(Ask these questions to get kids and adults thinking. Listen to what they say. You don’t need to give any “right” answers at this point.)
What is prayer?
What do you do when you pray? What are some things that you pray for?
How do you know what you should say when you pray?
Teaching Activity: Agree or Disagree? - Have everyone gather in the middle of the room. The leader reads the following statements, and the children and adults move to the right side of the room if they agree with the statement, the left if they disagree, or stay in the middle if they’re not sure. If time allows, give people time to explain their positions. Then, follow up with the discussion questions included after each statement.
1. You have to pray with your head bowed.
Why do people pray with their head bowed?
People are showing respect for God. But John 17:1 says, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.’” Jesus prayed looking up. That shows us that we don’t have to close our eyes and bow our heads to pray. We can pray to God with our eyes open and our head up if we want to.
2. You have to pray before you eat your food.
Why do people pray before they eat?
They’re thanking God for their food. The point is to remember to thank God for all the things we need, even air.
3. God will always give what you ask Him to when you pray.
Paul was having a hard time with something. Have you ever had a hard time with something?
Paul prayed that would make everything better for him, but God said no. He told Paul that He wasn't going to make everything better right now. Instead, He said, "My grace is sufficient for you." That means that God was going to help Paul with the hard time he was having instead of making the hard time go away. Do you think God can help you when you have hard times? How can God help you?
He can give you patience, strength, love, etc.
4. You shouldn't tell other people what you pray for.
Matthew 18:19 - “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." Other people can help you know what to pray for.
What if I told you that someone was mean to me, and I prayed for God to make them sick? Would you tell me that was a good prayer or a bad prayer? Do you think God would be happy if I prayed for someone to get sick?
Sometimes, we need other people to help us know if our prayers are good or not. Children can ask their parents if they're praying for the right things. And parents can ask their husband or wife or their friends.
And Jesus said that if we ask each other if our prayers are good, and we agree that what we're praying about is good, there's a better chance that God will give us what we prayed for.
Close in prayer, asking adults and children to pray with their eyes open!
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Find more children's lessons on my page for Free Children's Sunday School Lessons!