28 Nov Gospel For Tots Lesson 4 : How Can I Be Close To God?
How Can I Be Close To God?
- Know the importance of praying (through the story of Gideon)
- Knowing how to be close to God through personal prayers
Verse for the Teacher:
The Story of Gideon (Judges Chapter 6)
Verse for the Kids:
Psalms 66: 19-20
“God has surely listened. He has heard my prayer. He has not held back His love for me.”
6 tossing object (can be either beanbags, balls or regular objects that is not sharp or too hard), whiteboard markers, Blutack/ magnets, 2 toy phones (or any object to represent it), story of Gideon (powerpoint/ storybook/ video), class bible, flash card image on ear and praying hands, word cards “PRAY”, “IN” and “OUT”, Images of the 4 Praying Scenarios (flashcards/ powerpoint slides), picture cutout of boy/girl (10), colour pencils, coloured markers, crayons, glue, hole puncher, string, pencils.
- Divide the children into 2 rows, facing each other, from a distance. Every child should have a partner that is facing them on the opposite side.
- Give each child on row A a beanbag/tossing object. Get the children in row A to toss the object to their partner (they may fail as they are standing quite a distance from each other.
- Now get the two rows to move 3 steps closer to each other. Toss again.
- Repeat the activity again while getting the two rows closer and children will find that it is easier to toss and catch when their distance is shorter.
- Run through the tossing a few rounds until most/all of children are successful in catching the object.
- Explain to the children that this throwing is like our relationship with God, the further we are from God, the harder it is to catch His voice and His love. But the closer we are, it is easy for us to have a strong relationship with Him. Today, we are going to find out how to be close to God.
– You can move this activity outside the classroom.
– Have a starting line or place mat on the ground for each child so they stay in a position while
tossing the object (can use masking tape, string or rubber mats).
– If there is a child that does not have a partner, you may join in to play.
- Write the key question of the week on the board “How Can I Be Close To God?” and ask the children. Gather their responses.
- Get two volunteers to come up and role-play this “Friendship Scene”. Give each volunteer a toy phone (or any item that can represent a phone, eg. rectangle wooden block). Get child A to “call” child B. Get child B to answer the phone and the two start talking. During this time, narrate to the rest: “These two kids are great friends. They spend a lot of time playing, eating, talking to each other on the phone. They tell each other everything! Even their secrets and sadness. But one day, something happened.”
- Get both the children to put their phones in the pocket. Ask Child A to take out his/her phone and keep calling Child A while Child A does not answer. Narrate: “Child A would call Child B everyday, but Child B would not answer or say he/she is busy with other things. Soon, Child A stopped calling Child B and they are not close anymore.” Get the two children to move to opposite ends of the room.
- Ask the children: “Is it a sad thing? That because they talk lesser to each other, they stopped being so close and happy like before?” Explain that this is just like our relationship with God. Sometimes, God keeps wanting to talk to us but we are too busy doing other things, we ignore Him and as time goes by, we feel like we do not hear Him anymore.
- Ask the children:
– Do you want to answer God’s call if He calls you now?
– How can you talk to God? Is there a special phone to use? Do you shout to the sky and hope He hears you?
- Tell children that there is a special way to talk to God and it is through PRAYERS.
- Tell the story of Gideon to the children: Gideon was doubtful when God wanted to send him to fight the powerful Midianites. So he prayed and asked God twice to show him signs that He will be with him. Both times, God revealed the signs to him but God listens to our prayers. So Gideon continued to listen to God through prayers and did what God told him to. In the end, the Israelites won the battle against the Midianites with only 300 men!
You may use Powerpoint Slides, storybook or video to engage the children with visual examples.
- After the story, recap the storyline with the children by asking some questions:
– What did God ask Gideon to do?
– Did Gideon say “Okay I will do it” or “Hmm, I am not so sure”?
– How many times did Gideon ask God to show him signs?
– Did God hear Gideon’s prayer when he asked for the signs?
– How do you know?
– Did Gideon listen to God’s instructions to battle the enemy?
– How did they win the battle with just 300 men?
Emphasize that this story talks a lot about praying and God answering to it. When we pray, God will listen and help us through just like He helped Gideon.
