Tag Archives: worship

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

Feed Your Spirit


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that you need to take care of your spirit each day, just like you need to take care of your body. Some assembly is required.

Materials

  • Two fans that can pivot to blow towards the ceiling
  • 3-4 wind socks or plastic table cloth (Windbags from Steve Spangler Science also work great. You can order them online at www.stevespanglerscience.com.)
  • Packaging tape or duct tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Electric power strip or extension cord
  • A few sheets of paper

Preparation

· You are going to create two mini-air dancers (like what were used at the Olympics in Atlanta or commonly in front of retail establishments).

Wind Sock or Windbag

· If you are using a wind sock or a Windbag, cut the cylinder down so that it is no more than three feet tall.

· You will need to tape up the hole at one end and cut two slits about 2/3rd of the way along the windsock for the arms.

· Do this with two of the wind socks. These are your “body” pieces.

· With the remaining two wind socks, cut them each in half to make the arms.

· Tape one end of the “arms” so that air can’t escape.

· Tape the open end over one of the slits in the “body” piece.

· Use the permanent marker to draw a smiling face near the top of the “body” piece.

· Tape the open end of the “body” piece over one of the fans so that air will blow directly into the body.

· Label one air dancer, “Body,” and one, “Spirit.”

· Practice the script, and test your air dancers for leaks and proper inflation.

Table Cloth

· If you are using a table cloth, you will follow all the same instructions as above with a few exceptions.

· Cut out your air dancer – 3 feet long by 18 inches wide.

· Roll it into a cylinder (the 18-inch wide part) and tape up the seam.

· Follow all the other instructions.


Procedure

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

  • (Start with your air dancers on a table next to each other – with a little elbow room for their soon-to-be-inflated arms. The fans should be off (but plugged in!), and the dancers should be deflated. Invite two volunteers up to the table.)
  • “Hi, guys! I’m wondering if you can help me with an object lesson.”
  • “Do you see these two balloon-like bags taped to these fans?”
  • “Well they are actually balloon people, and they represent the two major parts of each one of us.” (Ask volunteers to each read out loud the label on the front of the air dancer in front of them – one is “Body” and the other is “Spirit.”)
  • “Right! This one represents our Body, and this one represents our Spirit.”
  • “Would you say that those are two pretty important parts of each one of us?”
  • “Me, too!”
  • “We’ve got a problem, though. Neither one of these guys is doing so good right now. They are really low on energy.”
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Body” air dancer.)
  • “What do you think the balloon person representing our Body needs in order to feel better?” (Take ideas, and fill in any that are missed.)
  • “Right! It needs food, rest and exercise to feel good.”
  • “If you don’t get enough food, how do you feel?” (Encourage response.)
  • “How about if you don’t get enough rest?” (Encourage response.)
  • “You feel kinda like this balloon, don’t you?”
  • “Well, let’s say that this fan underneath the balloon person represents those things – food, rest and exercise.”
  • “Could you turn that fan on for me?” (Allow volunteer to turn on fan. Air dancer should inflate.)
  • “Wow! That’s better! When our Body gets food, rest and exercise, it feels good. It has energy.”
  • “But what would happen if you stop feeding it or if you stopped getting enough rest or exercise?” (Encourage response. Then have volunteer turn off fan to demonstrate.)
  • “Exactly! Our Bodies start to feel bad, and they lose energy. If you go too long without these things, your Body gets sick, right?”
  • “You’ve got to give it more food, rest and exercise for it to feel good again.” (Have volunteer turn on fan.)
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Spirit” air dancer.)
  • “Now, how about our Spirit? It doesn’t need food or rest or exercise to feel good. What do you think it needs?” (Take ideas, and fill in any that are missed.)
  • “That’s right! It needs prayer, Scripture, worship, fellowship and other good spiritual disciplines.”
  • “How do you think our Spirit feels when it isn’t getting those things?” (Encourage response.)
  • “Right! It feels terrible – maybe like this balloon person.”
  • “How do you think it feels when it does get prayer and Scripture and worship and fellowship?” (Encourage response. Then have volunteer turn on fan to demonstrate.)
  • “When it gets those things, it feels really good!”
  • “But I’m a little confused. I know when my body needs food or rest (and sometimes exercise), because it tells me.”
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Body” air dancer.)
  • “How would you say our body tells us what it needs?” (Encourage responses like “hunger pains,” “yawning” or “sleepiness.”)
  • “But how do I know when my Spirit needs prayer and Scripture and worship and fellowship? Does it tell me somehow?” (Encourage responses, but you will probably have to help with this one.)
  • “This one is tougher, because we aren’t as used to paying attention to our Spirit as we are to paying attention to our Body, but here’s what I think.”
  • “When our Spirit is feeling weak, we can tell because sometimes:
    • We are tempted by more bad things.
    • It is harder to say “no” to temptation.
    • We feel bad about ourselves.
    • We want to hide from God.
    • We worry a lot and are afraid.
    • We aren’t very nice to other people.”
  • “Have any of you ever felt like any of these examples?” ?” (Encourage responses from the entire class.)
  • “If you’re like me, sometimes you let days go by without praying or reading Gods’ Word.” (Have volunteer turn fan off.)
  • “I can go for a little while on the prayer and Bible reading that I did last week, but eventually, my Spirit starts to sag.”
  • “Then maybe I miss a week of going to church or do some things I know that I shouldn’t have done.”
  • “Before long, my Spirit gets sick, and it becomes harder and harder for me to say “no” to the things that I am tempted to do.”
  • “I’ve known people whose Spirits were really sick, because they never fed them.”
  • “They knew that something was wrong in their life, but they tried to fix it by feeding their Spirit the wrong things – like money or expensive things or too much entertainment or sometimes even drugs and alcohol.”
  • “But none of those things helps your Spirit to feel better.”
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Spirit” air dancer.)
  • “Remind me again. What does our Spirit need to stay healthy?” (Encourage responses. Then have the volunteer turn on the fan.)
  • “Exactly! We need prayer, Scripture, worship, fellowship and other good spiritual disciplines.”
  • “If we’re going to do good things for God, we need a healthy Spirit like this one.” (Pointing to air dancer.)
  • “So, let’s all try to feed our Spirit the things it wants before it even has to ask us for them!” (Thank and dismiss volunteers.)

