BIG IDEA: I PRAY BECAUSE I CARE
AIM: The ‘I Pray Because I Care’ Childrens Lesson on Man Through Roof is the fifth session in the iCare series. This session helps us to remember that God cares about us and He asks us to care about others by praying for them, knowing that God has power to answer our prayers.
- ‘God Cares’ by LifeWay Kids
- Blanket Race. If you have space then the blanket race is lots of fun. Simply get your children into teams and have them take turns to pull one another whilst one player is on the blanket, to the opposite side of the room. The team that gets all the children onto the other side of the room the fastest is the winning team.
- The Friend Test. Children ares ‘tested’ on how well they know their friend. Choose two sets of friendship pairs. One of the pair goes out of the room with a leader or puts on headphones so that they cannot hear. The first friend from each pair is asked a few questions about the second friend. Questions such as ‘what is their a) favorite color? b) favorite TV program? c) favorite sport? d) biggest fear? e) most embarrassing moment etc. The second friend comes back and sees if they have got the answers right or wrong. They answer the same question about the first friend as they swap places and friend 1 puts on the headphones or goes out of the room.
- Don’t Step on the Rug. You will need some space for this game. Children hold hands in a circle and a small rug is put in the middle of the circle. Children must try to avoid the rug whilst encouraging other children to stand on the rug by moving their arms and moving around the rug.
BIG VERSE: Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7.
SET the SCENE:
Read Luke 5:17-39.
- ‘Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man’
- ‘God’s Story: Jesus Heals a Man’
- ‘A Hole in the Roof’ by GraceLink
- ‘Jesus Heals the Paralytic’ by Max7
Say: It seems funny that we would do a story today about Jesus healing someone… but that shows that Jesus never prayed for him. Jesus simply healed him. Why? Because Jesus is God’s Son – God (Remember: God the Father, God the Son – Jesus – and God the Holy Spirit – 3 in 1). It was the friends that needed to bring their friend to Jesus. They were the ones that had to bring their friends to God. That’s exactly what we need to do too!
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) JESUS CARES ABOUT US
- Large Group Setting: Create your own animal and draw it on a big board. Then encourage children to name the animal. Ask the children how they would care for the animal. What would it need? What would you feed it? How would you clean it?
- Small Group Setting: Give each child their own piece of paper and encourage them to draw their own animal and to name it. Ask them to think about how they would care for it, feed it, clean it etc. Discuss as a group together.
Say: When we care for someone or something we sometimes have to think, say or do different things. We might have to think about what they need… rather than our own needs. We may have to say different things to encourage them or we may need to ask other people questions to know how to care properly. We might have to change their clothes or clean them or help them to eat.
For example, does anyone have a baby brother or sister? What do you need to think about when caring for them? [Get feedback] What do you need to say to them? [Get feedback] Exactly! Sometimes baby’s need us to speak to them to let them know that we are there, sometimes we might even sing to them! What do you need to do for them? [Get feedback]
Jesus cares for each one of us and he shows his care in many different ways. We can bring our cares to Him because He cares about us. That’s why the four friends in our story knew exactly where to take their friends – they did everything they could to get their friend to Jesus! They knew that He has power and that He cares.
2) I PRAY FOR PEOPLE BECAUSE I CARE
- Use this fun video of kids talking about prayer, but remember to read out the unspoken words to help those that cannot read connect.
- Share a story of how God used your prayer to help or heal someone else.
- Get a fishing rod and show the children what it means to ‘cast’ the rod. Explain that just like a fishing rod ‘casts’ the string out to the water, we can cast all our worries, fears and cares on Jesus. When we ‘cast’ our cares on God we can leave them at His feet, yet we draw closer to Him when we do.
Say: The four friends in the story were able to bring their friend to Jesus. They could speak and tell Jesus about how their friend needed help and needed to be healed. They lowered the man down to the ground through the roof so that Jesus would see him.