- Get one volunteer to bring the class bible to you. Go through the Verse Of The Week with the children by flashing the verse on the board, Psalms 66: 19-20 – “God has surely listened. He has heard my prayer. He has not held back His love for me.” Display the image of an ear (to represent God’s listening) and praying hands (to represent the children’s prayers). Get the children to read after you.
- Flash the word card PRAY. Explain to the children that praying includes two things, IN and OUT (flash the two word cards on the board).
– IN is when we listen to God’s love messages through the bible, then put His word and promise in through our ears, eyes and into our heart. Keeping in mind that we trust and have faith of His love in our lives.
– OUT is when have known the word of God, we pray out to Him with His truth in our hearts. When we pray with a heart that believes God’s words, we do not just follow our feelings (eg. sad or angry), our prayers give us power and God will teach us where to go! Whether it is happy, sad or angry things, bring out everything to God in prayers.
- Praying Scenario: Give some examples of children who have different situations (try to dramatise the scenarios with the kids) and how they can pray differently. (You may also ask the children how they can pray before giving them answers)
– Scenario 1: Lily’s mother and father scolded her badly and said she is “always” a naughty girl. She is very hurt and very sad.
(Possible Prayer: God gave me my mommy and daddy to teach me right from wrong, so there must be a reason why I made them so angry. God loves me no matter what I have done. Thank God for His love!)
– Scenario 2: Paul got into a fight with his younger sister who always snatch his things. But mom scolded Paul instead. Paul is very angry with his sister and mother.
(Possible Prayer: God made me the older brother because He trust that I can take care of my sister. Mom scolded me because she does not know what really happened but God did and God will console me. I will explain to mom later and I forgive my sister because she is younger and does not know right from wrong. God, give me more love in my heart to help her.”)
– Scenario 3: Sally got really good results from her spelling test at school just like she always does. She thinks she has done well and is really smart!
(Possible Prayer: Thank God for my good results at spelling. It is God who gave me a smart mind and everything I have in my life. So I should not be proud but thank God for His blessings on me! And maybe, I should use my blessings to help others who may be weak in their spelling!)
– Scenario 4: Joon Wee always sees his friends having the newest toys but his parents refuse to buy him any. Joon Wee feels that it is so unfair!
(Possible Prayer: God sometimes does not give me what I want because maybe it is not good for me or I do not really need it. If I have all these things, maybe I would not be able to do my homework, I will want even more things, I will waste mommy daddy’s money and I will not feel like praying anymore. God has a good reason for this.)
You may use Powerpoint Slides or picture cards to engage the children with visual examples.
- Affirmation time! Ask the children some questions:
– So children, why must we be close to God?
– How can we be close to God?
– Whose story did we listen to today?
– What are the two things in praying? (putting God’s promises IN our hearts and bringing OUT everything to God in prayers)
- Do a closing prayer with the children:
– Thank God always wanting to have a relationship with us.
– Thank God for giving us a way to be close with you- prayers.
– Pray that we will have a stronger relationship with you, day by day, through praying.
Help us to enjoy praying to you in all different situations.
“My Praying Hands” Wall Hanging activity:
- Give out a cutout image of a boy/girl with spread out arms on card stock paper to each child.
- Provide colour pencils/coloured markers/crayons for them to colour their picture.
- Once done, paste the spread out hands together to form “praying hands”.
- Punch a hole at the top and tie a string through so children can hang it up to remind themselves each day.
- Get the children to write their names at the back of the art piece.
Take Home Sheet
This Week’s Sunday School…
How Can I Be Close To God?
We learnt that:
- Prayer is like a phone call where I can talk to God, anytime anywhere.
- God always listens when I pray to Him.
Take Home Questions for the Kids:
- Why must we be close to God?
(Answer: So that we can hear His voice and feel His love in our lives.)
- How can I be close to God?
(Answer: By talking to Him in prayers everyday!)
- Who asked God to show him signs when he prayed?
- When can I pray?
(Answer: Anytime of the day and anywhere you are!)
Quote of the Week:
God has surely listened and He has heard my prayer.
He has not held back His love for me.
Psalms 66: 19-20