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Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Object Lesson, spiritual disciplines, temptation, Worry

Comp-HEART-ments


Time

20 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about our hearts – how we let Jesus in and how he wants access to every room in them.

Materials

  • Slide show (“Comp-HEART-ments” – see Downloads page)
  • Computer and LCD projector
  • Screen

Preparation

Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Your spiritual heart is different from your physical heart.  Your physical heart pumps blood throughout your body and keeps you alive.  It’s very important.  But believe it or not, it’s not quite as important as your spiritual heart.” (Show slide 1.)

  • “You can’t actually find your spiritual heart in your body.  It’s part of your mind, but no one is really sure what part.  Most likely, it’s a combination of parts that all work together.  In your spiritual heart, you store the things that are most important to you.  These can be people, places and things, and each one gets its own special room.” (Show slide 2.)

  • “Everyone has a door on the outside of their heart. Sometimes people decide what important things they let into their hearts through this door, but sometimes things force their way in. Anything that is very emotional for us has a way to get past the door to our heart and take over a room on the inside.”
  • “More than anything, Jesus wants to come into our hearts, but He will never force his way in. He stands outside and knocks on our door, and even though He is powerful enough to come in without our permission, He always waits to be invited. In the book of Revelation, Jesus says:”

‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..’. (Revelation 3:20)

  • “If we open the door to Him, He comes into the first rooms in our heart, which are the places God reserved for Eternity when He created us.” (Show slide 3.)

  • “Every human being was created with these rooms in his or her heart, because God didn’t want us to be satisfied living without Him. Unfortunately, many people don’t ever answer the door when Jesus knocks. Instead, they try to fill these rooms with other things (like money, relationships and things) so that they won’t feel so empty.”
  • “But if we do allow Jesus to come into these rooms, the first thing He does is turn on the lights. This gives us hope and excitement for the things Jesus is ready and willing to do in our lives. Often, this leads us to invite Jesus into other rooms, like the one that determines who (or what) we worship.” (Show slide 4.)

