This Bible lesson for preschoolers is based on Mark 1:35-39 where Jesus takes time away to pray. This shows his humanity and a positive example of spending time alone with God. Preschoolers will be encouraged to talk with God when they are alone. This is the sixth lesson from a series for preschoolers on knowing Jesus through the book of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons. These free materials are ideal for your Preschool Sunday School lessons or any teaching setting for younger kids.
Some readers have found our prayer coloring pages helpful for this lesson.
Bible Passage: Mark 1:35-39
Bible Lesson Title: Jesus Prays
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (U.S. preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 30 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Six (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 1:35-39
Exegetical Idea: Jesus prays in a secluded place, revealing that He is fully human; He continues to preach throughout Galilee.
Pedagogical Idea: We can follow Jesus’ example through spending time alone in prayer to God.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will know Jesus took time to be by Himself to pray.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel certain that Jesus was fully human.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will spend time alone in prayer.
Memory Verse: Mark 1:35, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” (NASB)
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Put on Bible outfits and prepare to listen! Supplies: Bible outfits
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Search for Jesus; discover the lesson. Supplies: Blanket, Bible.
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Spend time alone in prayer. Worship God through song. Supplies: Blanket, Song There is None Like You by Lenny Leblanc or Hillsong. Video on YouTube.
- Daily Knowing (7 minutes) Description: Memorize Mark 1:35 Supplies: Notecards with Mark 1:35 written on one side. On the other, encourage parents to discuss the importance of praying alone to God with their children this week.
Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready. 1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- Pass out the Bible outfits and have the children put them on. State: Today someone is missing, and we are going to find them! Let’s sit down in a circle together and get ready to find out who it is!
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- Gather the children around you on a blanket.
- State: Today our story is from Mark chapter 1, verses 35-39 (show them in your Bible the numbers). Remember that we are pretending to be Jesus’ followers from the Bible. Last night (last week’s lesson), there were lots of sick people who came to be healed. Jesus revealed His authority by healing many of them! The Bible says that the whole city came to their door! That is a lot of people!
- State: But, when we wake up the next morning, Jesus is missing!! We cannot find Him. He is not in the house! Let’s pretend we are looking around to find Jesus! (Allow all of the children to get up and begin “searching” for Jesus).
- State: Hmmm….Maybe we should look in the Bible and see if it tells us where Jesus is! (Pretend to be looking hard into the text.) Aha! Here it is! The Bible says, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” What does secluded mean?? Does anyone know?? (Provide time for answers.) Secluded means it was a place that was private, maybe even hidden. It was a place where Jesus could be all by Himself. Why do you think Jesus wanted to be all alone? (Provide time for answers.) Remember that though Jesus was fully God, Jesus was also fully human, just like you and me. Sometimes when we are around lots of people for a long time, we get tired. And it is also very hard to spend time with God when there are always lots of people around. Perhaps Jesus needed time to gain strength through praying to God. He also knew how important it was to spend time alone with God, just being with Him. Whatever Jesus was praying to God about, we know He came away ready to continue obeying God through spreading His Good News!
- The Bible tells us that when we found Jesus, we told Him that everyone was looking for Him. Let’s say together, “Everyone is looking for you!” One, two, three, “Everyone is looking for you!”
- Jesus told them, “Let us go somewhere else to the town nearby, so that I may preach there also. That is what I came to do.” So they did! Jesus’ followers, Simon, Andrew, James, and John followed Jesus wherever He went. Jesus preached in many towns, proclaiming the Good News, that God’s kingdom was near. People needed to turn away from their sins (repent) and follow God so they could become part of His kingdom! This is why He came to Earth, and He was continuing to be obedient to God the Father through telling everyone the Good News.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- State: It is very important for us to have alone time with God. This helps us get to know Him more and more. Praying alone is a time where we can be with God. If we never spend time with God, we can never know Him as our friend or as our heavenly Father. Since we are fully human, like Jesus was, we also need to pray to God in order to receive strength, comfort, and love, which helps us make it through each day. God loves to hear your prayers, and He is always ready to listen, no matter where you are or what time it is!
- State: Today I am going to give everyone the chance to pray like Jesus did, by Himself. I want each of you to find a place in the room where you can sit all by yourself. I want you to spend at least 3 minutes praying to God about anything you want. Share with Him your heart. He wants to know all about what is going on in your life. You can also praise Him for who He is and what He is has done. (Help each child find a place by themselves around the room. If some children are still praying after 3 minutes, allow them to continue for however long they would like. Conclude your time by bringing them all back together on your blanket and praying out loud.)
- State: Let’s praise God together now and show Him how much we love Him through our words. This song is called There is None Like You. It is a simple and beautiful praise song to God.
4. Daily Knowing (7 minutes)
- State: What is another way we come to know God more? (Memorizing Scripture!) Today we are going to memorize Mark 1:35, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Can you think of motions we can do to help us remember this verse?
- State: We can follow Jesus through following His example and praying to God somewhere private at home. I want this verse to be a reminder to you of how important it is that we pray alone to God everyday. Because we are human like Jesus was, we need God to give us strength each day to continue to follow Him with all of our hearts.
Make sure you review with them the next week or when you have encounters during the week one-on-one. Remind the parents how important it is for them to help their children review their verses all throughout the week. Provide each parent with a notecard that has Mark 1:35 written on one side. On the other side, ask parents to discuss with their children the importance of praying alone to God. Be conscious of children who do not have parents who are believers and strive to communicate these things with them, along with encouraging them in their pursuit of Christ.