Family Sunday School Devotional for July 19
“Jesus Taught about Prayer” from Luke 11; 18
For younger kids, listen to- “Read Your Bible, Pray Everyday” from Deborah Kim here:
For all kids, listen to- “The Lord’s Prayer” from Jami Smith here:
and- “Sweet Hour of Prayer” by William Walford here:
Supplies Needed- none needed
Summary- Jesus taught people how to pray.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Play Out Day and Night Ask children what they do when they wake up in the morning and invite them to play it out. Pretend to brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, and so forth. Continue with other segments of the day, finishing with bedtime routines. Pretend to go to sleep, then wake up children by knocking on a door or table. Say, “Have we ever had a friend come to visit in the middle of the night? That would be strange. Nighttime is for sleeping! People don’t usually wake up their friends in the middle of the night unless they really need help. But a good friend is willing to help, even at night. Jesus taught that we can ask God for help in that way. He is always willing to help us! Listen to today’s Bible story to find out more.”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- God Gives Good Gifts Select a family member to start the game by saying a word that begins with the letter “G”. The next person will then say a different word starting with the letter “G”. Continue to play until each person has had a turn or two. For added challenge, have each person say all of the preceding “G” words before adding their own. Say, “You all did a wonderful job coming up with G-words. Here are some other words that start with “G”: God gives good gifts. Today we will be learning about prayer. We will learn that God loves to answer our prayers and that God gives good gifts. Can you think of some of the good gifts God has given you?”
Big Picture Question- Say, “We’ve been learning about Jesus as a teacher. Jesus spent a lot of His ministry teaching people. Our Big Picture Question asks: What did Jesus teach when He was on earth? The answer to our question is: Jesus taught about God and His kingdom. He taught that all Scripture is about Him. Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life, die on a cross for our sins, and rise again to defeat death. He also came to show us a perfect example of who God is. His teaching helps us know much more about God and what God’s plans are for the world. Jesus helped explain how all Scripture points to Him.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “Two weeks ago, we learned about the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus taught people how to live in God’s kingdom. We learned that the attitude in your heart is just as important as the behavior you show on the outside. Last week, we learned that following Jesus is not easy, but He is worth it. Jesus taught people that to follow Him, they might have to give up everything and would have to put Him first- even over their families or their own lives! Open a Bible to Luke 11:1-13 and 18:1-8. Say, “The Bible is God’s word to us, but it also tells us how to talk to God! Today’s true Bible story is from the Book of Luke in the New Testament part of the Bible. All the stories in the Bible fit together to tell an even bigger story. The Bible tells us the big story of how God rescues sinners through His Son Jesus.” Read or tell the story in your own words from these passages (this story is not included in the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook).
Christ Connection- Say, “Jesus taught us to pray. Because of Jesus, we can pray to God as a Father and ask for what we need. We can trust that God is good and loving, and we can count on Him to do what is right.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to John 14:25-26. Read the verses aloud. Say, “Jesus taught all kinds of wonderful things about God, God’s kingdom, and the Scriptures. It was more than any of us could remember or obey on our own. This key passage reminds us that everyone who believes in Jesus has the Holy Spirit living within. He helps us remember what Jesus taught so we can obey out of love.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- *PreK- What did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them? (how to pray)
- *PreK- Can we call God our Father? (yes)
- *PreK- Is it okay to ask God for what we need? (yes)
- *PreK- Will God ignore us or give bad gifts? (No, He will always do what is right.)
- Why did Jesus say the friend would help his neighbor even late at night? (his neighbor asked boldly, Luke 11:8)
- What did Jesus say a father would not give his son? (a snake, a scorpion, Luke 11:11-12)
- Why did the unjust judge do the right thing for the widow? (she kept asking, Luke 18:4-5)
- How do these parables encourage us to pray? (Guide kids to see that in each case, the person being asked was a sinner and still did the right thing. Jesus wanted people to see that because God is much greater than people, He can be trusted to hear our prayers and respond in the perfect way.)
- Can you think of a time you prayed for something specific? What happened? (Guide kids to provide specific examples from their lives. Do not allow any shaming for asking for something that may seem silly or unimportant. Encourage kids to discuss honestly if they got the answer they wanted and how they knew.)
