The first day of Sunday School, I was as excited as the children. The class was made up of all girls. I asked the girls, “Do you think prayer is important?” They said, “No, not so much.” The girls quickly learned that was not the right answer in Ms. O’s class.
I’m sharing what worked for me in getting children excited about talking to Jesus. It took the whole Sunday School year. The growth which occurred is amazing. Blessed to have them again this year.
The chart below gave the girls structure for praying. Before beginning we sing one of their favorites: “Good Morning God”. It goes, “Good Morning God, this is your day, I am your child, show me your way, and teach me to obey. Each part of the song is accompanied with sign language.
1. First step in our journey in talking to Jesus was to write prayers the girls wanted to pray on sticky notes. Their prayers were for teachers, safety in schools, missionaries, others, family, and pets. Wow, some pretty good prayers.
Prayer Chart on Poster Board Paper
2. First couple of weeks, I role modeled the entire prayer, beginning with praise, prayer request, and closing the prayer which I always did.
3. After many weeks of this type of placing prayer request on sticky notes and my role modeling of talking to Jesus, one of the children
asked, “Ms. O may I pray my request.” Then another asked and then another.
4. The following weeks ahead, they all
wanted to pray their own request, after I modeled talking with Jesus on the items on the circular chart.
5. A short time later the students asked if we could discontinue the sticky notes and they would just pray their own request. I role modeled talking to Jesus still at the beginning and end of the prayers.
6. After a few more weeks, near the end of the Sunday School term,
the students started saying can we pray for the world, the USA/those in authority. Can we pray for President Trump and staff, missionaries who are suffering for Christ, teachers, school safety in school, weather disasters, missionaries, unsaved friends and people they knew, parents, people who were ill and in the hospital, pets, safety in travel, and what they wanted Jesus to help them in their own personal lives. They were growing in their own personal relationship with Jesus. They, in other words, were walking and talking with Jesus. This process takes the whole Sunday School year.
This is part of our group praying. This is what it looks like in our classroom as we pray. We bend down before the Lord Jesus. We pray with one hand on top of another as a sign of agreement in prayer. When we end the prayers, we say 1, 2, 3 Praise the Lord (the latter was suggested by a student.)