In the Potter’s Hand

In the Potter’s Hand

In the Potter’s Hand

The memory verse for this week is from Isaiah 64: 4–“”Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay. You are the potter. Your hands made all of us.”
 
Here is are links to the lesson and activities for the week: 

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The Thankful Leper


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Using Your Talents


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Give Me Oil in My Lamp

Give Me Oil in My Lamp

Theme:  Be prepared for Christ’s return.

 

Memory Verse:  Brothers and sisters, you are loved by God.  We know that he has chosen you.  1 Thessalonians 1:4

 

Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13

We always keep a flashlight in our house. We keep the flashlight so that if the lights go out, we will be able to find our way around in the dark. The flashlight is always kept in the same place so that we will know where to find it when we need it. Do you know what else we have to do? We have to check the batteries regularly to make sure they are still working and we have to make sure there are always extra batteries on hand. When the lights go out, this flashlight will be no help if the batteries are dead and there aren’t any fresh batteries to replace them.

In the time that Jesus lived, people didn’t have flashlights or batteries. Instead, they used oil lamps, and just as it is important for us to have a good supply of batteries for our flashlight, it was important for the people of Jesus’ day to have a good supply of oil on hand for their lamps.

One day, Jesus told a story using oil lamps to teach his disciples how important it was for them to be prepared for the day when he would return. In Jesus’ story, a wedding was about to take place. The bride had ten bridesmaids and they were waiting for the bridegroom to come and take them to his house where the wedding would take place. Weddings in those days were almost always at night and the bridesmaids would light their lamps and lead the bride to the house of the bridegroom. Jesus said that while they were waiting for the bridegroom, the bridesmaids became tired and fell asleep.

Suddenly, everyone was awakened by someone shouting. “Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!” The bridesmaids jumped up and began to prepare their lamps. Five of the bridesmaids had not brought any extra oil, so they didn’t have enough oil to light their lamps. The other five had very wisely brought extra oil, so they were well-prepared and lit their lamps. The foolish ones asked to borrow some oil, but the wise ones were afraid there was not enough for them, so they told them to go buy some more oil. While they were gone, the bridegroom came and the five who were ready went with him to the wedding feast. When the foolish ones bought more oil and went to the groom’s house, it was too late. The door had already been closed locked. Jesus told his followers, “So you must be ready, because you don’t know when I will return.”

In this story, the bridegroom is Jesus and you and I are the bridesmaids. Do you think we are the wise ones or the foolish ones? Well, Jesus told us that he was going to come again, and that if we were wise, we would be ready for his return. What can we do to make sure we are ready? We can read his Word, do what it says, and put our trust in him. If we will do that, we will be ready. We will have oil in our lamp and our light will be shining brightly to show others the way to him.

Heavenly Father, we want to be ready when Jesus comes again. Help us to trust in him and follow his teachings. Amen.

Activities + Resources

 


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Practice What You Preach

Practice What You Preach

Theme:  Do what you tell others to do.

Scripture:  Matthew 23:1-12

 

Memory Verse: Brothers and sisters, you are loved by God.  We know that he has chosen you.  1 Thessalonians 1:4

 

Lead kids through a couple rounds of Simon Says. In Simon Says, the leader tells kids things to do but they have to listen closely. If you say, “Simon says,” then kids do the motion. If you don’t say, “Simon Says,” kids don’t do the motion.

After a few rounds of Simon Says, say: You guys did a great job playing Simon Says. Let’s play it the opposite way. You still need to listen to me say, “Simon Says” before you do a motion. But, in this Opposite Simon Says, you will do the opposite of what I say. If I say, “Simon says, ‘don’t touch your head,’ you will do the opposite and touch your head.” Let’s try this.

 Simon says, “don’t clap your hands.” (Kids should clap their hands because they’re doing the opposite thing.)

 Say these things for kids to do the opposite:

  • “Simon says, ‘Stand up.’ ” (Kids will sit.)
  • “Stand up.” (Kids should not move.)
  • “Simon says, ‘Sit down.’ ” (Kids will stand up.)
  • “Simon says, ‘Don’t pat your head.’ ” (Kids will pat their head.)
  • “Simon says, ‘Don’t stop patting your head.’ ” (Kids will stop.)
  • “Pat your stomach.” (Kids should not move.)
  • “Simon says, ‘Don’t practice what you preach.” (Kids will be confused.)

