Use this free Bible study in your children’s Sunday School or Kids Church. It recounts the story Elijah and the how God used him to heal the son of a widow in 1 Kings 17. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to improve this lesson plan, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
Lesson Title: The Widow’s Son is Healed
Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:17-24 or read more Bible verses about caring for widows
Target Age Group: Preschool to Early Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: One Hour
Memory Verse: “The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.” 1 Kings 17:22
Life Connection: Elijah lived during a time when it was dangerous to be a faithful to the LORD and he boldly followed the Lord wherever the Lord led him. God led him to a Widow who was able to provide food for him during a time of drought. After a while, the widow’s son became sick and died. Elijah prayed for the boy and the Lord restored him to life. When the widow’s son died she lost all hope. Not only did she lose her son, but any chance of ever having a future. She blamed this death on herself and some unnamed sin. She had given up all hope but Elijah did not. Elijah prayed that God would heal the widow’s son. God heard Elijah’s prayer and healed the boy. From this story we learn that God forgives us of our sins, the power of prayer, and God’s ability to use ordinary people to achieve the extraordinary.
- Children will learn they are forgiven from their sins.
- Children will learn that prayer is powerful.
- Children will learn that God can and will use ordinary people to achieve the extraordinary.
Target Age: Preschool to Early Elementary
Basic Supply List:
- Beach Towel
- Baby Doll
- One rock for each child
- Paint, markers, etc.
- Poster board
- Markers, crayons, pencils
Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction: Begin the lesson by greeting each student and welcoming them to Sunday School. Say, Last week we learned a little bit about Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of God. God provided for Elijah in miraculous ways when there was a drought in the land. Today we are going to see how God used Elijah to change the widow’s life forever.
Biblical Evidence: Begin the lesson by reading 1 Kings 17:17-18. Say, In verse 18 the widow refers to her past sin and asks Elijah if he has come so that she will be punished for her sin. What is sin? (Allow the class to respond and come to the understanding that sin is something we do that is wrong.) The widow thought that she was being punished for her sins, but that is not right. God would have forgiven the widow as soon as she made the appropriate sacrifice for her sins. God forgives our sins as well. Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice so that God can forgive our sins. If we want to be forgiven all we have to do is ask. Our God is good and forgiving.
Next read 17:19-22. Say, When Elijah sees that the Widow’s son has died he is not worried. He believes that God has the power to heal the boy. Elijah knows that there is nothing that he can physically do to heal the boy so he starts praying. Prayer is a very powerful thing. Elijah fell down and prayed three times that God would heal the boy and God heard Elijah and the boy came back to life. God does amazing things when people pray.
Last read 17:23-24. Say, Now we see that the widow’s son is alive and the widow confesses that Elijah must really be God’s prophet since her son has been healed. The woman was very surprised to see that her son was alive again, but Elijah was not. Elijah knew what God was capable of. One last thing that we can learn from this story is that God uses ordinary people like me and you to make wonderful things happen. Elijah was a great man of God but he didn’t have any power on his own. God used Elijah and specifically his prayer to bring the widow’s son back to life and show the widow what God can do. If you are willing to trust God, he will use you to do wonderful things too!
Carrying the Widow’s Son: Set up an obstacle course in your classroom or outside play area and divide the children into teams of four. One team will run the obstacle course at a time. Give the first team a beach towel and a baby doll. The baby doll will be the widow’s son. The four children will work together to carry the widow’s son though the obstacle course by each holding a corner of the towel. Since the widow’s son is ill, the children must carry the baby doll through the obstacle course back to the starting line. Then pass the baby and towel to another team and so on until everyone has had a turn. Time each group and the group with the fastest time wins.
Prayer Rock Craft: Make and decorate prayer rocks to remind the children to pray each and every day. You can use rocks that you have just lying around or buy smooth rocks at a craft store. Use paint, markers, glitter, etc. to decorate the rocks. Encourage the class to put their finished rocks on their pillow at night so that they will see it and remember to pray before the go to bed each night. The widow’s son was healed because Elijah prayed. Remind the children that God wants to use them as well and that they should pray for God to use them.
What Can You Do: Ask the children what kinds of things God can use them to do. For example, God can use them to tell others about God, invite others to church, or help a friend who is discouraged or sick to feel better. When they are older, God can use them to be missionaries or pastors or anything else that God needs them to be. Have the class work together to decorate a poster board titled “God Works Through Me.” On the poster board they will write or draw the things that God can use them to do. When they are finished hand the poster board in your classroom so that they will be reminded of what God can do through ordinary people. Challenge the class to pray that God would use them every day.
Review Questions: Use the follow questions to review the story.
- Why was the widow in the story upset? The widow was upset because her son was dead and she did not yet know that Elijah would be able to heal him.
- Why did the widow think that her son was ill? Because of sins that she had done in the past.
- Is God capable and willing to forgive the widow’s sins and our sins? Yes.
- Who died as a perfect sacrifice for our sins? Jesus.
- What did Elijah do when he saw that the widow’s son had died? He prayed that God would heal the boy.
- Did God heal the widow’s son? Yes.
- Would Elijah have been able to heal the widow’s son without help from God? No.
- Does God often use ordinary people like you and me to bring about his purposes? Yes.
Conclusion: Close the lesson saying this prayer with the class. Dear Lord, Thank you so much for sending your son to die on the cross that we can be forgiven of our sins and have life. Thank you for giving us people like Elijah who faithfully believed that you could do anything. Please use us today and every day so that we may be pleasing to you. Thank you for hearing us when we pray. Help us to have the desire to pray each and every day. Thank you Lord. Amen.