Remembering 9/11 in Children’s Ministry

This Sunday is the fifteenth anniversary of terrorists attacking the United States on September 11th, 2001. While it affected every one of us, and we all remember where we were and what we were doing on that fateful day, the students in your children’s ministry weren’t born yet. This generation we are ministering to thinks of 9/11 as something that happened a long time ago that they learn about in history books.

Even though they weren’t alive yet, there are many lessons your students can learn from that fateful day. Since the anniversary falls on a Sunday, it would be a great time to commemorate that day and teach those lessons. Here are some ideas for remembering 9/11 in children’s church.

Give your testimony: Tell how you learned about the terrorist attacks and how you felt. Talk about how God saw you through and how God can see them through any problems they face. If you know people who were there that day, tell their stories and about how God helped them through that time of uncertainty.

Praying African Americn boyPray for Our Country: On 9/11/2001, most people prayed for the United States. Since then, our country has moved further away from God. We need to pray for our nation like never before. No only should we still pray for our country’s safety and for our leaders, we need to cry out to God for a Great Awakening to save our nation. Spend time talking about how to pray for our country.

Here are a few articles on prayer that might help.

Heroes Help Others: There are a lot of stories about heroes that helped others on 9/11. Share some stories about those people and talk about how we can help others in need. Spend some time talking about the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11.

What a Hero Looks Like Children’s Sermon

God Is With Us: Talk about the fear people felt on 9/11/2001 and how God is with us even when we’re fearful. Teach the story about Peter walking on water. When he looked at the waves, he was fearful and drowning. When he looked at Jesus, he could walk on water.

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus Children’s Lesson

Missions To Arab Countries: Spend some time talking about how God loves everyone, even the terrorists. Spend some time teaching about missionaries in Arab countries and how they risk their lives to share the Gospel. Have the children pray for the missionaries and maybe write encouraging cards and letters. Kids of Courage has a great free downloadable booklet on Islam.

 

4 Ways to Pray Intentionally for Your Ministry

Pray Green Computer Keys Showing Worship And Religion

Prayer is essential for ministry. Anyone who tells you they are doing ministry without prayer is not effective. Their ministry may look like a thriving ministry on the outside, but unless it is bathed in prayer, no lasting change can take place.

Although most of us know this and do have a thriving prayer life, sometimes we can get centered on our own ministries instead of prayer for God’s Kingdom to come.

Here’s some ideas to make your prayers more intentional and effective.

8f354-schedulePray for those in your ministry by name. If you have twenty people of less that your ministering to, this seems doable, but what if you have a large amount, you’ll need some planning to accomplish this.

1. Identify your core leaders. These are the people you pray for once a day or at least once a week. Write these names in your prayer journal.

2. Divide the other names up into section so that you pray for each person at least once a year. Have a list in your prayer journal so you can mark off the names as you pray for the people. If you know of a need, move that person to the top of your list.

3. Delegate if your list is too large. There are some ministries so large that even this is not practical. If this is the case, divide the names up and give them to your core leaders. You will pray for the leaders. The leaders will pray for the people.

4. Pray Scripture over the names on your list. Here’s a few Scriptures you can use:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23
  • Ephesians 1:17
  • John 15:5

Strategic Planning Showing Organizational Business Solutions Or GoalsPray for God’s Plan: Those of us in ministry have a bad habit of looking at what works in other ministries and implementing them into our own. Then we ask God to bless something He didn’t tell us to do.

Seek God’s face and find out what He wants you to do. Our ministry plans will not be effective unless they come from God.

I explain how to do this more in this post: 3 Things You Need to Become an Effective Children’s Minister.

Here’s some ways to pray once you hear from God:

  • Pray for open doors according to Revelation 1:17.
  • Pray that our territory will be expanded according to 1 Chronicles 4:10.
  • Pray for God’s favor according to Psalm 5:12.
  • Pray for God to meet the needs for laborers and resources according to Philippians 4:19.

Pray for other ministries: We sometimes get self-centered in our prayers and only pray for our ministries, but God wants us to expand our borders. As His Kingdom comes in the ministries and lives of others, it will also expand our ministry. Here’s some ideas to expand your prayers.

  • Pray for other ministries within your church.
  • Pray for other churches and ministers within your community.
  • Pray for ministry worldwide.

19aab62856272b861aPray Globally: So often, churches hold pray meetings where we get together to grow our church, our congregation, and pray for the needs of our people. But we are globally the body of Christ. We should pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ wherever they may be.

Some of the best resources for praying globally and for our nation are at Every Home for Christ. Many of these resources are free.

Resolve to pray intentionally, and see how God moves.

A Prayer Connection Object Lesson

This object lesson is used in This is War Children’s Church Curriculum that is due to be released from Revival Fire for Kids in March.

Prayer Connection

Little girl wishing on white background

Items Needed:   Toy telephone or cell phone.

I have a friend who lives in another state.  This friend and I are very close.  I felt really bad when my friend moved away.  I still miss her.  Sometimes I just want to hear her voice.  Other times I want to tell her about something that happened to me.  Sometimes I want to ask her what she thinks I should do when I have a problem I can’t solve.  I can’t afford to go see my friend every time I want to talk to her.  How can I talk to my friend?  Give the children a chance to respond.  Some of the responses might be phone, internet or letter.  I have a phone here.  Many times when I want to talk to my friend, I do call her on the phone.  We talk for a long time.  It’s always good to hear her voice.