  • “Once Jesus enters that room, He starts to show us what we’ve been worshipping instead of Him. He starts to “rearrange the furniture” in our rooms. In other words, He evaluates what’s in there and either asks us to get rid of it (if it’s junk) or to put it in the right place (if it’s worth keeping but getting more attention than it deserves).”
  • “When those rooms are in pretty good shape, Jesus will knock on doors to other rooms. He never barges in. We have to open the door for Him.”
  • “Sometimes opening the doors is very scary for us. We worry about what Jesus will think of us when He sees what we’ve put in the rooms, and we worry that He will make us get rid of some of the things we really, really like. As a result of our fears, we don’t always let Jesus into all our rooms.”
  • “We may only let Him into a few rooms at a time, and He might have to do a lot of knocking to get into them. While He stands on the other side of the door, we sometimes have a conversation with Him that goes something like this:”

JESUS: “I would like to meet your friends. Will you let me into that room?”

US: “Oh, uh, my friends? Well, some of them aren’t the kind of people you would like very much.”

JESUS: “Really? Why would you think that?”

US: “Well, they use bad language and do things they shouldn’t do sometimes.”

JESUS: “So did you before you let Me into your heart.”

US: “Hmmm… well, that makes sense. Okay, I’ll try to find a good time to introduce You.” (Show slide 5.)

JESUS: “Thanks for introducing me to them. I’ve been knocking on the doors to their hearts for years, but I think they are just now starting to hear Me.”

US: “Yeah, that wasn’t so tough. I’m going to start praying for them every day.”

JESUS: “Say, what about the friends in that other room?”

US: “Oh, I can’t introduce You to them. They hate it when anyone talks about You. They make fun of Christians, and they definitely will make fun of me if they find out I’m one.”

JESUS: “Still, I would really like to meet them, and I wish you weren’t ashamed of Me around them. If they don’t like you because of Me, maybe you should find some other friends. Why don’t you introduce Me, and we’ll see how it turns out?”

US: “Okay, but that scares me to death. Please give me courage.” (Show slide 6.)

US: “That wasn’t easy, but I can see now how those friends were hurting my spiritual growth. I’m glad I let You in that room.”

JESUS: “Keep praying for them. I’ve got plans for their lives, too. You’ve taken a really big step by opening that room to Me. Now let’s talk about all these other places you could open up.”

  • “And the conversation continues, Jesus knocking, us choosing whether or not to respond to His knock. Sometimes we have a major spiritual breakthrough and start throwing many doors open to Jesus. We let Him into our family relationships, our crushes and dating relationships, how we spend our free time, how we spend our money, the things we desire for ourselves and others…” (Show slide 7.)

  • “Jesus sanctifies each room (that’s a big word that means setting something aside for God). He claims each room for His purposes and begins to show us His will for those things that are so important to us. Sometimes He completely empties a room and replaces what was in it with something better, like when He introduces us to new people and helps us care for them or like when He shows us the ministry where He wants us to use our time, talents and treasure.” (Show slide 8.)

  • “Room-by-room, Jesus brings light to our heart. He will go anywhere we invite Him, but He knows that some rooms will take more time for us to open. The rooms that hold our Fears, Disappointments, Hates and Hurts are particularly difficult. We didn’t invite these things; they forced their way in and claimed rooms in the deepest, darkest corners of our heart. Over the years, they have become strongholds for Satan. He uses them as his bases of operation as he leads us into sin and prevents us from becoming all that God wants us to be.”

  • “It takes incredible courage to open the doors of these rooms to Jesus. Each one is filled with so much fear and pain that the doors can only open a fraction at first. If our courage fails us, we slam them shut again, but if we release these rooms to Jesus, He enters boldly, throws the light switch and evicts the Enemy!”

  • “In the light, Jesus shows us the lies that Satan has been telling us about these rooms while we were too afraid to open them and inspect them carefully. Under His loving care, we begin to see how we can turn these Fears, Disappointments, Hates and Hurts into New Hope, New Acceptance, New Love and New Strength.” (Show slide 9.)

  • “Jesus is patient, but He isn’t satisfied with only part of our heart.  He’ll keep knocking until we open every door to every room.  He’s persistent with a purpose.  Jesus wants us to know that those things we don’t release to Him end up owning us.  They lead to unhappiness and failure, and they give Satan a hold on our hearts.  It’s only the heart completely open to God that can fully shine His light.”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, heart, Religion, Spiritual Growth