Our big verse,1 Peter 5:7, says that we are to ‘Cast all’ our cares on Him because He cares for us. The four friends cared for their friend and because they cared they brought him to Jesus. Today we can’t go and find Jesus in the same way as the four friends. If we want to take someone to Jesus then we must tell Jesus about the person by praying. We can pray and tell Jesus about our worries, concerns and care for our friends and family. James 5:16 says “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.” Our prayers have power – especially when we know the God that we are praying to!
3) JESUS LISTENS BECAUSE HE CARES
- Create your own giant ears by attaching these printable ears to a long strip of card that wraps around your head. Wear them as you explain that Jesus listens and that he cares.
- Have someone wear headphones with their music player blasting. Another leader should be trying to speak to them about how they are worried about something [make something up that is relatable to your kids – perhaps a friend at school bullying, or about struggling to do homework or chores etc] The person with the headphones is not listening. The worried friend asks “Do you even care?” and the person wearing the headphones says “Sorry, I wasn’t listening, I’m pretty busy, ask me again later.”
Say: Jesus could have ignored the men that brought their friend to Him. He already had a big crowd around him. He was already so popular! He didn’t need to perform a miracle. He didn’t need to listen to these friends. Yet in front of everyone, Jesus paused to talk and listen to the man and his friends. He healed the man.
It’s hard to understand why bad things happen or why some people don’t get healed. However, if we know and follow Jesus, we can trust that God cares and that He is listening. We can trust and believe for people to be healed and know that God wants to heal them. We can trust and believe that God cares when we are worried or afraid. He is always with us, through the good times and the bad times. Unlike the person in the skit [if you have acted out the skit] God is listening to our prayers. He hears our prayers.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Use the pictures of each character to put up around the room. Encourage two children to run and grab the characters the clue relates to. Encourage the rest of the children to cheer and chant and help them find the correct answer. If your children don’t know these stories you can even point to the answer to help them and simply see who can grab the character the fastest. Then briefly explain the bible story.
Say: Who else prayed because they cared? Run for the person that this clue relates to.
- She prayed and fasted for her people for three days before going to King Xerses to ask for help to save them. [Esther]
- He prayed five times a day and did not stop even when he was told there would be consequences. [Daniel]
- This godly man prayed for the people in Sodom to be saved. He asked that even if 10 were to be found that the city would not be destroyed. [Moses]
- He prayed for rain because he cared that the people were dying because they had no water or food. He also prayed for a widow’s son to come back to life (1 Kings 17). [Elijah]
- This man of God prayed for the Church and helped to build the Church by visiting many of the people. He was put in prison and even shipwrecked for telling people about Jesus but he prayed often in prison. [Paul]
- He prayed for the church before he died and rose again. (John 17:20-23) [Jesus]
- This man prayed that he could rebuild the city wall so he could help his people in Jerusalem. [Nehemiah]
SENSE How You Feel:
- Make a praying hands card for a friend, family member, teacher or neighbor
- Use some praying for others activities: a) Cut up some paper people or use pre-bought wooden or card people and have children write names of people they are praying for. b) Use some bandaids to write names on and pray for people. c) Write some prayer notes such as ‘pray for a friend’ ‘pray for your neighbor’ ‘pray for your Pastor’ etc and hide them in strips of newspaper or water beads and ask children to find them and pray. d) Set up a prayer walk for children with tape on the floor. At each stage they could find a different instruction of who to pray for or perhaps how they would think about caring for someone. e) Use playdough with this lovely playdough mat from Flame Creative as you pray.
Say: Do you need to be reminded that God cares for you today? Place your hand over your heart as we speak some of these bible verses and let’s ask the Holy Spirit (remember: God the Father, Son – who is Jesus – and the Holy Spirit, 3 persons, but 1 God) to help us know that He cares.
[Choose some of the bible verses from this list to read over your children as a reminder that God cares.]
Pray: Thank You God that You care about me. Thank You that You care so much that You sent Your only Son Jesus for me. Help me to trust in You and to know that You care for me completely and that I don’t need to worry but I can cast all my cares on You. I pray for my friends and family, that they would know You care too. Amen.