Calling all little prayer warriors! Includes a teaching guide, 2 games, and a prayer exercise.
Intro Activity: Stick ‘Em Up!
Hold a contest of who can keep both arms raised in the arm the longest. Next, have students form a circle and hold hands as they all raise their arms. Time how long they can all keep their hands raised.
(Summarize Exodus 17:8-16 , using the following story and asking the included questions as you read.)
While the Israelites were walking in the desert… Everyone, pretend like you’re walking through the desert… on their way to their new home that God was taking them to, they got close to the town of Rephidim.
Where were the Israelites going? (To their new home that God was taking them to.)
When the Israelites got close to Rephidim, the people of that town, called the Amalekites… Everyone, say “Amalekites”… came out and attacked them! Everyone, act like you’re about to fight someone.
Why do you think the Amalekites attacked the Israelites? (Affirm all reasonable responses. Suggest that maybe the Amalekites were afraid that the Israelites were coming to attack them. Suggest that maybe the Amalekites wanted to take all the Israelites’ things for themselves. The truth is we don’t know why the Amalekites attacked.)
So, Moses said to his helper, Joshua, “Joshua, choose some of our men and go fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow, I will stand up on the top of that hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So, the next day, Joshua went out to fight the Amalekites. Everyone, act like you’re about to fight someone. And Moses and his brother Aaron and Hur climbed up to the top of a high hill. Everyone, act like you’re climbing up a high hill.
When they got to the top of the hill, Moses held up his hands really high over his head. Everyone, lift your hands up high and keep them there. And when Moses lifted his hands high in the air, he was reaching up to Heaven, to God. As long as Moses had his hands reaching up to God, God made it so that Joshua and the Israelites were winning the fight against the Amalekites.
But, after a while, Moses’ arms got tired and he had to bring them down. He had to stop raising his hands to God. Everyone, bring your hands back down. And when Moses brought his hands down from reaching up to God, Joshua and the Israelites started losing the fight. So, Moses’ brother Aaron and Hur hurried up and helped Moses keep his hands up, reaching up to God. Everyone, grab hands and help each other keep your hands up. And God helped Israel win the fight!
Why was Moses was holding up his hands? (He was holding up his hands to God for God to help them.) When Moses was holding up his hands to God, who was winning? (The Israelites were winning.)
When Moses got tired and stopped holding up his hands, who was winning then? (The Amalekites.)
What did Aaron and Hur do to help Moses? (They held his arms up.)
When you have a problem in your life, like the Israelites had a problem when the Amalekites attacked them, do you think you could reach up and ask for God’s help? (Yes.)
How do we ask for God’s help? (We pray.)
And what if we get tired of praying? Can we ask someone to help us pray, like Aaron and Hur helped Moses keep his hands up? (Yes. We can ask our parents or our teachers at church or our friends to help us pray, and God will help us with our problem. And we should also ask other people if they want us to help them pray too.)
Game: Stick ‘Em Up! Round Two
Play the intro game with everyone holding hands to see if the group can beat their previous time.
Game: Amalekites vs. Israelites
Divide students into two teams for a game of tag. When you raise your arms, the Israelites chase the Amalekites. When you lower your arms, the Amalekites chase the Israelites. The team who tags everyone on the opposite team first wins. Play as long as time allows.
Have students form groups of three and take turns sharing prayer requests and then praying for one another.
This lesson is included in my book, Slaves to Conquerors: Children’s Sunday School Lessons for Exodus – Joshua.