When I want to talk to God, I can’t use the phone.  I don’t have His number.  I can’t contact Him through the internet.  I don’t have His E-mail address.  I don’t think the post office delivers letters to Heaven.  What should I do when I want to talk to God?  Give children a chance to respond until they mention prayer.  That’s right.  When I want to talk to God, I always can when I pray.  I can tell Him what is going on in my life.  But I can also ask Him to help me know what to do when I have a problem I can’t solve.  James 1:5 says “But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. God is generous. He enjoys giving to all people, so God will give you wisdom.”  If we want to know what to do about a problem, we can ask God for wisdom.  He will help us know what to do.

© Tamera Kraft, Revival Fire for Kids, 2015

Using War Room in Children’s Ministry

The hottest Christian movie out today is War Room. Here are a few ideas for incorporating the teaching of this movie on prayer into your children’s Ministry.

Have a field trip, and take your students to see War Room. The material is appropriate for children age 6 and up, and it has 2 main characters that are children.

Buy your students each a journal and teaching guide from War Room resources. Prayer Works – Prayer Training and Strategy for Kids is great for ages 5-10. Ages 9-14 would do better with This Means War – A Strategic Prayer Journal. You could also get Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place for preschoolers.

   

Have the children make their own prayer journals and decorate them. You can buy spiral notebooks, binders, or blank journals for them to use.

Little boy prayingSpend a few lessons on the subject of prayer. Teach children the principles for in the movie War Room including these:

  • Find a private place to pray.
  • Write out your prayers.
  • Find verses to attach to your prayers.
  • Write down when your prayers are answered.

Teach children verse they can connect to their prayers. Here is a link to some of those verses.

9 Prayer Verses for Children

Cute african girlHave a time of prayer in your children’s classes or children’s church. Have the child participate by praying for certain needs.

Teach children to spend time in prayer for the world. These prayer maps for children from Every Home for Christ are free at this link.

Here are a few articles on prayer that might help.

Teaching Children How to Pray

6 Ways to Instill the Desire to Pray in Children

Giving Children Opportunities to Pray

Teaching Children to Pray Using a Model

5 Finger Lord’s Prayer

Teaching Children How to Pray

Little boy prayingThe Bible has a lot to say about prayer. It not only teaches us what to pray but how to pray. How we pray is often more important than what we pray, so it’s vital that we teach children these principles.

Pray all the Time: Scripture has a lot to say about when we should pray. God wants us to pray all the time. That doesn’t mean we’ll spend 24 hours a day on our knees, but it does mean we’ll be ready to pray at a moment’s notice whenever a need arises.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18(ICB)  Never stop praying. Give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.

James 5:13-16(ICB)  If one of you is having troubles, he should pray. If one of you is happy, he should sing praises.  If one of you is sick, he should call the church’s elders. The elders should pour oil on him in the name of the Lord and pray for him.  And the prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well. The Lord will heal him. And if he has sinned, God will forgive him.  Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. When a good man prays, great things happen.

WishingPray With the Right Attitude: Attitude is important to God. Jesus even taught about the right attitude and the wrong attitude when you are praying.

Matthew 6:5-8(ICB) When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray loudly. They want people to see them pray. I tell you the truth. They already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you. And when you pray, don’t be like those people who don’t know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing. They think that God will hear them because of the many things they say. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.

Be persistent: When we pray, God doesn’t want us to give up until we get an answer from him.

Luke 11:5-19 (ICB) Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house at midnight and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please loan me three loaves of bread.’ Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house at midnight and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please loan me three loaves of bread.’ Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’ I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask. So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, if a person continues asking, he will receive. If he continues searching, he will find. And if he continues knocking, the door will open for him.

Luke 18:1-8(ICB) Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. “Once there was a judge in a town. He did not care about God. He also did not care what people thought about him. In that same town there was a widow who kept coming to this judge. She said, ‘There is a man who is not being fair to me. Give me my rights!’ But the judge did not want to help the widow. After a long time, he thought to himself, ‘I don’t care about God. And I don’t care about what people think. But this widow is bothering me. I will see that she gets her rights, or she will bother me until I am worn out!’” The Lord said, “Listen to what the bad judge said. God’s people cry to him night and day. God will always give them what is right, and he will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly! But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?”

Cute african girlPray with humility: Scripture tells us that it is those who humble themselves before God who will be lifted up. With humility comes repentance.

Luke 18:10-14(ICB) “One day there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. Both went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector. When the Pharisee prayed, he said, ‘God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men who steal, cheat, or take part in adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. I give up eating twice a week, and I give one-tenth of everything I earn!’ “The tax collector stood at a distance. When he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, ‘God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’ I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee was not right with God. Everyone who makes himself great will be made humble. But everyone who makes himself humble will be made great.”

Pray In Faith: The Bible talks a lot about faith. Without faith we can’t please God. But when we have a small amount of faith, even as little as a mustard seed, we can accomplish great things.

Matthew 21:21-22(ICB) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth. If you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I did to this tree. And you will be able to do more. You will be able to say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have faith, it will happen. If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer.”