Week 2 objectives: to learn that ‘prayer’ is talking with God. We often say ‘thank you…’, ‘sorry…’ and ‘please…’ when we talk to God because of who he is and what he is like.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to think about chatting to people when you meet them.
You will need: a list of questions (see Printables), lively music and the means to play it.
Explain to the children that while the music is playing they should wander around shaking hands and greeting one another. When the music stops they should stand next to somebody and find out something about them.
Explain that you will read out a question from a list. The children need to find out the answer to the question from the person next to them. When you restart the music everybody should continue walking around the room greeting one another. After a while stop the music again and ask another question.
At the end of the game see if the children can remember what they have just learnt about one another. For example ask ‘What flavour milk shake does Sophie like?’
If you only have a few children in your group print the ‘all about me’ sheets (see Printables); cut them up into questions so that the answer can be written on the same slips. Put the slips into envelopes. Give each child an envelope with a set of questions. Encourage the children to fill in the answers then place the slips back inside their envelopes.
When everyone has completed the questions, empty the envelopes onto the floor/table and mix them up. Allow the children to take turns reading the slips and trying to allocate the answers to the children in the group.
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. Underline the reference. Remind the children that this verse can be found in the New Testament part of the Bible, in the letter written by James. Help one of the children to find ‘James’ in a Bible. Remind the children that James’ letter is about how to live as a Christian.
Underline the word ‘prayer’. Ask the children ‘what do we call ‘talking with God’?’ This may be a simple question for some children, but possibly, the first time others have talked about prayer. Explain that talking with God is called ‘prayer’. Remind the children that through Jesus everybody everywhere can be close friends with God. Talk about chatting to our friends when we meet them. Talk about the game the children have just played. Explain that Christians believe people can talk with God anytime and anywhere. Talk briefly about the different ways people pray: people 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 dig deeper (see Printables) into the topic of prayer. Spend some talking about why we might need to say sorry to God for something we have done.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Yankie Doodle went to town’
Powerful and effective are,
The prayers of righteous people,
Powerful and effective are,
The prayers of righteous people.