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BIG IDEA: GOD WATCHES OVER ME

AIM: This is one of the sessions for the ‘Summer of Songs’ teaching series. It is aimed at helping children to read Psalm 121 and think about how God watches over and protects them and what this really means.

SONG IDEAS:

  1. ‘God is Good’ by Group VBS
  2. ‘God is For Me’ by Group VBS
  3. ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’ by Group VBS

GAME IDEAS:

  1. Dance Your Hats and Gloves Off. (regular/widescreen) Tape some gloves to a child’s hands and see how long it takes them to take them off.
  2. Protect the Pin. (Dodgeball Variation Game.) Children have a number of balls per team that they are able to throw at the opposing team below the knees. If they hit a team member the person hit is eliminated from the game. Teams are also given a bowling pin (or a plastic bottle) and they must attempt to hit the pin/bottle. Once the pin is hit the team is out and the winning team is the team that hit the opposing team’s pin. If teams are clever they will protect their pin by standing in front of it.
  3. Capture the Flag. Children are split into teams and given a flag that they must hide, but make partially visible to the opposing team. Children must then try and take their opposing team’s flag, but if they are tagged before they grab it then they are eliminated from the game. The winning team is the team to grab the opposing team’s flag first.

BIG VERSE: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Psalm 103:1

(regular/widescreen)

 

SET the Scene:

Read Psalm 121.  You could encourage the children to act out the Psalm in their own way as a group or you could bring a few children up to the front. You could also watch this video.

SPOT the Simple Meaning:

1) GOD WATCHES OVER ME

You will need the image of the father watching his child sleep (regular/widescreen). 

Say: Have you ever sat and watched a baby? [Get feedback] Maybe you watched them sleep or perhaps you saw them cry. Well, just as you might have watched a baby, God watches over you and me. Now, when a good father watches his baby [put the image up on the screen or hold it up] he watches the baby in a caring, loving way to make sure that the baby is protected.

God is our good Father and He watches over us. He watches over us because He cares about us and wants us to be safe. He is a good Father God and you can know that He sees you and watches over you every single day. As the Psalm 121 says in verses 5-8,

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

 

2) GOD PROTECTS ME 

  1. You will need a bottle of sunscreen or some sunglasses, a sun/beach umbrella, a sun hat and sandals or simply use the photo (regular/widescreen) of the items [but where possible use the actual items – it’s always more effective!] 
  2. You could also make a powerpoint quiz and invite the children to try and guess what each item that protects is or what they protect.

Say: Can you think of some things that protect you? [Give the children a few minutes to think and answer] Well, I’ve got a few examples for you here. A pair of sunglasses [show sunglasses] what do they protect? [Your eyes] What do they protect you from? [The sun] That’s right! How about the beach umbrella… what does that protect? {Your head and body] What does it protect you from? [The sun] What about these sandals? What do they protect? [Your feet] What do they protect you from? [Hurting your feet on a rock]

Psalm 121 verses 1-4 it says:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

God is our protection. He watches over us to protect us. The Psalmist says that God “will not let your foot slip.” He protects us from harm. He is just like a lifeguard in that way – watching to make sure we are okay… Yet God will watch over us constantly because He “will neither slumber or sleep” (v4). So He is WAY better than any lifeguard we will ever meet. We can trust that we have a God that looks out for us and protects us from harm. And when things come against us to hurt us, He is with us and will never walk away. He is always there because He never slumbers or sleeps. God gives us His Holy Spirit to live within us and to be our protection.  He sent His Only Son Jesus to help protect us from our wrong doings. For He is the God that protects me, you and those that follow Him.

 

SEARCH the Scriptures:

Saran Wrap Ball Pass. (regular/widescreen) Pop the God’s Protection bible verses with some candy in between each layer of a saran wrap (cling film) ball.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How do you know God protects you?
  2. Have you ever felt or seen God’s protection?
  3. What do you think God’s protection is like? [Give the children a few moments to ask God – see Seek God section.]

Questions for 8-11s:

  1. If God protects us, why do you think bad things still happen to Christians?
  2. Can you think of anyone that God protected in the Bible? Was their life free from trouble or problems? Why/why not?
  3. Who do you know that needs protecting? Why? [this is an opportunity to talk about homeless people, poor people, people who have had to leave their homes – refugees etc, people who have been hurt physically or emotionally etc]
  4. How can we help protect those that need protection?
  5. How does the Holy Spirit help to protect us?
  6. When Jesus came to the earth He came to protect us from the evil one, but how?

[Finish by praying for those that need God’s protection. Pray that God would help you remember those that are in need of protection today.]

SENSE How You Feel:

  1. Paper Plate Umbrella craft. Encourage children to make a paper plate umbrella and decorate it with tissue paper.
  2. Umbrella Prayers. Write or draw thank you prayers on an umbrella with Sharpies, thanking God for His protection. Display the umbrella somewhere that your children can see for the next few weeks or give it away as a prize to someone.
  3. Put up a kids tent or little teepee in your kids area (make sure you are able to see into it for safeguarding purposes). Invite children to take some time to sit in the tent or tipi and think about how God protects them from the storms of life.

 

 

SEEK God:

You could use the song ‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ as a response song for this session. Encourage the children to listen to the song as they think about and thank God for His protection. You could also hand out little cocktail parasols as a reminder that God is our protection. However, you may want to make sure the ends are not too sharp (perhaps cut off the ends) – especially if you are handing them out to younger children.

Encourage the children to spend a few moments asking God: “God, what is your protection like?” Tell the children that God is going to speak to them and show them. He may do it through helping them to feel a certain way, they may see a picture in their head, or they may even have one word or phrase to describe it. Begin by believing yourself that God speaks to children and having faith that He will speak to yours. Wait a few minutes before asking what God said. Try to encourage everyone, regardless of their experience and try to point them towards what God might be saying if they are unsure. [In order to do this you must first make sure you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and listening to Him yourself!] Don’t be surprised if the children’s answers shock or amaze you. God speaks to children as well as to adults.

RESPONSE & BLESSING:

Encourage your children to put their hands up if they want to know that God is with them and He is protecting them. Explain that they must ask God to help them, that they can ask for His strength every day and see Him at work in their lives.  He is here. Your Father in Heaven is watching over you. He will take care of you.

You may want to use this BLESSING:

May the Lord keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Amen.

 

Click here for the 'Protection' Childrens lesson widescreen image

Click here for the ‘Protection’ Childrens lesson widescreen image

Click here for the 'Protection' Childrens lesson PowerPoint image

Click here for the ‘Protection’ Childrens lesson PowerPoint image

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