BIG IDEA: GOD LISTENS
AIM: The ‘God Listens’ Childrens Lesson on Matthew 6:5-13 and Luke 11 is a session that will get your kids thinking about how God listens and cares for them every minute of the day! Using the Lord’s prayer to help children think about how to pray, this is a session that your kids will love!
- ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ with motions and lyrics
- ‘The Lords Prayer’ for children aged 5-8 years
- ‘Deep Cries Out’ by Bethel
- Blind Obstacle Course. Friends must guide one another through an obstacle course. One friend is blindfolded whilst the other speaks and directs them where to go. You could have multiple teams doing this at the same time to help make it more difficult and cause confusion.
- Telephone. Children must pass on the message around the circle as fast as they can by whispering in one anothers ears.
- Red Light Green Light. Children must stop and start walking when the leader shouts ‘Red Light’ for stop and ‘Green light!’ for go. The first child to reach the leader is the winner.
- Simon Says. Children follow actions that the leader shouts, only when the leader first says ‘Simon Says.’ When the leader simply gives a direction without saying ‘Simon Says’ anyone that moves is eliminated from the game.
BIG VERSE: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6.
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 6:5-13 and/or Luke 11:1-4. Explain that the disciples could have asked Jesus how to teach them many things – how to teach, how to preach or how to do miracles. Yet the disciples asked Jesus to help them learn how to pray.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
- ‘Our Father/Lord’s Prayer’
- ‘Kids and Prayer’ by Kids for Christ
- ‘The Lords Prayer’
- ‘Children Pray the Lords Prayer’
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) GOD LISTENS
Get someone to wear a blindfold and take turns to say a few words to them. Each time someone speaks the blindfolded person must try to guess who has spoken. This can be done upfront with specific people chosen in advance to speak, or you could have the children sit in a circle and point to the child/leader that should speak each time. They could just say “Hello. Do you know who I am?” and the blindfolded person must answer correctly. You could make it a game and see who can name the most people correctly. To make it more difficult you could use voices off the TV or internet or you could have someone from the church who isn’t already in the room come along and speak.
Say: You know, we can talk to God and know that He listens to our prayers! He knows our voices intimately because He created each one of us! He knows who we are and He is listening out for us. He is our Father God who cares for each one of us.
God listens to our prayers when they are real and from the heart. He loves it when we pray prayers that mean something to us. Prayers that are heartfelt. That’s why God doesn’t want us to pray long, drawn out prayers that we don’t care about. He would rather our prayers were short and simple if they are from the heart.
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray loudly. They want people to see them pray. I tell you the truth. They already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-8.
God is listening to your prayers. He longs to hear you talk to Him. He loves to hear what is on your heart and mind. So let’s get praying!
2) GOD LISTENS BECAUSE HE IS GOOD
Show the clip from the Lion King: Morning Lesson with Mufasa. Simba is a young lion cub whose dad is the king of Pride Rock. The king, Mufasa, is a good king that teaches his son the basics of ruling a kingdom.
Say: God listens to us because He is so GOOD! In the Lord’s prayer Jesus teaches us that God is our Father and that we can lift His name up high. We can help people to see that He is good! And because He is good we can trust that He rules over His kingdom like a good king. Just as Mufasa was a good king in the Lion King movie, God is a good king. He listens to His people. Nasty Scar in the Lion King movie does not listen to the other lions when they complain about being hungry. Yet Mufasa cares about the lions in his kingdom.
God is good. He is a good king that listens to His people. Where God is there is always goodness. Just as Mufasa’s kingdom was covered by light, everywhere that God rules is full of light too because light is good and Jesus said “I am the Light of the World.” God is the good king that listen to His people and helps them when they need help.
3) GOD LISTENS BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE CLOSE
You will need two volunteers to walk from either side of the room to one another talking. At first they will need to shout but as they get closer their voices can get quieter because they are able to hear one another.
Say: It’s amazing that God is so good, yet He still wants to be close to you and me! God loves it when we talk to Him because He wants to be close to us and wants us to tell Him everything!
When two people are far away from each other they need to shout. When they get close and start walking towards each other they no longer need to shout. They can hear each others voices clearly. When you get super close you can even whisper! Of course, God can ALWAYS hear us – He is able to do anything! Yet if we are not close to Him, we may struggle to hear His voice.
God wants to be close to us. He wants us to share our secrets with Him. He wants us to tell Him the things that make us sad, happy and all the feelings in between!
Sometimes we may feel like we don’t know what to pray. Paul in the Bible says; Romans 8:26, “We don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.” Yet God knows our heart and He is listening as we share. We don’t have to pretend to know how to pray, we can just talk to Him as a friend. We can expect that He is listening because He wants to be close to us.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
You might find that you want to focus more on the Lord’s prayer for this session. If so, there are some great games by Flame Creative to help you explore the Lord’s Prayer further.
You could also:
- Hide parts of the passage (or different bible verses below) around the room and have the children bring them together and put them in order.
- Make each part of the passage a task that the children have to complete before they can collect the paper with it on. Then they piece it all together at the end. Teams could compete to put the prayer together the fastest.
- Create a large jigsaw out of the passage (or different bible verses below) and have the children compete to piece it together.
- Give a piece of the passage (or different bible verses below) to each one of your leaders and have the children answer a question before they can collect the piece of the passage.
Bible verses about prayer:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7.
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3.
- How often do you pray?
- How do you feel about prayer?
- Do you find it easy to pray? Why/why not?
- Who do you want to pray for today? [Pray for those people together.]
- Share a time when God has answered your prayer.
SENSE How You Feel:
Lord’s Prayer activities:
- Color the Lords Prayer printable
- Create a Lords Prayer booklet
- Color and piece together a Lord’s Prayer jigsaw
- Color and cut out the Lord’s Prayer cards
- Make a prayer board and have the kids write and draw prayers to hang/stick/attach to it.
God listens, but He also speaks. Today, let’s take the chance to speak to Him, but also listen to what He has to say to us. We can be great listeners, just like God is – He gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason!
Take some time to listen to what God has to say to you today. Imagine that you are about to meet Jesus in the most fun and relaxed place you have ever been. Where are you? What do you want to tell Jesus? Tell him everything that is on your heart and mind. [Wait a few minutes] Now stop. Listen to what He has to say to you. What is He saying? [Wait a few moments] What is He doing? [Wait a few moments] Now open your eyes.
[Encourage the children to share their experience or to write or draw it down. We love what Sarah Cornthwaite of AdventuresWithJesus.co.uk says about always having an Adventure Book for your children. In this way you can keep all the pictures and words that the children receive from Jesus and at the end of the year/time they finish kids ministry you can hand it them back so that they have a record of every time God spoke to them in the childrens ministry.]