Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about Elijah to teach kids about how God supplies our needs and answers our prayers.
Needed: Bibles, a bowl with some flour in it, bowls and cereal or building blocks, 2 six-sided dice
Say, Last time, we learned about how King Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam, made a big mistake. Does anyone remember what King Rehoboam did? (He wouldn’t listen to the people of Israel when they asked him to let them work less hard. He told the people he was going to make them work harder.)
So, most of the people of Israel wouldn’t let Rehoboam be their king. They started a new country of Israel and made a man named Jeroboam their king. But Jeroboam made a big mistake too. Does anyone remember what bad thing Jeroboam did? (He made fake gods for the people to worship.)
The people of Israel had two kingdoms, Judah and the new country of Israel, and both kingdoms had bad kings.
Today, we’re going to learn about how God started sending prophets to deal with those bad kings.
(Read 1 Kings 16:29-17:24 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)
Years passed and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had bad king after bad king. These kings kept believing in fake gods and not the real God only, and they kept doing bad things. Every time, God would send prophets to the kings to try to tell them to believe in the real God and do stop doing their bad things. One of those prophets was a man named Elijah.
Elijah was a prophet in the kingdom of Israel during the time of King Ahab. King Ahab was the worst king Israel had ever had. He worshiped fake gods and did a lot of bad things.
One day, Elijah said to King Ahab, “King Ahab, God says that He won’t let it rain in Israel any more until you start to believe in Him and do the right things.”
King Ahab was very mad at the prophet Elijah for saying this, so God told Elijah to go hide in the desert by a river so that King Ahab couldn’t find him and kill him.
Elijah stayed by the river for a long time. He drank from the river, and God had the birds fly and bring Elijah meat and bread every day for his food.
How would you like to have birds fly and bring you your food like that?
Game: Raven Relay
Divide students into two teams and have them line up at one side of the room. If you want to use cereal, give each team a bowl. At the other end of the room, place a bowl full of cereal or a bucket of building blocks. One by one, the members of each team run to their bowl or bucket and bring back a single piece of cereal or building block. They then add their piece of cereal to the team’s bowl or add their building block to the team’s tower. The first team to retrieve all their pieces wins.
Explain that when the students were running to get their pieces, they were like the birds flying to get food and bring it back to Elijah.
So, the birds brought Elijah his food. But then, the river dried up because God hadn’t let it rain. God told Elijah to go to the town of Zarephath.
When Elijah walked up to the town of Zarephath, he saw a woman picking up sticks. He said, “Could you please give me a drink of water? And some bread?”
Would you give Elijah some bread and water?
But the woman answered, “Sir, I don’t have any bread. I’m very poor. I’m gathering some sticks to make a fire. Then, I’m going to go home to bake the last loaf of bread I have ingredients for. My son and I are going to eat and then, we’re going to die because we don’t have any money to buy any more food.”
(Show the students the bowl of flour and ask) How much bread do you think the woman could make with this?
Not very much, right? And that’s all the food she has left! She doesn’t have any more food for her and her son, and she doesn’t have any money to buy more!
Elijah said, “Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and bake the bread for you and your son, but first, bake me a loaf of bread. God says that you will not run out of ingredients until He lets it rain again.”
The woman believed in God, and she did what Elijah said. She baked him a loaf of bread, but then, she still had enough ingredients left over to bake her and her son’s bread. The next day, she still had enough ingredients to make more bread. The same thing kept happening every day, just as Elijah had said. The woman never ran out of ingredients!
How do you think the woman never ran out of ingredients? (God kept giving her new ingredients to make her bread.)
So, Elijah lived with the woman and her son, and God kept giving them food to eat.
But a little while later, the woman’s son died. Elijah took the son and carried him upstairs to his room and put him on the bed. Elijah prayed to God, asking God to bring the son back to life.
Do you think God will make the son come back to life?
Elijah lied down on top of the son and kept praying for God to bring him back to life. After a few seconds, God answered Elijah’s prayer and the boy came back to life!
And because of everything that God and Elijah did for the woman and her son, they believed in God.
Why did Elijah say that God wasn’t going to let it rain in Israel? (Because King Ahab was doing bad things. God said it would only rain again when Ahab started to believe in Him and do the right things.)
How did Elijah get food when he was hiding by the river? (God told the birds to bring him food.)
How did Elijah get food when he was living with the poor woman and her son? (God kept giving them new ingredients to make bread so that they wouldn’t run out.)
Do you think God could help give you food like that? (Yes.)
God helps us in all kinds of different ways. He gives us what we need.
What did Elijah do to make the woman’s son come back to life? (He prayed for God to help the son.)
Do you think you could pray for God to help other people? (Yes.)
God likes it when we pray for other people. He doesn’t always do everything we ask Him to, like when He helped the son when Elijah asked Him to, but He does like it when we pray.
Game: Raising the Dice
Divide students into two teams and give each time a six-sided die. The first student from each team runs up to a table and rolls their dice. The student with the highest roll gets a point for their team.
The trick is that each team can help their player. As the students are rolling their die, the teams cheer. The team that’s the loudest gets to add one number to their player’s die roll. So, if Team A’s player rolls a 3, but their team is cheering the loudest, you’ll count that player’s roll as a 4.
Students re-roll in case of a tie, but only if the tie occurs after you add the cheering bonus.
After the first two students roll and you determine who gets the point, those students run back to their teams, hand off their die, and the next students run up. The team with the most points after everyone has rolled wins.
Explain that when we pray for someone, it’s like we’re cheering for them. We’re asking God to help them, just like Elijah prayed for the dead boy. Our prayers for someone else can help God decide to help that person.
Game: Resurrection Tag
Divide students into two teams and play a game of freeze tag. When students get tagged, they freeze in place. They are Dead. Every few seconds, the leader runs through the playing field, pretending to be Jesus. When Jesus runs through, the Dead are unfrozen.
Perform this action a few times and then, switch which team is chasing the other. At the end, explain that just like God raised the dead boy back to life, Jesus is going to come back from Heaven one day and will raise all of us back to life too.
Lord, we know that You have the power to supply all of our needs and to answer our prayers. You are a powerful God and a good God. Help us to always put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Kings and Prophets.