Memory Verse: “First, I urge that you pray for everyone.”
Items for Preparation:
- Maybe your church has a “prayer list” or includes a blank space on any of the bulletins, newsletters or pew-back documents, in which prayer concerns can be written. One of these would be a great item to display. Alternatively you can make a prayer list to hand out by having a half sheet of paper for each kid, headed with the words “Prayer List.”
Background: Read the adult lesson in the print edition of Nurturing Faith journal and additional material online. We’ll conclude last week’s lesson today by answering the question we asked then – what do you do when you feel the realization of sin, and feel regret, and feel that old desire to have relief, the desire to ask forgiveness? Kids can understand how this feels, and we can use the prayer list to show how Paul is teaching us to find that relief, for ourselves and for one another.
[Hand out a prayer sheet for each child, or display your church’s prayer list or bulletin insert for them to see, and point out what it is and why it’s there briefly.]
Say: Remember last week, we were sitting here feeling gloomy, sad, low and bad because we were thinking of the times we have sinned, or caused harm to somebody. It feels lousy, doesn’t it! I bet you have said a prayer this week because, when we are feeling that terrible feeling, we need relief. We need to feel better. We feel sorry for what we’ve done! We need help. And this is why we pray.
Say: Paul wrote to his friend Timothy this very thing – that we say prayers when we need to feel God is close to us. We say prayers and know that God can hear us praying. And especially when we are feeling terrible, we say prayers to ask for relief. We ask to feel better. I don’t know how God makes us feel better, but God does.
Say: The word we use for this is “forgiveness.” It was just about the most important thing Jesus taught his friends. Jesus, and Paul, the greatest Jesus-follower, and Timothy, the preacher in Ephesus, all knew that God wants to forgive us when we sin. All we have to do is pray, and ask God to forgive.
Say: This is why we pray for ourselves, and for each other, and for the whole world. We keep a list of people we pray for. Let’s keep a prayer list this week. We can put our own names on it. We can pray every day that God will forgive us, help us feel better, and that other people will be forgiven and feel better, too.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>O forgiving God,
We call to you and ask you
To comfort and forgive us.
Let us feel new and strong again,
To be Jesus-followers like Paul,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.