Have kids sit down.

Practice what you preach. What does that mean? (Pause.) I think it means that if you tell someone to do something, you need to do it, too. Practice what you preach means don’t do the opposite thing that you say. Instead do what you say others should do.

In our Bible lesson today, Jesus had something to say about “practicing what you preach.” Jesus was talking about the teachers of the law and the Pharisees in the synagogue where people went to worship. Jesus said that everything that they did was done so that others would see them and think how great they were. But they didn’t do what they told other people to do. In fact, they did the opposite! 

What did Jesus tell us to do about teachers like these? (Pause.) 

You might think Jesus would say, “Don’t listen to them! You don’t have to do what they say.” But He didn’t. Jesus said, “Obey these teachers and do everything they say. But do not do what they do, because they do not practice what they preach.” When it comes to living the Christian life, we need to make sure we do what we say.

Here’s a little poem that would be good to remember.

You can know a lot of Scripture
And have the gift to teach,
But what is more important —
Is to practice what you preach!

Dear God, help us be people who do what we say so that others can see the love of Jesus in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Activities + Resources

 


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Love God and Others

Theme:  Love God and Others

Memory Verse:  Brothers and sisters, you are loved by God.  We know that he has chosen you.  1 Thessalonians 1:4

Scripture for today’s lesson:  Matthew 22:34-46

I don’t know for sure, but I think there have probably been more songs written about love than about anything else in the world. Here’s a list of some of my favorites: “Love Makes the World Go Round,” “Love and Marriage,” and “When I Fall in Love.” 

Oh, I almost forgot one of the best love songs ever written. I’m sure all of you know this song! If you know it, sing along with me. But I also have a challenge for you: Everytime you hear the word “love” on this song, make a heart shape out of your hands. (Demonstrate making a heart shape with your hands.)

Here it goes:

Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
They are weak but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

What a wonderful song about Jesus’ love for us. In today’s Bible lesson, Jesus teaches another very important lesson about love. I want you to help me again. Every time you hear the word “love,” make a heart shape with your hands.

People were always amazed at the teachings of Jesus. One day a crowd was gathered around Jesus when a man who was an expert in religious law tried to trap Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?”

Jesus answered, “‘Love (pause) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,’ this is the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love  (pause) your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  In other words, Jesus was saying that if we could love  (pause) God and love  (pause) others, we would not have any trouble keeping the other 10 commandments.

Let’s ask God to help us to love (pause) as we ought.

Dear God, help us to love  (pause) You with all of our heart and to love  (pause) our neighbors as we love  (pause) ourselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Activities + Resources

 

 

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Moses and the Golden Calf

Memory Verse:  Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord Always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!

 

Worship God and Him alone.

Statues are fine unless they become something that we worship other than God. (Hold it up and kids freeze.) When we do that, the statue becomes an idol that replaces our God.

That is what our Bible lesson is about this morning. Moses was up on a mountain called Mt. Sanai. I am sure that you remember that God had told Moses to go up on the mountain so that God could give him the Ten Commandments for the people to follow.

Now Moses stayed up on the mountain longer than the people thought he should. (Hold it up and kids freeze.) They went to Aaron and said to him, “We want you to create gods who will go before us so that we will know what way to go. As for this fellow, Moses, who brought us out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings you are wearing and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took all the gold they had given to him and made it into an idol in the shape of a calf. (Hold it up and kids freeze.) The people were very happy with the idol that had been made for them.

When Aaron saw how happy the people were, he built an altar for the calf. He said, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord and you are to rise up early and make a sacrifice of burnt offerings before the calf.” (Hold it up and kids freeze.)

When God saw what the people were doing, He became very angry and told Moses that He was going to destroy the people because of their unfaithfulness. But Moses begged the Lord to remember the promise that He had made to Abraham, Isaac, and the children of Israel. Moses convinced the Lord and He changed His mind and did not do what He said He might do—He did not destroy them.