- What are some things you are praying about now? (Encourage kids to share their requests with the whole family. Take a moment to write them down and pray together for these things. Challenge family members to pray for one another’s requests throughout the week.)
- What did Jesus teach when He was on earth? (Jesus taught about God and His kingdom. He taught that all Scripture is about Him.)
Say, “Jesus taught people how to pray. Jesus wanted people to understand that God loves His children. He enjoys giving us the good things we need. We can pray in faith, knowing God always answers.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- Will God always give us what we ask for when we pray? (Lead kids to recognize that the Bible says God gives us what we ask for when we ask according to His will, or His plan. Sometimes God does not give us what we ask for because we ask for wrong things or for wrong reasons, or because He has a better plan for us. We can trust that God is good and loving, and we can count on Him to do what is right. Read 1 John 5:14)
- Why do we pray? (Remind kids that prayer is how we talk to God. We can praise Him, confess our sins, thank Him, and ask for help. Prayer shows our dependence on God and our trust in Him. Read Hebrews 4:16)
- What can you do when you aren’t sure what to pray? (Encourage kids to think of prayer like having a conversation with a friend at the lunch table. We can share our feelings and our thoughts. God knows our hearts and is happy to hear from us. Our prayers don’t need to be long or eloquent. Remind kids that the Holy Spirit helps us when we pray. Read Psalm 34:17)
Reflection- Ask older children to answer one of the following questions:
- What does this story teach me about God or the Gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Whom can I tell about this story?
Closing Younger Kid Activity- Sing a Song Sing the following lyrics to the tune of “Mulberry Bush”: (verse 1) Ask and it will be given to you. Given to you, given to you. Ask and it will be given to you. God will answer your prayers! (verse 2) Seek after God and you will find. You will find, you will find. Seek after God and you will find God will answer your prayers! (verse 3) Knock and the door will be opened to you. Opened to you, opened to you. Knock and the door will be opened to you. God will answer your prayers! Say, “Jesus said, ‘Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.’ Jesus taught people how to pray. Because of Jesus, we can pray and ask God for everything we need. God is good and loving, and we can trust Him to care for us and to do what is right.”
Closing Older Kid Activity- Pray Jesus’ Way Read through the Lord’s example of prayer from Luke 11:2-4 again. Assign a category of prayer to each member of the family: Praise God for who He is (hallowed by your name), pray for His will to be done (your kingdom come), ask for daily needs (daily bread), confess and ask for forgiveness of sins because Jesus died for those sins, ask for help forgiving others when they sin against us because God has forgiven us, and ask the Holy Spirit to keep us from sinning against Him (lead us not into temptation). Give a few minutes to think of something for each category to pray and then take turns praying aloud together through this model of prayer.
Pray- Thank God for teaching us to pray. Thank Him for being a good Father to whom we can go with every trouble, praise, and need.
Adult Sunday School Devotional for July 19
“Jesus Teaches about Prayer” from Luke 11; 18
Listen to- “Teach Me to Pray” by Albert Simpson Reitz here:
and- “I Will Wait for You (Psalm 130)” by Shane & Shane here:
Summary- Jesus taught His disciples to pray with faith, persistence, ad dependence on God.
Christ Connection- Jesus taught us to pray with dependence on God, recognizing our physical and spiritual needs that only He can supply; with faith in God, knowing He is our good and loving Father; and with persistence to God, remembering He is just. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we have access to the Father so that we can pray in faith.
Point 1. Pray with dependence on God (read aloud Luke 11:1-4).
Note- Jesus tells us to acknowledge the glory of God. Just like our bodies need His craftsmanship to sustain us, our prayers require His glory to be effective: Before we ask God for a single thing, we need to be aware that He is already the giver of everything, His kingdom is coming, and His will will be done (Matthew 6:10). We also are to acknowledge God’s holiness. When we come before Him, we are coming before the One who is high above us, whose guiding hand has crafted the world we live in since the dawn of time. The purposes of God’s kingdom, the outworking of God’s glory and holiness, remain sure whether we pray for them or not. Praying this way serves as a reminder for us. We pause to remember that God has a purpose for His creation and that we are part of His master plan. We pause to remind ourselves to be submissive to whatever part He has given us. We pause to remind ourselves that God is sovereign (Psalm 115:3). We pause to orient ourselves around God and to remind ourselves that our prayers are an instrument in His hand for the glory of His kingdom, not ours.
