Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pray For Me!

James 5:16 (ESV) "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

The purpose of this lesson plan is to teach children the way and purpose of Intersession in prayer.
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Opening Lesson: Carry Me to There
Material Needed: Many Children - 5 or so, or adults and teens to help.


Have a child lie on the ground on his or her back, hands folded over their stomach, legs together, and stiff.


Ask for volunteers, and when you have 1 (one) tell him or her to carry the one on the ground to some prearranged place within the room.  Caution them that dragging, dropping or kicking them there is not allowed.  Say Go.  Give them a minute or two, and if they fail, ask for some more volunteers.  If they continue to fail, suggest that you did not tell them to do it alone.


Sit back and see what happens.


Once the use a group of people to carry the child to "There", let others try, and then sit them down and ask how they did it.


Guide them to say that they had to ask for and use help from others.


Then tell them that Prayer is just like that too.  Read the verse above.


This section of the Lesson plan, the introduction, is done.
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In the next section we do praise and worship, as well as take the collection, but you can do whatever you do at your church school.
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Teaching the Lesson in more detail - Section 3 of the Lesson Plan.


Detailed Lesson: Ballooning with Help
Material Needed: 25 balloons filled with air.
Groups of 3 or more children.
Garbage can large enough to hold the balloons or a few large trashcan liners: enough to hold all the balloons.


Place the balloons all over the room, in as many far reaching places as you can.  Select you first group of children.  If you have enough children, have a few groups: 2 child groups, 3 child groups, 4 child groups.


Say go, and time how long it takes the first group to get all the balloons into the bags or trashcan.


Go to the next biggest team, and repeat. Etc.


Once you have demonstrated that if the team is large, and they work together, the job is easier and takes less time.


Tell them that Prayer is just like that.  That God listens to his own people, and that the more you have on your team, the better the prayer's power.


Read the verse again: James 5:16 (ESV) "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

Ask them why they need to confess their sins to one another?


Ask them why they should pray together?


Ask them what they are Healed from?


Ask them if all are sinners, who is a righteous person?


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If you have time, give them an example in real life, your life if possible, and ask them all to pray for you.


Ask them if there is anyone that need prayer from the class.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Confess Your Sin, Whatever that Is

Junk Bucket
What does Sin Look Like to God?



MATTHEW 5:29: ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.’



The first illustration of the Confess Your Sin lesson plan is designed to show the students what God sees sin as.  This needs to be done in order to allow them to understand why sin stands as a problem for them in their ability to communicate with God to begin with.  If they don't understand what God sees sin as, they won't see the need to have it forgiven, or for that matter, the value of the gift that Jesus' death and Resurrection ensured for us.


Materials needed.  You need Small Cup or bucket, say a 16 oz soda cup.

a) You will need 2 somethings of value to the children that will not be ruined if covered in gunk. (Plastic coin, quarter, silver dollar.)
b) You will need some thick liquid like molasses, barbecue sauce or even chocolate sauce. 
c) You will need some salt
d) Oatmeal
e) water
f) a plastic glove or two


Put one of the "coins" at the bottom of the cup, and then layer the materials above into the cup, as thickly as you can, without disturbing the cup, trying to keep them as separate as possible.


Hold one coin up showing the children what is in the bottom of the cup, without showing them what else is in the cup. Ask them what it is.  Depending on what you put in the cup, lead the conversation to how valuable the item is, how cool it is, how much they want it, what they can do with it, etc.  Take some time to make sure they know it Looks Good!!


Then select a student to "go fishing" for the coin.  Put a plastic glove on the child (I suggest it not be a latex glove as latex sensitivity is rather common.)  Tell her/him that the "coin" is at the bottom of the cup, and they have to reach in and get it.


When they pull it out, ask them how it looks - draw out the disgusting details ... how messy it is, how they really don't want to hold it without gloves, etc.


This is where you tell them how God views Sin ... to us the coin looked awesome, and its value is real.  It can buy stuff, and looks like a good deal.  To God, sin looks like the one that came out of the cup.  Not only does the coin have NO value to God, but the person who pulled it out of the cup also needs to be cleaned now.


Sin is just like that.


Take this opportunity to pray with the children, and ask that God shows us our sin, because, like the coin, some sin looks bright, shinny and awesome to us, but to God it is dirty, slimy and disgusting.  Remain silent for a minute, to allow them to experience the "quite" of prayer, waiting on the Lord, and then finish the prayer.
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The first part of service if over for us.  We do praise, worship and collection now.  You can follow whatever format your church desires.


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The purpose of the second part of the lesson plan is to teach them what sin is in their lives, now that they know what it looks like to God, and how to confess it in prayer.


Sit the children down, and ask them what they think sin is.  Let them talk it out, giving ideas, even telling you some they might have committed.


Then read to them these bible verse about sin.

Deuteronomy 9:7 - (ESV): "Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord."



