the house, and I thought I would see if it still works.” (Pretend to find a station while making a static sound effect.)
  • “Have you ever had this problem? You can’t find a clear station on the radio.” (Listen for responses.)
  • “It’s frustrating, right?”
  • “That reminds me of how we communicate with God.”
  • “A lot of people say that they have a difficult time hearing God speak to them. Do you ever have a hard time hearing God speak to you?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “I understand what you mean, because I have a hard time, too, sometimes.”
  • “Let’s explore what causes this.” (Ask for two volunteers to come up. Place one of the radio tower headpieces on each one of them. Then place them at either end of the stage or teaching area so that one is on your left, and one is on your right. Ask them to make hand motions toward you like they are sending you signals.)
  • “Let’s pretend that these two people are different radio station towers and that I’m a radio.”
  • “This one is W-I-A-M, which are the call letters for Yahweh Broadcasting. In other words, this is God.”
  • “This one is K-L-I-E, which are the call letters for Lucifer Radio. In other words, this is the devil.”
  • “Now, the way a regular radio works is that it picks up radio waves from a radio tower.”
  • “You can change which station the radio is listening to by turning the dial.” (Pretend to twist your nose and then lean toward the station you are “hearing” at that moment.)
  • “The different radio stations compete with each other to get your attention.”
  • “Our two radio stations are in competition with each other, too.” (Make sure that both your volunteers are still making hand motions toward you.)
  • “If the devil can get you to listen to his radio station, he knows you won’t be listening to God’s radio station.” (Twist your nose, and lean toward the KLIE radio tower.)
  • “Whenever you listen to the devil’s radio station, it tells you to do what you want to do – not what God is asking you to do.”
  • “In fact, if you listen to the devil’s station long enough, you start to move closer to it so that you can hear it more clearly.” (Move closer to the volunteer with the KLIE radio tower.)
  • “It begins to sound really good to you, and you want to listen to it more and more.” (Demonstrate that you are really enjoying what you are hearing from KLIE.)
  • “Notice that WIAM is still sending me signals, but I’m not tuned into God’s station, so I don’t hear them.”
  • “And even if I decide I should start listening to God’s station, it won’t come in clearly right away.” (Twist your nose and lean toward the WIAM radio tower. Make a static noise and look like you are having a hard time hearing the station.)
  • “The reason I’m having trouble hearing God’s station is because I’ve moved so far away from it and because there is a lot of sin in the way.” (Ask for four or five volunteers to come up, and position them between you and the WIAM radio tower.)
  • “These guys represent all the sin that has sprung up in my life. They get in the way of the signals that WIAM is sending me.”
  • “So, if you’re not hearing God talk to you, maybe it’s because you are listening to His competitor’s station.”
  • “Maybe it’s because you are too far away from His signal and have too much sin between the two of you.”
  • “Does anyone know how I can get rid of all this sin and get closer to WIAM?” (Listen for responses. Specifically, you want to hear that you need to repent (say you are sorry) and ask for forgiveness.)
  • “That doesn’t sound too tough. ‘God, I’m really sorry for listening to your competitor’s radio station. I want to listen to You again. Will you please forgive me?’” (After you’ve said this, have your WIAM volunteer push through all the volunteers representing your sin in order to get near to you. Dismiss these volunteers, and then follow the WIAM volunteer back over to his/her side of the stage. Demonstrate that you are enjoying listing to God’s station.)
  • “You know, the great part about listening to WIAM is that I don’t feel guilty after I tune in. I always feel guilty after listening to KLIE.”
  • “Now, how do I make sure that I stay tuned into God’s station?” (Listen for responses. You are listening for responses such as ‘read your Bible,’ ‘pray,’ ‘go to church’…)
  • “Exactly! Now, don’t be surprised if when you first start reading your Bible, you hear a lot of static at first.”
  • “The words might be difficult to understand, and even when you understand them, they just look like words.”
  • “That happens, but keep tuning in to God’s station every day, and something cool starts to happen…you start to fine-tune your ability to hear God in what you read, and the words start to jump to life for you!”
  • “You will start to enjoy tuning in each day, and then you will start moving closer and closer to his tower.” (Demonstrate moving closer to the tower.)
  • “Before long, you won’t be interested in picking up the devil’s station at all.”
  • “He can do his best to get your attention, but you won’t pay any attention to him.” (Have KLIE volunteer make desperate gestures to try to get your attention, but ignore him/her. Then thank your volunteers and dismiss them.)

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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.)

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