Respond- Why should God’s glory and holiness matter for our prayers?
Note- Jesus’ model prayer teaches us that God is concerned with both our physical needs and our spiritual needs through three simple requests- for bread, for forgiveness, and for protection. When we pray to God, we can know that He takes great interest in our physical needs (Matthew 6:19-34). Our deepest need is forgiveness of the sin that separates the unbeliever from God and impedes the believers’ fellowship with the Father in heaven. Furthermore, we should pray that we would grow more and more like our forgiving God as we forgive the sins of others. Jesus told us we should pray to God that He would protect us from temptation and keep us from falling into sin and away from the faith. For our forgiveness, we are dependent upon God, that He graciously accepts Jesus’ sacrifice in place of our deserved punishment. For our striving for holiness, we are equally dependent upon God, that He would keep us from temptation, provide us with an escape from temptation, and strengthen us and guide us by His Holy Spirit to avail ourselves of His help. Jesus here captures our physical and spiritual needs and reminds us to rely on the God who sustains us in all of them. God cares intimately for each one of us in every miniscule aspect of our daily lives, both the physical and spiritual, so of course we can depend on Him.
Point 2. Pray with faith in God (read aloud Luke 11:9-13).
Note- We live in a time when Christians must be wary of “name it and claim it” preachers, and for good reason. These false teachers proclaim that anything we ask for in prayer will be given to us, thus treating prayer like a magic trick and God like a genie. Just because God might say “no” to even our most earnest prayers does not mean that we shouldn’t ask. We ask boldly because He delights to show us His will through our prayers. He will always give an answer, even if it’s not the answer we want to hear. When we shrink back from going before the throne of God in prayer, we rob ourselves of participating in God’s glorious plan of providing for us and beholding His glorious provision.
Respond- How has God answered your prayers, whether in ways you asked or in ways even better than you imagined?
Point 3. Pray with persistence to God (read aloud Luke 18:1-8).
Note- The Bible is full of instructions to care for the widow and the orphan, the unprotected and undervalued members of society (see Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29; James 1:27). Clearly God cares about the poor and is concerned about temporal-societal justice (see Amos 5:24; Isaiah 1), and He expected His judges to care for these things too (see Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 27:19). This judge, however, ignored his duty to protect the widow against her adversary. He admitted to himself that he didn’t fear God and he didn’t respect people. He didn’t care about justice but gave justice only because he was pestered into it. God is not waiting to be convinced to help us. He is the Lord, our just Judge, and He cares about His children. Our persistence in prayer, then, is not something that controls the outcome- God is already poised to help. Rather, our persistence continually puts our hearts in a posture of prayerful waiting. It helps us to continually sit at the throne of grace, ready for the God who will act when it is time.
Respond- Why should Christians be concerned with justice in the world?
Conclusion- When it comes to undoing our wrong assumptions about prayer, the best thing we can possibly do is read Jesus’ words on the matter. He is living proof that we have a Father who cares for us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. He is proof that even the answer to God’s beloved Son while He was on earth could be a loving “no” (see Matthew 26:39-46). He is proof that the persistent cries of God’s people throughout millennia were not in vain because He is the Promised One. Let Jesus teach you how to pray.
Apply- Because we have access to the Father through Christ, we pray earnestly for the salvation of those around us as we share the Gospel with them.
-What are some ways you need to pray for forgiveness of your sins, knowing the Father stands ready to forgive because of Jesus?
-How might your family be praying for your community with persistence and faith?
-Who will you be praying for to hear and believe the Gospel?
(Pray that the Lord’s name would be honored on earth as it is in heaven as we see His kingdom come to pass in the ministry of Jesus and the mission of His Church. Ask for help seeing more clearly His generous heart toward us so that we might more earnestly ask, seek, and knock. Give thanks for the good gift of the Holy Spirit who works in our hearts to pray earnestly that those around us might come to experience salvation in Christ.)