Ask them what rebellion is.  Ask them how we might be rebellious to the Lord.  Lead them down the path of admitting the wanting stuff more than wanting his will to be done, is a form of rebellion.  Even trying to do everything without him, is a form of rebellion

Teaching Drill: Name the Rebellion


Have them list every rebellion against God that they might see or do in their lives.  Some ideas might include:


Lazy Person - rather than doing it as if they do it for the Lord;
Angry Person - As if they were in control rather than God;
Stealing - Taking something that they want, rather than earning it or waiting of the Lord.
Temper Tantrum - Trying to control the outcome of a bad or undesired situation by acting out, rather than waiting on God.


Have them make as many situations as they can come up with.  Write each one down on a piece of paper, and select a few teams of students to "ACT OUT THE REBELLION."  Select a piece of paper at random and give it to a team.  I suggest you have 2 or three teams selected, and assign a teen or adult aid to help them come up with a "ACT."  Give them a minute or two, then have them act it out.


When you are done acting out as many rebellions as you have time for, gather them back together, read to them again the verse above.  Ask them what the result of the peoples rebellion was?  Make sure they see that the result was an Angry God, dead people, wandering the dessert for a long time, all because of rebellion.


Finish with a prayer about guiding us through finding out sins of rebellion.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Prayer and Submission to the Will of the Lord - Psalm 95:6

Pray: Pray a prayer with your students asking that YOU are given the words you need to change their life, and asking THEM to learn how to submit to the Lord.
Photo Credit: Dog Chat Forum

Psalm 95:6 (ESV): "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!"

First, it is believed that King David wrote this psalm, because of Hebrews 4:7 saying "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts" which is also Psalm 95:7-8.

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Game: Kneel Before the King

Equipment Needed: Foam Noodle used as a "SWORD"
A Teacher (You), A Throne (A Chair), and Peasant (Student)

How to play the game.  Select as many students as you have time for for this introductory game: The rules are simple.  You sit on the Throne, they kneel on both knees within reach of you, and bow their head, eyes open.  You swing the "Sword" at their head. (As redundant as it seems to teachers, make sure you have both selected children who will not panic and decompress if the get "hit" by a noodle, and make sure the you "hit" them with nearly 0 force.  I would suggest the shoulders rather than the head.)

You give them 5 tries to get out of range when you swing the sword at them.  Every time the escape, they get a point. Give them something for each point.  (We use coins, which can be exchanged for something else.  If you want more information of the coin program, ask in the comments and I will detail it.)

Teaching the Point:  Ask them how often the students got away.  Make sure you did NOT let them get away very much, or at all. (I reward them for playing at all, when the illustration is designed to be a no win type of illustration.)

When you are done, relate the when we "kneel" to pray, we are reminding ourselves that we are not just following some ancient rule of prayer, but we are literally saying to our king, our Lord, that he can do whatever he wants to us, and we not only can not escape it, we do not wish to.

The Israeli culture was a warrior culture from start to finish.  They had spent most of their recent history fighting for their land and lives against neighbors and even themselves.  Their citizens were numbered as adult males who could carry a sword.

When a warrior culture, at that time, or even in the middle ages in the west, or Roman culture, Kneeling in front of the "King" was a physical act, where you were unarmed, as they took your weapons from you when you entered his presence.

You knelt on one or two knees in front of the King, making it impossible for you to even move quickly, and you made your case.  In this position, either the ruler or his soldiers could literally cut your head off before you could get up and run.

So, when you kneel, you submit physically to the king.

In Prayer, we do the same thing.
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Introduction to the Class is over - we sing and do an offering at this point, but whatever procedure you have is adaptable to this format.
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Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass - Illustration Game


Equipment Needed:
    1) Rope long and heavy enough to use as a "jump rope."

    2) 2 Chairs or the like strong enough for two teachers, helpers or whomever you can use to stand on.
    3) Students
    4) Painter Tape or cones or something to make a path of ten feet or so between the two chairs.


How to Play the Game:  


Tell the students they have to step between the blue lines in front of one chair, and make it to the other chair without the rope hitting them.  Let someone walk under the rope doing whatever they need to in order to not touch the rope.


Then ask them, does anyone have a question about how to play?


When they do not have any questions, ask who wants to be first, then start swinging the rope rather fast like a jump rope, making sure that if the duck or go to their knees, they can make it.  


Say go.


If someone figures it out, fast enough for the time that you have, then you are done.  If not, tell them if they stay on their knees, or stay bowed down, they can make it.  Have someone do it.


Explain the drill:  Just like when we started class, this drill is designed to have you bow or kneel.  God is just like that.  Remember how we started class.  You submit to the will of God, you bow down, and you pray kneeling or bowing your head, to remind yourself that you are actually giving control of your very life to God as an act of worship when you pray.


Read the verse.


Ask for questions or explainations, and reward participation somehow, either with verbal or physical recognition.


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If you have time, ask students to lead the others in Kneeling prayer, out loud.  Reward participation the same way. 


- Remember always, God Rocks, and as a teacher, of his young, he has your back.  You should submit to his will at the beginning, with your helpers, just to make sure he knows you know who the man really is.