What can we learn from this? We sometimes put other things before God. It may not be an idol made of gold in the shape of a calf, but it may be things like money, friends, or sports. Anything we put ahead of our love for God becomes an idol and that is a big mistake.

Dear God, let us always remember that You created us and all we have. You must always have first place in our life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
 

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Reaching for the prize God has for us

Theme: Reaching for the prize God has for us

Memory Verse:  I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14

Have you ever run a race? When I was younger, I loved to run. I started out running short races, but as my love for running grew, I ran in some longer races. The longest race I ever ran was a marathon. Do you know how long a marathon is?

A marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards. Wow! That is a long race, isn’t it?

This is a medal I received for running a marathon. One day I showed some friends the medal I had received and one of them asked me, “Did you win the race?”

I answered, “Well, I wasn’t the first runner to finish the race, but everyone who finished the race was a winner and received a prize.” So, even though I didn’t come in first, I finished the race, and earning this medal is the greatest prize of my days as a runner.

In our Bible lesson today, the Apostle Paul writes a letter telling the people in the church at the town of Philippi about the joy of being a follower of Jesus. He told them that being a follower of Jesus is like running a race and winning the prize that God has for us.

Paul explained, “I don’t mean that I am exactly what God wants me to be. I haven’t reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach that goal and make it mine. That is what Jesus wants me to do. I have a long way to go, but there is one thing I do: I forget about what is past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal that God has for me.”

Do you know what the prize was that Paul was talking about? It is eternal life in heaven with Christ Jesus. That is the prize that Paul was looking forward to, and it is the prize that you and I look forward to as well.

Paul continued, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

As a follower of Jesus, you and I are running the same race that the Apostle Paul ran. When we finish the race, we will claim the same prize that Paul told the Philippians about—eternal life in heaven with Jesus Christ.

Dear Father, help us to run the race and claim the prize of eternal life in heaven with Jesus. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
 

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One Plus One Equals Three

One Plus One Equals Three

Theme: When we are gathered in Jesus’ name, He will be there with us.

Memory Verse: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 [NIV]

It is back to school time! All around the world, children have either already started back to school or they will very soon. As a teacher, I can tell you that one thing that is very important for a teacher is to find out what their students already know. That way, they will know where they should start in teaching them what they should know.

I was wondering if it would be a good idea for our Sunday School teachers to give a little quiz to find out how much their students know about the Bible? As an experiment, I made up a sample quiz to try out on you this morning. Are you ready? If you know the answer, raise your hand.

How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark with him? (allow time for answers) “None!” I thought the answer was two. Oh, that’s right, it was Noah that built the ark, not Moses.

Here is question number two. Are automobiles mentioned in the Bible? Let’s check our answer. “Yes, in Acts 2:1″ Let’s see what it says in Acts 2:1. . .”When the day of Pentecost was come, they were all in one accord.” Hey! I don’t think it is talking about a Honda Accord automobile there!

Those first two questions were trick questions, weren’t they? Well, I promise you that the next question is not a trick question. Here it is: According to the Bible, can one plus one ever equal three? Let’s check our answer. “Yes!” How can that be? The answer is in the Bible. Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Oh, I see, if two are gathered in Jesus’ name, Jesus is there with them — so one plus one equals three.

Look around this room. I’m not sure exactly how many people are here this morning, but whatever the number is, you can add One to it, because Jesus is here too.

Dear Jesus, we thank you for being here with us this morning as we gather together to worship in your name. Amen.

Activities + Resources

And a Reminder from Psalm 149 to Dance before the Lord!


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Moses and the Burning Bush

Moses and the Burning Bush

Theme: God speaks to us.

Memory Verse: Give thanks to the Lord.  Worship him.  Tell the nations what he has done. Exodus 3:1

Shoes come in all types and sizes. There are dress shoes like we might wear to church. There are athletic shoes like we wear when we play sports. There are sandals or flip-flops for summer. We have all kinds of shoes!

But why are we talking about shoes you might be wondering. Well, shoes protect our feet, but they can also serve another purpose.

