Bible Story: “Jesus Taught About Prayer”
(Matthew 4:23-25; 5:1-2; 6:5-1)

Babies will continue to learn more about prayer as they grow. As you interact with them, use simple “thank you” sentence prayers, spoken with reverence and in a soft voice. For example: “Thank You, God, for Ava. Thank You that Ava can touch the picture.” Speak these simple sentences with reverence and a soft voice. Babies will since your sincerity and enjoy the exchange. You will have their attention when you mention their names. As you interact and build relationships with babies, you are helping them build a foundation for understanding more of Jesus’ love for them.

One year olds may not understand the word pray but they will understand the words “talk to.” Help them understand that they can talk to God. Children are building an understanding of God by hearing you talk to God. As you use the Bible, briefly tell the Bible story. Use a small blanket to cover the Bible in the room. Draw children’s attention to the blanket. When a child moves the blanket, say: “Bible. The Bible tells me about God. God hears me when I talk to him.” You might place a marker in the Bible at Matthew 6:6, “Talk to God.” Open the Bible, point to the verse, and read the words “Talk to God.” Cover the Bible again and watch as a child uncovers the Bible. Repeat the words again. Perhaps another child will be interested as well. Have fun!

Every preschooler enjoys being praised and appreciated. As you talk to a child this week about prayer, tell her, “I can say thank you to God for (insert child’s name).” Continue: “God likes to hear me talk to Him. You can talk to God, too. You can tell God thank you for your family.” Use the time as you play alongside twos to mention simple prayer thoughts such as: “ThankYou, God, for friends (name a few children in the room). Thank You, God, for teachers who take care of me and love me.” Children learn through example; by hearing you talk to God in simple sentences, they learn to talk to Him, too.

Create a game about talking and praying to God. Gather one beanbag and print six statements, each on individual sheets of paper (8½ x 11 inches). The statements should be prayer opportunities, such as: I can thank God for my friends, I can thank God for my family, I can thank God for my church, I can thank God for my teachers, I can thank God for food to eat, and I can thank God for water to drink. Copy these samples on colorful construction paper. As you set up the game, turn the sheets over so children can’t see the writing. When a child has a turn tossing the beanbag onto the sheet of his choice, turn it over and read the statement. Lead the child to pray the thank-you prayer. Say, “Talking to God is also called praying.”

Encourage each child to make a “prayer bag.” Supply strips of paper and a small lunch sack for each child. Provide stickers and colored markers for children to decorate their sacks. Print simple prayer statements for kindergartners to copy onto the strips of paper. Encourage them to choose a strip each day for prayer. Statements to include are below.
• Thank You, God, for family (encourage the children to print their family members’ names).
• Thank You, God, for friends (help the children print their friends’ names).
• Thank You, God, for my church.
• Thank You, God, for food to eat.
• Thank You, God, for my teachers.
• Thank You, God, for hearing my prayers.
• Thank You, God, loving me.

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