'Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks.' Philippians 4:6

Week 2.jpg

Week 2 objectives: to learn that ‘prayer’ is talking with God and to begin to think about what we might say when we pray.

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game with a teaspoon to introduce the prayer prompt: ‘tsp’.
You will need: a teaspoon and four or five of the following objects: a plastic flower pot, a tea towel, a paper plate, a clothes peg, an empty DVD case, an old CD, a water pistol, a roll of sticky tape.

Encourage the children to sit on the floor in a circle. Show the children the first object and explain that they need to try and think of uses for the object other than what it was designed for. For example show the children the tea towel and say ‘it’s a handkerchief for a giant’ – pretend to sneeze into the tea towel. Or show the children the sticky tape, put it on your wrist and say ‘it’s a bracelet’. Work with one object at a time. When a child has thought of a new use for the object they should raise their hand. Pass the item to the child and encourage them to describe their alternative use. They could try miming its use as well. Eventually show the children a teaspoon and encourage them to devise alternative uses for the spoon.

At the end of the session explain that there is one more use for the teaspoon – the teaspoon can help us remember what to say when we pray.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Bibles, marker pens, God is ‘good’, ‘powerful’ and ‘wise’ signs (see Printables), 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. 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.

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.

Ask the children what they might talk to a friend about. Listen and discuss the children’s answers. Talk about how we might talk to our friends about one thing and to our family about something else. Although the Bible teaches that people can talk to God about absolutely anything, 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.

With older children you might like to talk a little more about what people might say when they pray. Underline the words ‘ask’ and ‘thanks’ in the verse. Explain that these are two of the three things the teaspoon reminds us to say when we pray. Point out that this particular verse doesn’t talk about saying ‘sorry’; however there are plenty of other verses that encourage us to say ‘sorry’ and ask for God’s forgiveness when we pray. If you have time you might like to dig deeper (see Printables) into why people might need to say sorry to God for something they have done.

Explain that next week we’re going learn more about prayer as we take another look at this verse.

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.

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