Free Kids Sunday School Lesson: Prayer is Conversation with God
Learning Objective : Students will understand that prayer is a form of communication; a conversation with God that includes both listening and speaking. Students will know that Jesus taught us to pray daily.
Age group and context: students from k-4 are targeted in this lesson. The context is a Sunday School room, although the environment is flexible.
Items needed : Bibles (a children’s version is preferable); communications props like a toy telephone, a book, a handwritten letter, a bulletin board with announcements on it, a newspaper – use your imagination; prayer cube craft (see below); American Sign Language alphabet print-out
(see http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/cedir/kidsweb/amachart.html ); The Lord’s Prayer printed on card stock, one for each student: crayons, scotch tape. Set up a table (station 1) with communications items: phone, newspaper, a letter, bulletin board, and the sign language paper last. Set up a second table to do the prayer cube activity/craft with a seat for each child and a photocopied piece of paper or card stock (white or light colors) with the prayer cube on it.
Bible verses studied in this lesson : Matthew 6: 9-13; Ephesians 3: 12-21; Psalm 19:1-4.
Lesson Procedure :
Begin the lesson with a prayer: “Lord, help us to learn today what prayer is, and help us to remember we can talk to You any time. Amen.”
Gather the students around the communication station (about 15 minutes). Ask them how often they talk to someone each day. Do they talk on the phone? Do they text? Do they ever see people sending emails or texts to each other? Ask about how each item represents a form of communication. Be sure to note the difference between conveying words to others and listening to others. Can we talk on the phone? (Yes.) Can we talk to the newspaper? (No.) But the newspaper can tell us things, can’t it? (Yes.) Allow time for reflection and response with each object. Finally, show the class the paper that illustrates the sign language alphabet. Can people talk to each other with their hands? Do you hear the words? (No, you see them.) Read Psalm 19:1-4. Discuss how God is talking to us without words via the creation around us. What do you think God is trying to tell you in the skies, the earth and the beauty of creation?
Move to a different location, maybe in a circle in the middle of the room (about 10 minutes). Read Matthew 6: 9-13 from a children’s Bible. Ask the kids why they think Jesus taught his followers to pray. How often does Jesus want us to pray? (Daily, as inferred from “daily bread”.) When do you or your family pray? Allow for answers. Many will tell you they say grace before meals, or pray before they go to bed. Ask them what kinds of things they say to God at those times, and then ask them if they listen to God as well. Remind them that not all our listening involves the spoken word (sign language, Psalm 19 as examples). Sometimes we listen to a message by reading it. Sometimes we listen to our conscience telling us what’s right and what’s wrong. That can be a way for the Holy Spirit to communicate with us. Go through the elements of the Lord’s Prayer and explain each one, allowing for questions and comments: God’s name is holy, so we respect it. We ask for God’s kingdom to be here with us on earth. We ask for our daily bread – food for our bodies, as well as knowledge of God’s word so we can be closer to God. We ask to be able to resist temptation and not in the same place as evil, and we praise God for his power and glory. Ask the kids if they were to write a short prayer like this, what would be in the prayer?
Last 15 minutes: Go to the craft/activity table. Have each student sit down in a chair, and make sure everyone has a Prayer Cube craft. You can find a printable prayer cube here:
If the kids want to color the sides of the cube with crayons, it’s a good idea to do that before cutting the shape out. Cut the shape out, fold on tabs and lines, assemble and tape. Tell them to try a different prayer every day at meal times. Conclude the lesson with prayer; try a circle prayer where every child offers a sentence of thanks and praise.