Breath Prayer: From "Beautiful Name"
Breath in: You brought heaven
Breath out: Down to my heart
Song Themes: Glorifying God and lifting up His name
Remember one another
Is anyone celebrating something that happened this week? Let’s share so we can all thank God together.
Is anyone struggling, feeling sad, lonely or scared? How can we pray for one another?
Remember what we learned last week
Practice the Following Jesus Liturgy (With our youngest kids only focus on the portion that we’re currently learning)
Who are we together?
We are the Church, a prayerful family on mission!
Reflect: A New Way to See
Set the stage with Key Concepts and Questions
God promised Abraham that he would make a family come from him that was more numerous than the stars!
When God says something, it's as good as done. When God makes a promise, we can count on it. God will do as he promises.
God fulfilled His promise to Abraham and Sarah by giving Him Isaac, and Isaac's children, and Isaac's grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so-on and so-on. And one of those great great great grandchildren was Jesus.
Now that Jesus has brought us into His family we are all children of Abraham! God is fulfilling His promise. The Church, God's family (and Abraham's family) is and will be, more numerous than the stars.
Read or Watch: "A New Way to See"
Discover through curious questions:
Ask the children what stood out to them. What did they like about the story? Was anything new or different than how they’d heard the story in the past? Allow the conversation to be led by their questions, insights, and wonderments.
Have you ever looked up at the sky and seen lots and lots of stars? How many do you think there are? How could God give someone so many children? Through generations!
What is a generation? How does the Church get passed on from generation to generation? How does the church grow to be as big as God promised?
Experience: The Global Church and Praying for the Persecuted
Print the Map(s)
With instructions for color-coding - https://www.naturalhistoryonthenet.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/World-Map-Worksheets-4th-Grade.pdf
Pass out the maps to the children and have them color the continents. Older kids can label oceans, continents, and countries.
Invite the kids to tell you what they know about different places around the world. Have them identify where they live and where any friends/family around the world live.
Initiate a conversation about the Church around the globe. Where you do think Christians, God's Church live? Do they live here (Africa, Asia, Europe, etc)? Some places are friendly to Christians and some are not. Do you remember the story of Daniel? Daniel was living in a time when most people did not worship the One True God. He was punished for praying to the Lord. Did you know there are still people living like Daniel lives, being punished for their worship?
Let's learn about the people and places where people are punished, or persecuted, for their faith. Let's pray for them to be protected like Daniel was in the Lion's Den.
Use your own knowledge or refer to the watchlist posted by Open Doors to teach the kids about the persecuted Church and how to pray for our brothers and sisters abroad.
Refer to the map and help the kids to see where these countries are and where the persecuted Church exists https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/world-watch-list/
Greatest persecution of Christians takes place in North Korea, Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan
Ask questions and answer questions to the best of your knowledge. Model curiosity, empathy, faith, hope, and love.
Encounter: Pray for the Persecuted Church
Read Matthew 5:10: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We know that God has not forsaken those who are suffering for their faith. He is with them and He can deliver them from evil. We pray for them to continue to be bold and courageous to follow Him.
Tell the kids that we are going to quiet our bodies and minds in order to pray. Invite the kids to pray the things that are on their hearts, their fears, concerns, or hopes for the family of God.
Watch the story of Daniel and be inspired to pray for the family of God who is punished for following Jesus.