Week 3 objective: to discover that God wants to give us the things we need to live his way.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about things we think we need.
You will need: at least two identical shopping catalogues and a description sheet (see Printables).
Before the session select six or seven different items in the catalogue. Write down the page number and price then three descriptions of each item. You might like to use a description sheet to record your descriptions. Try and make the first description a hint as to where the items can be found in the catalogue; the next two descriptions should help the children work out which items you have selected.
Divide the children into two teams and give each team a catalogue. Decide which item you are going to ask the children to find first. Start the game by announcing that you really, really need something. Give the first clue helping the children find which section of the catalogue they should be looking in. For example you might say ‘I really need a new toy’. When the children have found the correct section, give them the next two clues. Finally tell the children the page number of the item. As soon as a team is certain they have identified the item they should carefully tear the picture out of their catalogue and bring it to you. The first team to bring the correct picture to you is the winning team. Repeat the game until the children have found all the items you selected.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Bibles, marker pens and a teaspoon.
Before the session write the verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard. Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about prayer.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about prayer. Quickly underline the reference and explain that this verse can be found in the New Testament part of the Bible, in a letter written by Paul to the church in Philippi. Help one of the children to find the book of Philippians in a Bible.
Quickly draw a stick person next to the verse and write the name ‘Paul’ underneath. Remind the children that Paul wrote this letter while he was in prison. Draw some chains around ‘Paul’s’ wrist (a simple string of circles would be sufficient). Explain that in his letter Paul tells the Philippians that being in chains has not stopped him talking about Jesus – in fact it has helped him spread the news that through Jesus everybody everywhere can become close friends with God.
Underline the word ‘pray’. Ask the children again what they think it means to pray. Explain that prayer is talking with God. Explain that Christians believe that people can talk with God anytime and anywhere. Talk briefly about the different ways people can pray: people can say prayers, whisper prayers, sing prayers, shout prayers or even say ‘thought prayers’ in their heads.
Briefly remind the children that the Bible teaches that people can talk to God about absolutely anything, however because of who God is and what he is like, there are some things that people say to him time and time again. Last month we learnt three wonderful things that the Bible teaches about God – God is good, God is powerful and God is wise. Because of these three things, when people talk with God they often say ‘Thank you’ for something he has done, ‘Sorry’ for something they have done and ‘Please’ as they ask him for the things they need to live his way and live lives full of peace and joy.
Show the children a teaspoon. Write the letters ‘t’, ‘s’, ‘p’ next to the verse. Explain that sometimes people write ‘tsp’ instead of teaspoon in a recipe - they might write ‘you need a tsp of sugar’. Write ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ next to the verse and circle the first letter of each word. Explain that a teaspoon is a good way to remember that, because of who God is and what he is like, people often say ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Please’ when they are talking with him.
Underline the phrase ‘ask God for everything you need’. Show the pictures torn from the catalogues. Ask the children if they think you really need these things. Talk about the difference between ‘things we need’ and ‘things we simply like having’. Spend some time talking about the things we need to lead happy and healthy lives – such as warmth, shelter, food, water, clothes. Explain that there are other things we need too such as love, friendship, peace and joy. It’s important that we understand the difference between things we need and things we simply enjoy having. The things we really need make us happy and content day after day after day – while other things that we might think are amazing only make us happy for a short time. You may need to reassure the children that God definitely wants us to have fun and enjoy our lives and it is good for us to have things that make our lives comfortable and fun. In fact it’s really important that children have toys as playing is a part of growing and learning.
Underline the word ‘need’ in the verse again. Explain that the Bible teaches that God wants to give people all that they need to live his way and live lives full of peace and joy. Remind the children that living God’s way is about two main things – loving God and loving others (draw two hearts on the board). So what does God give people that helps them live his way? There are so many things God gives people it is difficult to list them, but here are a few (you may want to quickly write down some of the things as you list them): God gives people his love, forgiveness and eternal life (which means one day they will live in Heaven with him). God gives people the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit gives people guidance, comfort, help, peace, patience and joy. Encourage the children to think about some other things God gives people to help them live his way. Summarise by saying that Christians believe that they need all of these gifts from God and many more to live his way.
Talking about praying for what we need may raise questions about why not all prayers seem to be answered in the way we had hoped. With older children you might like to dig deeper (see Printables) into the topic of God answering prayer.
In addition this session may raise questions about why some people don’t have everything they need to live happy and healthy lives. Explain that the Bible teaches that all good things come from God. Christians believe that in the beginning, when God created the earth, he gave mankind everything he needed to live his way and lead happy and healthy lives. Today for many different reasons, not everybody has what they need. In some parts of the world people don’t even have enough food, or clean water. It’s difficult to understand why some people have so much and others have so little; however one thing we can be sure of is that God wants us to pray for what we need and for what others need too.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Auld Lang Syne’
Don’t worry about a thing my friend,
But pray and ask God,
For everything you need my friend,
And when you pray give thanks.
Philippians chapter 4 verse 6,
Says pray and ask God,
For everything you need my friend,
And when you pray give thanks.