This is lesson 21 of 33 in a series of lessons called “Praise God Through the Psalms.” These lessons are designed to point children to the fullness of God’s character and lead them to see Him as the One who deserves all praise and worship. These lessons work well in Sunday School or mid-week Bible study groups or even family devotion times.
“Praise God Through the Psalms” – Psalm 54
Lesson focus: Through the book of Psalms and the worship of the people of Israel, we get a glimpse into the character of God and how we should rightly respond to Him in worship. In Psalm 54, the psalmist calls God the upholder of his life. And in so doing, he reminds his readers that God holds all of our lives in the palm of His hand and He sustains and rescues His people.
Passage: Psalm 54
Target Audience: Kindergarten-4th Grade (can be adapted for older or younger children)
Teaching Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Materials Needed: Bibles, blank paper, markers
Optional Materials: if you want to be able to send the kids home with something each week, you can print the text of the Psalm on one side of a piece of paper and on the back print “I should praise God because He is ____________” (leave the rest of the page blank for drawing.
Early Arriver/ Opening 10 minutes- have a few board games out and play with kids as they arrive. Don’t underestimate the conversations that happen while playing “Jenga” or “Uno” with a group of kids.
Intro- – Take a few minutes at the beginning of the session to chat with the kids in the group and help them make a list of the things that they have or do that they need in order to live. Ask the kids in the group where they get the things that they need. Remind them of the differences between needs and wants and remind them that everything we have comes from God.
Read the Text. . .Psalm 54 ….
- Have each kid in the group read one verse, or have 3 volunteers do the reading (divided amongst them). As you go through the Psalm continually ask kids (1) what is this Psalm telling us about who God is?, (2) what is this Psalm telling us about what God does and (3) what is this Psalm telling us about what God expects of His people and how His people should respond to Him.
- As you go through the Psalm, have a signal for the kids in the group to make (like a time-out signal- – a T with your hands) every time they hear another truth about who God is and/ what God is like/ or what God has done. Each time you take a time-out, briefly talk about that characteristic of God.
- Take a few minutes to talk about what truths this Psalm teaches us about God.
The boys in the group will probably pick up on the idea of being attacked. Have them describe what they think it would be like to be the one who is being attacked by strangers and ruthless men. Take a minute to look back at 1 Samuel 23:7-29 and read one of the stories of David fleeing from Saul. Explain that this week’s Psalm was written about David fleeing from Saul and God protecting him.
- Cross- Connection– – Have one of the kids in the group reread Psalm 54:4. Read through the verse a couple of times. Ask if any of the kids know what the word ‘sustains’ means. Explain that when we say that God sustains us we are saying that He is the one who keeps us alive – He gives us the things we need to live (like food and water) and He is the One who physically keeps us alive. Ask the kids if any of them are thinking about their heart beating or their lungs sucking in oxygen or anything like that right now. God is the One who keeps our hearts and lungs going and keeps us alive. He sustains us.Then, have one of the kids read Philippians 4:19. Ask, ‘according to this verse, how does God meet all our needs?’….He meets all of our needs in Christ Jesus. Remind the kids of the greatest need of ours’ that God met in Christ Jesus – He met our need for salvation and forgiveness and life by sending Jesus to earth to take the punishment for our sin and die in our place. Then, have one of the kids go back to Psalm 54 and read verse 3 thinking about Jesus. Talk about how God spared David and protected and sustained Him, but when strangers and ruthless men with no regard for God attacked Jesus, He didn’t fight back but instead laid down His life for His people (John 3:16, 1 John 3:16 & John 10:15).
Worship Time- After discussing the passage, distribute the paper and markers or pages printed with the text for the week. Explain that each week you want them to do three things in response to the Psalm…
- write a verse from the passage that they want to remember
- write a reason to praise God that they see in the Psalm
- draw of something from the passage that they think is important.
Give kids time to work on their pages and then have them share what they have drawn or written with the rest of the group.
Prayer- – Close in prayer by praying for the kids in the group that they would come to see their need for a Savior to rescue them from their sin as the greatest need in their lives and that they would worship Jesus as the One who meets all their needs, especially their need for salvation.
Extra Time – – If you have any extra time at the end, play “OT/NT– – Have all the kids stand up in the middle of the room. Call out a book of the Bible. If it’s in the Old Testament they have to go to your left side and if it’s New Testament they have to go to your right side. To make it even more challenging, you could call out names that aren’t books of the Bible and have them freeze for those. Watch the demonstration video of this Bible book game for kids.