Week 3 objective: to explain that one way we can give our worries to God is to tell him about them.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to begin to think about getting rid of our worries.
You will need: a score sheet (see Printables), masking tape, a low table or bench, ten paper or plastic cups and a few spares, a marker pen, plain A4 paper, pens and pencils.
Before the session use the marker pen to write one to ten on the cups. Write one number on each cup. Position a table (or bench) somewhere central in your teaching space. At a distance of approximately two meters and parallel to the table place a strip of masking tape on the floor. Place the cups on the table, arranging them so that the numbers are not in order.
Give each child three pieces of paper. Ask them to write the word ‘worry’ or a ‘W’ on each piece. While they are writing encourage them to think of one or two things that they might worry about or something they know other people worry about. When they have finished ask them to screw up their pieces of paper.
Taking it in turns encourage the children to stand on the line of masking tape and throw their screwed up pieces of paper one at a time at the cups. If a child knocks over a cup write down the cup number – this is their score. Return the knocked-over cups to the table before the next child has their turn but leave the screwed up paper on the floor. Once all the children have had a turn announce the winner or add up the scores and announce the overall group score. If you have time allow the children to have a second go.
Talk about - 8 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens and ‘a short prayer’ (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard. Print out the short prayer.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about God’s love and protection.
Briefly recap what the children talked about in ‘Week 1 and Week 2’. Underline the reference. Remind the children that this verse can be found in Peter’s first letter. The letter is called ‘1 Peter’. Ask one of the older children to find Peter’s first letter in the Bible.
Quickly draw a smiley face on the board next to the reference and write the name Peter underneath. Explain that Peter was one of Jesus’ first disciples. After Jesus went up to heaven Peter wrote a letter to help Christians who were suffering. Peter wrote a letter full of joy, encouraging the Christians to trust God through their difficult times. Draw a simple envelope next to the verse. Tell the children that when Peter wrote this verse he was writing about God’s love and protection.
Underline the words ‘worries’ and ‘cares’. Explain that one way to describe a worry is a problem or trouble that someone keeps thinking about over and over again. It might be a small problem but because they think about it over and over again it begins to feel like a really, really big problem.
Christians believe that God wants to help people with every single problem and trouble that they come across. He wants people to pray about their problems and trust him in their troubles. The Bible teaches that God loves people more than they can imagine and that by his Holy Spirit he will come along-side and never leave us on our own. Christians believe that God doesn’t want people to worry; he wants people to pray and trust him instead. God wants to give people his peace.
Underline the word ‘give’ in the verse. Ask the children what they think the phrase ‘give all your worries to God’ might mean. Respond positively to the children’s answers and suggest one way to give our worries to God is to tell Him about them. Talk about how we might do this; we might whisper our worries to God, say them out loud or in our heads. Remind the children that we call talking with God ‘praying’.
You might like to practise, with the children, telling God about a worry. Explain that we might not want to say our worries out loud to God right now but we could whisper or say them to him in our heads. Tell the children that if they don’t have any worries, they could talk to God about something other people worry about, such as not being able to do school work or not being invited to a birthday party.
First show the children how they can whisper so quietly they just move their lips and only God can hear. Help older children understand how they can tell God things in their heads. You might like to practice by asking the children to tell God their favourite colour. If the children are happy to continue, explain that you are going to say out loud a short prayer so that they can either whisper or tell God a worry in their heads. Read out the short prayer from the Printables.
Finally explain that Christians also believe that one way God takes care of people is by giving us friends and people around us whom we can talk to. There are some worries that we need to talk to a grown-up about. For example if somebody asks us to do something that makes us feel uncomfortable or we know is wrong then we should tell a grown-up who will listen.
With older children you might like to dig deeper (see Printables) and spend time talking about how we leave our worries with God.