Prayer. “Dear Father in heaven, please use this study by the power of your Holy Spirit to build faith in children. Help them to pray daily with genuine trust and heart-felt devotion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Choose activities that fit the children's age and needs.
Summarize for the children these main events in Abraham’s life of faith:
1) Abraham travelled by faith. Abraham obeyed God. He left his country which was rich but worshipped idols. Because he believed God, he travelled far away with his family to an unknown land. (Genesis chapter 12)
2) Abraham gave generously by faith. Abraham’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of his nephew, Lot, fought over the best land to graze their cows and sheep. Because Abraham believed God, he let Lot take the best land, to avoid quarrelling. Lot selfishly chose the best land, but God blessed Abraham. (Genesis chapter 13)
3) Abraham battled courageously by faith. Lot chose to live in the wealthy, pagan city of Sodom. One day, five bad kings captured Sodom, taking the people as slaves, and their valuable goods. However, Abraham and his herdsmen defeated those five kings, rescuing Lot’s family and the people. Therefore, Sodom’s king begged Abraham to keep the goods for himself and to give back the captive people. Abraham gave back to the king both the goods and the people. (Genesis chapter 14)
· Ask the children how long it would take to count all the stars. Explain what a great thing it was that Abraham believed God’s promise that he would have that many descendants.
· Tell the children they should pray every day, alone, also with their families, if they can.
4) Abraham trusted God’s promise. God had made an eternal agreement with Abraham, promising to bless all nations through his ‘seed’, meaning a descendant. However, his wife Sarah was too old to have children. One day, God told Abraham to look up at the stars. God promised to multiply his descendants as many as the stars he could see. Abraham believed God, who counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness. God kept his promise by enabling Sarah to give birth to Isaac. (Genesis chapters 15, 17 & 21) To this day, God is blessing all nations of the earth through Abraham’s descendant, Jesus.
5) Abraham prayed with faith. One day, the Angel of the Lord told Abraham that He was going to destroy the people of Sodom, because they were very wicked. Abraham pled with God to spare Lot and his family who dwelt at Sodom. Because of Abraham’s faith, God sent His angels to rescue them. He then rained fire from heaven down on Sodom, destroying it completely. (Genesis chapters 18-19)
6) Abraham obeyed by faith a heartbreaking command of God. One day, God wanted to test Abraham’s faith, so he commanded him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, through whom all of God’s promises would be fulfilled. Abraham was ready to sacrifice the child, knowing that God could raise him back to life. Suddenly, God provided a sheep for Abraham to sacrifice instead of his son. (Genesis chapter 22; Hebrews 11:17-19).
7) Abraham’s good works showed that he had great faith. God counted Abraham as righteous and blessed him because of his faith, not because of his good deeds. It was Abraham’s faith that led him to do his good deeds. (James 2:21-24)
Ask four older children to go find four objects that illustrate faith. If that is too difficult, then simply draw pictures of the four things.
A bar of soap,
A small bottle (or a pill)
A cross (two sticks tied together).
· First child: Show the soap and ask, “Can we wash away our sins with soap?” (Let the children answer.)
· Second child: Show the knife and ask, “Can doctors cut out our sin with a knife?”
· Third child: Show the bottle and ask, “Can we take medicine to cure our sin?”
· Fourth child: Show the cross and ask, “What will take away our sin?”
Explain: “Only the blood of Christ, shed on the cross, washes our sin. We must trust Jesus. He died and rose from death to forgive our sins and give us eternal life.”
Dramatize parts of the story of Abraham.
Arrange with the worship leader for the children to present the drama, as well as the four objects listed above.
· Let older children or adults play the parts of the Voice of God and Abraham.
· Let younger children plan the parts of Sarah and servants.
Voice of God: “Abraham, because you have believed my promise, I will multiply your descendants as many as the stars of heaven.”
Abraham: Look up at the sky. Then say, “The stars are more than I can count. I believe you, Almighty God. You can do anything.”
Voice of God: “Because you believed me, I count you as righteous, and I will bless you, and I will bless all nations through one of your descendants.”
Abraham: “But I have no children and my wife Sarah is too old to bear children.”
Voice of God: “Trust me. Your wife Sarah will bear a child.”
Abraham: Walk over to Sarah and say, “God promised that you will bear a child.”
Sarah: Laugh. Then say to Servants, “Did you hear what Abraham told me? He said I will have a child!”
Servants: Laugh and say
such things as, “But you are too old to have children!”
”Who does Abraham think he is, to promise such a thing?”
”That’s a funny joke!”
Abraham: Say to all
the people who are listening, “God kept his promise.
He did a miracle. Sarah gave birth to our child Isaac.
Through a descendant of Isaac’s all nations would be blessed. This is Jesus.”
Thank everyone who helped with the drama.
Let the children draw a picture of a volcano. Ask older children to help the younger ones. They can show their pictures to the adults during worship and explain:
· Volcanoes have slain people by pouring fire down on them, just like the bad people of Sodom died in flames from the sky.
· This shows why we pray for those who do not know Jesus, like Abraham prayed for Lot’s family, to be spared from the fire.
Poem. Have four children each recite a verse from Psalm 34, verses 4, 7, 8 and 9.
Let older children write a short poem or song about Abraham and his prayer.
Memorize Hebrews 11:1.Prayer. “Lord, thank you for your promises to us. We trust you to do all you have said. We trust you with faith like Abraham. Help us to pray for others as he did.”