This Bible Object Lesson will teach kids about Jesus High Priestly prayer for all believers. It’s based on John 17:1-17 where explained that Christians are in the world, but are different because the belong to his Kingdom. Download the teachers notes, watch our Children’s Message example, and gather your supplies. Then you’re ready to share this message in your church next Sunday!
“In the World, but Unique”
Children’s Sermon Object about how Jesus Prays for Christians
Main Objective: There has been frequent debate over the way we should live as followers of Christ. Is it better to remove ourselves from all potential temptation or appearance of sin? Or can we better influence the world by remaining connected to secular people and things? While it’s important to keep our hearts and minds pure, we do not necessarily need to be completely separate from the world to do so. People should be able to detect that there is something unique about Christians, and that should inspire them to want to know more. This message offers an object lesson to demonstrate that we can live in the world, but not be swallowed up in its snares.
Law/Gospel Theme: It is a beautiful and blessed thought to know that Jesus has prayed on our behalf. In this passage, He asked God the Father to bless His people. This assures us that Jesus is working for, in, and through us. Sometimes it is challenging to be different from the rest of the world, or to love people as God would have us love them. But Jesus came to demonstrate that type of life, and because of His love we know all things are possible. He does the work for us!
Optional Materials: Jar or glass with water; oil; food coloring (optional)
Bible Passage: John 17:1-11
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
More Teaching Help
- Compare our Sunday School Lesson “Jesus Prays for Us”
- See all our lessons and teaching helps about Prayer
Children’s Sermon (John 17:1-11) In the World, but Not Like the World
Greet children, beginning with a few contemplative questions for kids.
Hello, children of God! How will people know that we love Jesus? What should we do as Christians to make sure that we live in a way pleasing to God? Do you think it’s better to try to stay away from things that are not very Spiritually-related, or should we make sure that we are close to non-Christians so we can influence them? These questions have been debated for centuries.
There are some people who believe that we can best serve the Lord by being totally removed from society and separate from anything that might tempt us to do wrong. People like monks, hermits, or even certain community groups practice a way of life that is purposely apart from most others, in order to pursue God wholeheartedly. There’s nothing wrong with this focus, of course, but it’s not the only way to live. In fact, it’s possible for us to live right in the middle of sin, but still love and serve God and our neighbors.
Let me show you what this might look like…let’s say that this material represents the main “secular” (not Christian) society (hold up a glass or jar full of water). Well, as we know, we are all sinful, so the people and things here might not always be the best for us spiritually (optional: add food coloring to represent the “sin”). Now, as Christians, full of the Spirit and the love of Christ, we have something special.
So we can be in this society (pour in a small amount of oil, and watch it float above the water), but still remain separate from it. If this oil represents us as Christians, you can see that it is in the same area as the “world”, but is not completely mixed up in it. We can be in the world, but still have a unique way of living. People should see that there is something different about us. When we love God, that love should just flow right out of us, so that others can tell we have something they want. We should act kindly towards those around us, and we should be obedient to the Lord. But you know what? That can be difficult! We just can’t do it on our own, in fact.
Jesus knew that sometimes it is hard to serve Him and to act differently than the rest of the world. Did you know that Jesus prayed for us? When He was with His disciples, He prayed to God the Father (yes, slightly perplexing since Jesus is God, as well as the Spirit, but the Trinity is a beautiful mystery…), and He asked God to be with them and help them. He recognized that He (Jesus) would be leaving Earth, but that the people would still be there, and needed to serve and witness to the world.
That special prayer applies to us, also. We can be unified in our love for God and for one another. We can demonstrate the love of Jesus to those around us. We are in the world for now, but we want people near us to know that we love and care for them, and that we do so because of Jesus. We want people to know that we are unique, separate because of Jesus. When they ask, we should be able to “give a reason for the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15). We want to share that hope. We know that it comes from Jesus, and that we want others to know Him, too!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for Jesus
Thank you for all of His work and His words
Thank you for His prayers for us
Help us to demonstrate that we are your followers
Show us how to be in the world, but not of the world
Remind us to always love one another
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
John 17:1-11 The High Priestly Prayer
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. –John 17:1-11