Gideon Talks to God
(Have a child hold up the Story Wheel to show Gideon.)
Gideon was used by God to protect the Israelites from their enemies. One day Gideon saw a visitor from heaven. Who do you think that was? (an angel) An angel from the Lord. Gideon felt very small and afraid. He knew God was so powerful that he would die instantly if he saw God face to face. Gideon figured that seeing the angel of the Lord was the same as seeing God face to face. Gideon told God that he was afraid. How did God answer Gideon? (Have a good reader read Judges 6:23.) That's right. God told him not to be afraid. When you are afraid of something, that is a time to talk to God in prayer. What are some things that might make you or your friends afraid? (Pause for responses and have students write suggestions on the board under the heading FEAR.) (thunderstorms, power blackouts, strange dogs, parents losing their jobs, stranger stopping his car nearby, moving, going to a new school, etc.) Which of those things can you bring to God in prayer? (all of them)
David Talks to God
(Have a child move the Story Wheel to David.)
David also talked to God. (Have a child read II Samuel 7:18-21) David talked to God, thanking Him for choosing David to be a king over the Israelites. David had not asked to be king. God was good to David and gave him this honor. David rejoiced that God would choose him. He thanked God for the blessing He gave David. He also thanked God for letting him know that his throne would never pass away—that there would always be a king on his throne. He thanked God for future blessings. We can thank God in prayer, too. What are some things for which we can thank God? (Pause for responses and have students write suggestions on the board under the heading THANKS.) (salvation, sending Jesus, parents, protection, life, our world, food, friends, etc.)
A Servant Asks for Abraham
(Have a child move the Story Wheel to Abraham's Servant.)
Abraham sent a servant to get a wife for his son, Isaac. The servant went where Abraham told him to go. He wanted to do the right thing and find a good wife for Isaac. He asked God to help Isaac get a good wife by guiding the servant to the right girl. (Have a child read Genesis 24:12-14.) God answered his prayer by leading him to Rebekah. We can ask God for things others need, as well as for things we need. What are some things we can ask God for other people? (Pause for responses and have students write suggestions on the board under the heading ASK FOR OTHERS.) (Ask God to help: friends who are sick or very sad, missionaries who serve Him, our enemies come to know Jesus, people who have lost jobs, others who are in need, etc.)
(Have a child move the Story Wheel to Hannah.)
Hannah was unhappy. She couldn't have children. Hannah wanted a baby of her own, so she prayed and asked God to give her a baby. (Have a child read I Samuel 1:10-11.) When she was praying, Hannah was so sad that she cried and cried. God answered her prayer. Hannah had a son. Do you know his name? (Samuel) She named him Samuel. What a special answer to prayer he was!
When we make our requests to God, we can ask Him for things we might need or want, like Hannah's prayer for a baby. But our prayers don't always have to be asking for things. Abraham's servant asked God to tell him what to do. He needed God's guidance. Maybe you are mad at a friend and you want God to heal your relationship. What are some other things you might ask of God for yourself? (Pause for responses and have students write suggestions on the board under the heading YOURSELF.) (Ask God that mom or dad will find a new job after being laid off, that your family members will come to know Jesus, that you will have courage to tell your friends about Jesus, that you won't be tempted to gossip, that you will not talk back to your parents, etc.)
Today we talked about how four people in the Bible prayed. I'm glad we can talk to God, just as Abraham's servant, Gideon, Hannah, and David did. (If you wish, ask your students for prayer requests before beginning the prayer time. Then ask for volunteers to pray specifically for each request mentioned. For example, if Alex mentions his mom is sick, ask Jacob to pray for her. Students without specific requests can pray for or give thanks for anything they wish.)
Let's take some time to pray together right now. Think of one thing you want to pray about. Then we'll go around the group, and those who want to do so may say a sentence of prayer to God. Would someone like to open (or close) our prayer time? If you want to pray silently, just say "Amen" when you're done so the person next to you knows it's his or her turn. Let's bow our heads and talk to God in prayer.
(After the prayer time, encourage your students to take time throughout each day to pray. Explain that God loves to hear our thanks and praises as well as our prayer requests.)
(Click on the image above to download the Story Wheel)