children are invited to the front for the teaching activity. The leader
uses questions to draw out their knowledge of Lent. As well as
giving up something at Lent, we can also use Lent as a time to take on
something, or to enhance an aspect of our Christian lives. This Lent, we
can all try to make more time to pray.
- Prayer is
about talking to God. But we can't see Him. The children are
invited to take various props out of a bag, to explore how we can talk to
people when we can't see them.
we can just talk to God, either out loud or in our minds, because
although we can't see Him, He is always with us. What should we
say? Jesus said we should start by calling Him "Our Father". What sort of
things do we say to our parents here on Earth? The leader explores the
content of prayer using the children's suggestions as well as prompt
- An adult
to lead the discussion.
- All of
the children can be involved in taking the props out of the bag or box,
joining in the discussion and holding up the prompt cards.
- A bag or
box of items that we can use for communicating with people when we can't
see them: e.g. pen & paper, mobile 'phone (talking or texts), walkie
talkies, laptop or Blackberry-type device (to represent email), a torch
(to represent Morse code).
cards: sheets of A4 on which, in big letters, are written words like
Please, Thank You, Sorry, It's Not Fair!, I Love You, Grrrrrrrr!, I
Feel Sad and Help!
- It's fun
to have an adult primed to ring the mobile 'phone just as a child takes
it out of the bag, and another to speak into one walkie talkie just as
another comes out of the bag. (Or someone could make them
ring/speak while they're still in the bag.)
- Lent is
the period from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, which commemorates the 40
days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, resisting temptation and
preparing for His ministry on earth. During Lent we follow Jesus'
example by preparing ourselves for Easter. This might involve giving up
something that we'll really miss, as an act of penance (a voluntary
expression of repentance for our sins). Or it might involve focusing on
one of the things that tempts us, and using the time to break that bad
habit. Or it might involve taking up something that will bring us closer
to God: daily Bible reading, prayer, and so on. However we prepare for
Christ's sacrifice and victory at Easter, we can be confident that God
will help us as we try to grow closer to Him.
- Prayer is
a conversation with God. The Bible includes examples of all sorts
of prayers: asking God for His help, expressing fears and anger to Him,
saying sorry, thanking Him for His gifts, praising and worshipping His
greatness . . . Nowhere does it pretend that praying is like rubbing a
magic lamp: God doesn't offer to grant wishes and nor does He leave us to
clear up the consequences of receiving what we asked for rather than what
we really needed. Prayer is a conversation with a Person who loves us,
created us and is 100% trustworthy. We can take every aspect of our lives
and feelings to Him, as well as our doubts and questions. Jesus promised
that He would always answer when we pray in faith.