People might take off their shoes to keep from tracking dirt inside. And in some places, people always take off their shoes and leave them at the door when they enter a house as a sign of respect. Respect means to show someone you think that person is important. And that reminds me of today’s Bible lesson.

God told a man named Moses to take off his shoes. To get ready to hear about what happened to Moses, let’s take off our shoes now. I think that’ll help us understand why God told Moses to take off his shoes.

God called Moses from a burning bush to get his attention and talk to him. God had an important job for Moses. He told Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. Let’s hear what happened.

At first, Moses was confused and wasn’t sure God could really be speaking to him. God wanted Moses to lead His people, but Moses wasn’t sure he was the right guy for the job. But God wanted to get Moses to pay attention.

Why did the burning bush get Moses to pay attention to God?

He gave Moses important instructions. Just like God spoke to Moses, God speaks to us, too.

God, thank You for giving us instructions. Thank You for speaking to Moses and for speaking to us. Help us remember to listen to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Baby Moses

Baby Moses by the River

Theme:  God’s care and protection

Scripture: Exodus 1:8-2:10

Memory Verse: “Our help comes from the Lord.  He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” Psalm 124:8

Good parents will do everything they can to keep their baby safe. Our Bible lesson today is about a little boy baby who was born in a very dangerous time. 

There was a new King in Egypt who saw that the Israelites were very strong, and they were growing in number. The King in Egypt was afraid that the Israelites were going to take over his country. So he issued a command to all of his people: “Take every newborn Hebrew boy and throw him into the Nile River, but let the girls live.”

During this time, a woman had a boy baby (Pause.). When she saw what a fine, handsome baby he was, she hid him for three months.

As the baby got older, she couldn’t hide him any longer, so she made a basket of tall grass and covered it all over with tar to make it watertight. Then she put the baby in the basket and hid it in the tall grass at the edge of the river. The baby’s sister stood some distance away to watch and see what would happen to him.

A little later, the king’s daughter came down to the river to bathe. Suddenly she noticed the basket in the tall grass. The princess looked in the basket and saw a baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

The baby’s sister asked her, “Shall I go and call a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?”

“Please do,” she answered. So the girl went and brought the baby’s own mother. The princess told the woman, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the mother took him home.

Later, when the child was old enough, the mother took the boy and gave him to the king’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The king’s daughter said to herself, “I pulled him out of the water, and so I name him Moses.”

What an amazing story of two mothers who loved their child and God’s protection and care. Moses grew to be one of the greatest leaders the people of Israel has ever known. And it all started with a little baby hidden in the tall bushes down by the river.

Dear God, just as the mother of Moses watched over her son and protected him, You love and care for Your children. We thank You for Your love and protection. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Activities + Resources

Psalm: 124.

This psalm of deliverance assumes that the reader knows the outcome of the Exodus story. Even children who know it do not recognize it here. Therefore, as you invite them to hear or read the psalm, tell them that it was written after God had rescued the Hebrews from the pharaoh.
Though the psalmist probably was thinking metaphorically about the floods of life, children make more sense of the psalm if the floods are presented as the waters that flooded the slave babies killed by the pharaoh. The psalm then praises God, who saves people in such situations.

Old Testament: Exodus 1:8-2:10.

We have been learning about Joseph these Hebrews are the great, great . . . great grandchildren of Joseph and his brothers. Children need little help with it.
 

Most church children are familiar with the story of the baby in the basket and enjoy hearing it read. They particularly relish the heroic role of Miriam, the child who was left standing by the river all day to watch the basket. She stuck with her boring task, was on duty and alert at the critical moment, did some quick thinking, and made a courageous move in speaking to the princess. God used her good work to save Moses. So little kids do count. God chooses children, as well as adults, to do important work.


