Friday Freebie: Prayer Helpers


 

Although I have taught them how, and my children have heard me pray countless times, the younger ones always seem to pray the same thing over and over... "Thank you that it was a good day today, help me to have good dreams, etc., etc." So, instead of getting frustrated with their lack of creativity, I decided they probably need some help and are not truly ready to pray on their own yet during family devotions.

I made some prayer helpers on a white background (no wasting ink here!), and although they can't read them, it helps them to have something to focus on to remind them what they should be saying to God. I cut mine out and laminated them, and each child has his own set.



After using them for a week or so, my children have grown leaps and bounds in their prayer life. I hope they will encourage your children as well!


Download a FREE copy of the Prayer Helpers.



Blessings,

Parable of Lost Coin

Age 5+: Read Luke 15:8-10
Under 5: Read about the parable of the lost coin from a children's story bible or the short summary below.

Jesus told this story: Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, and loses one. Won't she turn on the light, check and sweep all over the house, and keep looking until she finds it? When she finds it, she will call her friends and her neighbors and tell them, "Celebrate with me! I have found my lost silver coin!"

"In the same way," Jesus said, "the angels of God celebrate in heaven over one sinner who turns away from sin."

Discussion 
Preschool questions:
Who told this story? Jesus.
How many coins did the woman lose? One.
Did she find it? Yes.

Elementary questions:
Why does the woman want to find her lost coin? She misses it and wants it back.
What does she do when she finds it? Calls her friends and neighbors and rejoices.
Do angels care about us? Yes, the angels rejoice when we commit our lives to the Lord.

Preteen application:
What does it mean to repent and return to God? We must have an attitude of true and humble confession and seek God's forgiveness.
Memory Verse: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Journal (age 8+) Write about a time that you lost something special, but found it later. Did you ask anyone for help in finding it? How did you feel after you found it?

Journal (age 3+) Draw and color a picture of the woman finding her lost coin. Copy the memory verse if able.

Optional Activity: Give each child some coins or pieces of candy. Have them "lose" one on the ground. Ask them if they want to find the one they lost. When they reply, "Yes," question why they aren't happy with what they have. Explain that God is the same way -- he loves all those that are His, but He also loves and misses the sinners, and wants them to come back to Him.

Prayer: Praise and thank God, ask for forgiveness, and submit any prayer requests.

Related Posts: The Prodigal Son, Parable of the Lost Sheep

Download a FREE copy of the Parable of the Lost Coin in PDF format.



Blessings,

Simple Ways to Help your Child Memorize Scripture


"They are not just idle words for you—they are your life." Deuteronomy 32:47

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Psalm 119:105
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15

It's pretty amazing to hear little lips quoting bible verses, singing praise, or praying for one another. I cherish those moments when I hear my toddler singing, "Jesus Loves Me," while he is playing with his toys in the next room. Or when I listen outside my daughter's door after I put her to bed and I hear her praying to our Lord.

I know my kids need to memorize scripture; I want it to be food for their soul and I want them to carry God's Word in their hearts, but sometimes it is difficult and frustrating for them when they can't seem to remember the verses. I've found that drilling them works, but it isn't the best way to get your child to love the Word. So, here are a few simple (and fun) ways that we do memory verses in our house. I hope they will inspire and encourage you!

For Preschoolers

  • Use hand motions -- Make them up as you go and see if you can make them fit the words, but be sure to remember what you did! Hand motions can be helpful if your child gets stuck, because seeing the hand motion can trigger his memory to what comes next. For example: John 3:16
For God (raise hands and look up)
So loved the world ( hold out arms as if holding a beach ball)
That he gave his one and only Son (hold up pointer finger)
That whoever believes in him (bring hands together like in prayer)
Shall not perish (bow head and close eyes)
But have eternal life (open eyes, smile, and raise hands)
  • Use songs -- Try singing the verse instead of saying it. Young children love to make up their own tunes. You might also try downloading some free tunes.

For Elementary Age Children

  • Handwriting practice -- Have your child copy the scripture verses into a special book or on special paper. Oftentimes seeing the words and writing them will reinforce the verses into their memory.

  • Read out loud -- Post the memory verse somewhere in your home where your child goes in and out a lot (like on their bedroom or bathroom door). Tell him to read it out loud every time he sees it. 

  • Hand motions and songs will also work well for this age group (see above).

For Preteens

  • Make it a game -- Challenge your child to bring out their competitive streak. 
  1. Write out the memory verse, in phrases, on flashcards. Have your child put them in the correct order.
  2. Post the memory verse on a whiteboard and erase some of the words. Ask your child to recite the memory verse to see if he can remember the missing words. Erase more and more words until you erase them all!
  3. Play a game of speed... time your child to see how fast he can say the memory verse while reading it, and then by memory.
  • Get the whole family involved --review the scripture verses at the dinner table. This is a good time to discuss the meaning of what they are memorizing and how they can apply it to their life. If they can understand the value of what they are memorizing, they might be more inclined to remember it. 

Blessings,