‘I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore’. Psalm 34:1

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Week 4 objectives: to play a game that will help the children memorise the verse and remind them that David said praise would always be in his mouth.

Game - 8 mins
Aims: to play a game that involves the children pushing a ball along the floor with their chins as a reminder that David said praise would always be in his mouth. 
You will need: eight ping-pong balls*, a permanent fine marker, masking tape.

*If you have more than eight children in your group you will need a third set of balls, if you have more than twelve you will need a fourth set.  

Write the last part of the verse on four of the balls, writing a few words on each ball: ‘his praises’, ‘shall be in’, ‘ my mouth’, ‘forevermore’. Do this again with the remaining balls writing the verse in the same way. Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor at one end of your teaching space - this will be your ‘start line’ and a strip about four meters away - this will be your ‘finish line’.

Divide your group into teams of four or fewer. Give each team a set of four ping-pong balls. The object of the game is for the children to roll the balls from the start line to the finish line by pushing the ball along with their chin.  Depending on how much space you have, the children could do this as a relay race or as a whole team activity. When all the children are across the finishing line encourage them to hold the balls in the air in the order the verse is written.  If you have groups with fewer than four children do the race as a relay and allow children to have extra goes to get all the balls across the finishing line.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens and a Bible.

Remind the children that this verse comes from the book of Psalms. Psalms are songs or poems; they are either to God or about him. Ask the children if they can remember how to find the Psalms in the Bible. Remind the children that they are in the Old Testament and are roughly in the middle of the Bible.

Remind the children that the Bible tells us that King David wrote Psalm 34. Draw King David as a stick man and write ‘David’ underneath. David said that God’s praise would be in his mouth forevermore. Underline this phrase in the verse. This was David’s way of saying that he would always say thank you to God and always tell him how great and wonderful he is. 

Christians believe that it is not only important that they feel thankful towards God but that they say thank you to him as well. However the Bible teaches that both good things and bad things can come out of people’s mouths: they can praise God with their mouths but they can also say unkind things.  In this verse David was saying that he only wanted good and kind words to come out of his mouth; he wanted to praise God all the time. Christians believe that with God’s help they too can learn and grow to say more and more good things; to say kind words and words of praise to God. 

Explain that this is the last week we will be looking at this verse from Psalm 34. Remind the children that David wrote this psalm and many others about praising God. If you have time explain that David loved to praise God because he knew that God deserved and loved his praise however David also knew that praise brought him closer to God – it brought him into God’s presence. Explain that in God’s presence David felt God’s love, peace, joy and kindness in a wonderful way. You might like to dig deeper (see Printables) and talk about coming into God’s presence through worship.

As this is the last week of the month cover up the Bible verse and ask the children if anyone can say it from memory. Help the children if they get stuck. If you have a rubber stamper and tickets, stamp the tickets belonging to children who can say the Bible verse. Include those who needed some help. 

Song - 1 mins
To the tune of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’.

    I will bless the Lord at all times his praise will always be,
    In my mouth and on my lips;
    I’ll thank him constantly. 

    So if I’m feeling lonely* or if I’m feeling fine,
    I’ll sing the psalm that David wrote, 
    And praise God all the time…

    I will bless the Lord at all times his praise will always be,
    In my mouth and on my lips;
    I’ll thank him constantly. 

*Ask the children to shout out other feelings such as sad, angry, tired, happy, hungry.

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