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Joseph Forgives his Brothers

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

Theme: God wants us to forgive others.
Memory Verse: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together I peace! Psalm 133:1

Genesis 45:1-15 Story

God, thank You for forgiving us. Please help us remember Joseph and find the strength to forgive people who wrong us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Never Give Up

Theme: When facing life’s trials, don’t give up. Have faith in God
Memory Verse: Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment. Matthew 15:28 (NIV)

Have you ever heard of Fanny J. Crosby? Fanny was a hymn writer and poet who wrote over 8,000 hymns! A very short list of the most popular hymns written by Fanny would include such great hymns as “To God Be the Glory,” “I Am Thine, O Lord,” “Tell Me the Story of Jesus,” “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross,” and “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” You may be surprised to learn that Fanny was totally blind. She lost her sight when she was only six weeks old through the negligence of a doctor who was treating an inflammation in her eyes.

Because she was blind, I am sure that many times Fanny heard the words, “You can’t do this” or “You can’t do that.” One reason I feel sure she heard those words is that she once wrote a song entitled, “Never Give Up!” The words to the refrain of that song go like this:

Never give up, never give up,
Never give up to thy sorrows,
Jesus will bid them depart;
Trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord,
Sing when your trials are greatest,
Trust in the Lord and take heart.

Fanny never gave up! “Blindness,” she wrote, “can not keep the sunlight of hope from the trusting soul.” Fanny had great faith in God and put her trust in him to get her through the obstacles she faced in her life. She never gave up!

Our Bible lesson today tells about another woman who had great faith and refused to give up. The Bible doesn’t tell us her name, it simply calls her “a Canaanite woman.” That means that she was a Gentile and, as you know, Jesus and his disciples were Jews. The Jews would have very little to do with gentiles. The Canaanite woman met Jesus one day as he was traveling in the region of Tyre and Sidon. She came toward him crying out, “Have mercy on me, for my daughter is possessed by an evil spirit.”

Jesus did not reply to the woman and his disciples came to him complaining that she was bothering them and asked him to tell her to leave. Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

Jesus replied, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

The woman answered, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” At that very moment, her daughter was healed.

What if she had given up? What if her faith had not been so strong? The end of this story would be quite different, wouldn’t it? Let us follow the example set by Fanny Crosby and the Canaanite woman. Let’s “Keep the Faith” and “Never Give Up!”

Father, we place our faith and trust in you. When we face obstacles and trials in our daily life, help us to keep our faith in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
 

Activities + Resources


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When You Need a Helping Hand

Theme: Jesus walks on the water.

Memory Verse: Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31 (NIV)
 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you needed someone to give you a helping hand? Of course, there has! Can you name some? (Give them time to respond, then continue.) How about when you first began to try to tie your own shoes, did you need someone to help you? It was probably your mother, wasn’t it? She worked patiently with you until you were able to do it all by yourself. How about when you got your first bicycle, didn’t your dad run along beside you and hold you up? When you began to learn to read, did you just pick up a book and start reading? Of course not, someone—probably a teacher—helped you learn. Did any of you need any help learning how to play soccer? There are always going to be times when you need a helping hand—even when you are grown!

Today’s Bible lesson is about a time when the disciples of Jesus needed a helping hand — one disciple in particular whose name was Simon Peter.

It had been a long, hard day for Jesus and his disciples. After the disciples had helped Jesus feed more than five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two small fish, Jesus told them to get into their boat and go on ahead of him to the other side of the lake. Jesus then went up on a mountainside to be alone and to pray.

Later that evening, the disciples were quite far out onto the lake when the wind began to blow and the waves began to bounce their boat around on the water.

Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to the disciples, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they cried.

Jesus immediately spoke to them: “Don’t be afraid! Take courage. I am here!”

Peter spoke up, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus answered.

So, Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. But when he started looking around and saw the waves being blown about by the wind. He was afraid and he began to sink. “Lord, save me!” he cried.

Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. “Why did you doubt?” Jesus asked.

So, you see, even a grown-up fisherman like Simon Peter needed a hand from Jesus when it came to walking on the water. You and I may face some pretty rough times in our life, but as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, he will always be there to give us a hand.

Father, help us to remember that you are always there when we need a helping hand. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Activities + Resources


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David’s Prayers

Theme: God knows your heart

Memory Verse: Psalms 17:6 I call to you, God, and you answer me. Listen to me now, and hear what I say.
 

