Teach students how the Lord answers our prayers. Includes a lesson, game, craft, and prayer exercise.
Needed: Various objects for the game (see below), a snack, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: No!
Have the students line up single file behind a line in your play area. Between them and you is an area where they will play tag. You will stand or sit at the other side of the play area with a variety of objects in front of you. One of the objects could be a sample of a snack you’re going to give the kids at the end of the game. Choose one of the objects to be the key object for each round. One leader or volunteer student will be “It” in the middle of the play area.
The first student will run up to you and ask you for one of the objects in front of you. If it’s the key object you chose, they win the game. If it isn’t, say “No!” That student then remains in the center play area. They then have to run from It. If they get tagged, they go to the back of the line.
The next student runs up to you as soon as the previous one receives their answer.
Let the snack be the last correct answer. When a student asks for it, end the game and pass out the snacks.
As the students are eating, start the lesson.
Ask students, Have you ever prayed for something? What did you pray for?
Did God answer your prayer? Did He give you what you wanted?
(Tell a story about a time when God answered your prayer.)
Does God always give us what we ask for?
(Tell a story about a time when God didn’t answer your prayer.)
In our game, sometimes you asked for something and I had to say no. God does that too. He tells us no sometimes. He also tells us yes sometimes. But whether He tells us yes or no, God always knows what’s best, and He always gives us the right answer.
We’ve been learning about Abram. You remember that God told Abram to leave his country and his friends and his family and go live in the country of Canaan. God promised that He would give the whole country to Abram’s children and grandchildren forever. But Abram didn’t have the son God wanted him to have until he was very old. Does anyone remember what that son’s name was? (Isaac)
Today we’re going to learn about what happened when that son, Isaac, was all grown up.
Summarize Genesis 24 with the following Bible story, asking the included questions as you read.
Sarah, Abraham’s wife, died when she was 127 years old. Abraham was getting very old, too, and their son, Isaac, was all grown up and ready to be married. So, Abraham called his chief servant and said to him, “My chief servant, I want you to go back to my old country, the place where I lived before God told me to come to Canaan, and find a wife for my son, Isaac, there. Go find her and bring her back here to Canaan.”
“What if I find a wife for Isaac,” the chief servant asked, “but she doesn’t want to come back with me to Canaan? Should I take Isaac to her and let Isaac live in your old country with her?”
What do you think? Should Isaac go live in Abraham’s old country? Why or why not?
“No,” Abraham answered. “Isaac must not go back to my old country. God told me that He would give this country, Canaan, to my children and grandchildren forever. So, do not take Isaac back to my old country. But don’t worry about whether the woman will come back with you or not. God will send His angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for Isaac.”
So the chief servant left on his journey and after many days, finally made it Abraham’s old country and even the same town where Abraham used to live. The chief servant and his camels were thirsty, so he walked to the well in the middle of the town. A lot of women were coming to the well to get water, too, and the chief servant had an idea. “God,” he prayed, “I will say to one of these girls, ‘Let me have a drink of water please.’ If the girl answers, ‘I’ll give you a drink and give your camels some water, too,’ then I’ll know that she is the right girl you want Isaac to marry.”
Do you think one of the girls will give the chief servant a drink and give his camels some water, too?
While the chief servant was still praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. “Please give me a drink of water,” the chief servant said. So Rebekah gave him a drink. When the chief servant was finished drinking, Rebekah said, “Now, I will give your camels some water, too.”
Did God answer the chief servant’s prayer? (Yes.)
God answered the chief servant’s prayer exactly. Sometimes, God does not give us exactly what we want. Other times, He does. In this story, God gave the chief exactly what he wanted.
After Rebekah had given some water to the camels, the chief servant gave Rebekah a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. “Who are you?” he asked. When she told him that she was one of Abraham’s relatives, the chief servant was very happy and went to spend the night in her family’s house.
Rebekah’s family was cooking dinner when Rebekah and the chief servant arrived and they invited the chief servant to eat with them. But he said, “I will not eat until I tell you why I came.” Then, he told them about how he was Abraham’s chief servant and how Abraham had sent him to get a wife for his son, Isaac. He told them about how he had prayed and how Rebekah had said and done exactly what the chief servant had prayed she would. Then he said, “I know God has led me here to take Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife. Now, tell me. Will you let her go with me or not?”
Do you think Rebekah’s family will let her go with the chief servant and marry Isaac?
“All this is from God,” Rebekah’s family answered. “We have to let her go.” Then, they asked Rebekah if she was willing to go marry Isaac, and Rebekah said that she was willing to go.
A few nights later, Isaac was praying in the field when he saw the chief servant coming back with Rebekah. Then, Isaac married Rebekah and he loved her.
Craft: Answered Prayers
Students have three options with this craft. They can draw what happened when God answered one of their prayers. They can draw what would happen if God answered one of their current prayers. They can make a list of things they’ve prayed for and how God either said yes or no to their prayers. Point out that sometimes, God doesn’t answer right away. He might say yes to one of our prayers, but we have to wait.
Ask students to silently pray for something they want God to do for them. With their eyes still closed, ask them to tell God what they would say if God decided to say no to their prayer.
Father, you helped Abraham’s chief servant find a wife for Isaac when he asked you to. And you help us with things when we ask you to. But sometimes, you don’t answer our prayers. Help us to remember that you still love us when you say no, and that you know what’s best for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This lesson is included in my book, Father Abraham: Children Sunday School Lessons on Genesis 12-50.