Praying aloud is a challenge for many adults as well as children. This Bible lesson will help kids overcome their reluctance and voice their requests to God. Don’t miss the other lessons in this series, “Tough Questions Kids Ask.”
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: For students to learn how to pray out loud through given methods and scriptural examples.
MAIN IDEA: We learn to pray out loud by practicing, studying scripture, and following the Spirit’s guidance.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Matthew 6:9-15 & 6:5-8, Jonah 2:1-10, Psalm 51:1-8, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 1:11-12
MATERIAL(S): cardboard or wooden trinket boxes, decorative craft supplies
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, today we will learn how to become more confident when we pray out loud. Please fill us with your peace and direction as we learn to lead others in prayer. Amen.”
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW:
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Ask, “What are some things you pray for when you pray silently (allow time for answers)? Well, we pray for these same things when we pray out loud. Let’s read the Lord’s Prayer, the most familiar prayer in the bible, to get more ideas.” Read Matthew 6:9-15. Allow time for students to comment on what Jesus prayed about. Say, “The Lord’s Prayer is an excellent example of how we should pray, both silently and out loud.” Read Matthew 6:5-8 to identify other criteria. Emphasize that we should never pray to impress others. Rather, we should pray to express our thankfulness and ask God for provision and guidance.
- Read Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:1-10. Accentuate that Jonah was alone, but his prayer is a good example for us to follow. We know there was power in Jonah’s words because then the Lord told the whale to spit Jonah out! Ask, “What was the point of Jonah’s prayer (repentance)? We need to remember to pray for forgiveness for our sins.” Encourage the students to practice praying out loud when they are alone because it’s a great way to experience God’s help through prayer and become more confident when they pray in front of other people.
- Comment, “King David also repented of his sin through prayer.” Briefly outline the context of the prayer: David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband in an attempt to cover up his sin. Read Psalm 51:1-8. Ask, “Does David seem sincere in his prayer? While it’s not our place to determine someone else’s sincerity through prayer, it’s important to make sure our own hearts are genuine. This is true even when we pray out loud – we want to make sure our prayers aren’t motivated by pride.” Share with the class a time when you were so overcome with your sin that you cried out to the Lord for forgiveness through prayer.
- Say, “When we pray out loud we should ask for God’s provision and forgiveness for our sins. However, we also want to remember the needs of others.” Read Ephesians 6:18. Explain that Paul tells us we pray through the Holy Spirit’s power and we should consistently pray for one another. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Ask, “How should we pray according to verse 17 (continually)? What should be involved in prayer according to the other verses (rejoicing and thankfulness)?” Reiterate that prayer comes from the heart and all the scripture we have discussed helps guide us toward communication with God. By practicing and continuing to study God’s word, praying out loud becomes easier.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: We pray for the same things whether we pray silently or out loud. By following examples in the bible, we know to ask for God’s provision, guidance, and forgiveness through prayer.
CLOSING PRAYER: Ask for volunteers to close the class in prayer in consideration of the lesson. Continue asking for volunteers to pray during consecutive lessons so the students can gain confidence by praying out loud.
Craft (20 minutes)
PRAYER BOXES: Purchase small, cardboard or wooden trinket boxes from a craft store. Bring markers, glitter pens, paint pens, stickers, and other embellishments so the students can decorate their own prayer box. Say, “These prayer boxes are to remind us that God answers our prayers. Think of a few prayer requests, write them down, and put them in your prayer box. When God answers the requests, pull them from the box and throw them away.” Emphasize that we will be consistent in praying for our requests if they are really important to us. Also, even when God’s answer is “No,” we can trust in his plan to make all things work for his glory (Ephesians 1:11-12). Lastly, remind students to practice praying out loud when they are alone to gain more confidence.