What is prayer? How many of you like to talk? I know quite a few of you are big talkers. Prayer is talking to God. It’s telling Him what’s going on, asking for help, thanking and praising him and seeking forgiveness. Prayer is also about listening to God. Sometimes we talk too much about what we want and fail to listen to what God is telling us. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Why do we pray? God already knows what is going to happen, He has already gone before us. But He wants us to talk to him because He wants a RELATIONSHIP with us. Think about your best friend. If you never talked with them, hung out with them or even looked at them, are they really your best friend? No. God wants to be our best friend. He wants us to talk with him and tell him our worries, our fears, and even funny things that happen to us. We can talk to God about everything!

Here’s what we know about prayer

  1. God wants us to know Him: He created us for a relationship with him. He wants to be our best friend
  2. 2. God really does answer prayer. God in his sovereignty chooses to use our prayers to accomplish his purposes, his will. So, God has ordained that certain things would happen in response to our prayer. Basically what we’re asking in prayer matters! This is so cool and should cause us to pray without ceasing or stopping!
  3. God loves us through prayer: We get to know God through prayer and He loves us through it. We feel closer to Him and that means we feel His love even greater.
  4. We love God through prayer: When we worship God through prayer, we tell Him we love him. We thank Him for everything He has done. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with the right words. We don’t always know what to say, but the Bible says the Holy Spirit speaks for us!

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” God wants it all!

But, if you need help finding a way to pray, use your own hand:
Thumb: Praise God
Pointer: Confess your sins- tell him how you’ve messed up and ask forgiveness
Middle: Thank God
Ring: Pray for others
Pinky: Pray for yourself
Palm: Close
 
Our Bible story today is about a man named David. You remember David, don’t you? David was a shepherd boy that God made to become a king. He also slew the giant Goliath with a sling shot. David loved God with all his heart, but he didn’t always do what God wanted him to do. Sometimes, David had heart trouble. Oh, it wasn’t the kind of heart trouble you could hear with a stethoscope, but David knew he had heart trouble. He knew that he had sinned and done wicked and evil things in God’s sight. So, what did David do about his heart problem? He went to the One that he knew could fix it — he went to God. David prayed to God and said, “O God, I have sinned against you and I have done evil things in your sight. Create in me a clean heart, and give me a right spirit.”

Sometimes you and I have heart problems too. We might have some things in our heart that shouldn’t be there. Things like bitterness, anger, jealousy, selfishness, pride, and greed. When we come to church, everything may look great on the outside, but God may look inside and see that our heart isn’t right. When we know that we have a heart problem, we need to do what David did. We need to pray to God and say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Do you have some things in your heart that shouldn’t be there? I do! Let’s ask God to fix it!

Dear Father, we know that you can see what is in our heart and we know that there are some things there that shouldn’t be there. Create a clean heart in us, O God. Amen.

Activities + Resources

 

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X marks the spot

X Marks the Spot

Theme: We find our treasure at the cross.
 
Memory Verse: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44 [NIV]
 

There was a time, when someone who had something of great value would often bury their treasure so that no one could find it and take it away. Of course, there was always the risk that one might forget where their treasure was buried, so to make sure that they would remember where it was, they would often make a map like this one. Usually they would mark the spot where the treasure was with an “X” like the one on this map. That is where we get the expression, “X marks the spot.”

Jesus once said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and then hid again; in his joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.” If you would like to find the treasure that Jesus was talking about, perhaps the Bible could be the map that leads us to that treasure. The Bible has a lotc of information in it, but it is sometimes hard for us to understand, so how do you know exactly where the treasure is? That’s easy, because “X marks the spot.” (Hold up the cross at an angle so that it looks like the letter x.) Jesus died on the cross so that you and I could enter into the kingdom of heaven. When you look to the cross and put your trust in Jesus, the treasure will be yours.

To enter the kingdom of heaven is the greatest treasure one could ever desire. It is more precious than silver, gold, or jewels. That is why Jesus calls us to give up all that we have and follow him.

Dear Jesus, nothing we have can compare to life in the kingdom of heaven. Help us to place our trust in you, so that we may find that priceless treasure. In your name we pray. Amen.

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