DiscipleTown Kids Church Unit #8: How to Pray

About DiscipleTown
DiscipleTown uses a creative and adaptable town theme to teach practical "Disciple Skills." It is published by the creators of DiscipleLand, the most comprehensive children's Bible curriculum on the market. DiscipleTown teaches DiscipleSkills -— practical skills that every follower of Jesus Christ must develop in order to grow and live victoriously. The children's church format compliments DiscipleLand and/or your other ministries to kids. Learn more about DiscipleLand's Bible Curriculum at DiscipleLand.com.

Rather than providing a rigid plan to follow, you can quickly and easily modify DiscipleTown to fit your ministry needs. There is more than enough material for a full length service, but you can also choose only the elements you'd like to use. By design, DiscipleTown is packed with ideas so you'll never be left needing to supplement the lesson, but its flexibility allows you to add your own unique teaching elements.

Unit Summary
Prayer is a familiar topic to children — but do we truly teach children how to pray? For too many Christians (of any age), prayer is reserved for times of trouble or cursory meal blessings, but prayer is so much more. It connects us with our Creator and deepens our walk with God. Teach prayer as a skill so that children can discover firsthand how it enriches their lives. Teach children to pray, and there become many things you will not have to teach them — the Holy Spirit will do it for you! In order to give children a simple mental framework, break down the many aspects of prayer into four areas, each starting with a letter of the word "PRAY" — Praising, Repenting, Asking, and Yielding. While there is certainly more to prayer than can be captured in four simple words, each lesson will expand on the broader aspects to show kids that they will enjoy a lifetime exploring the power and the joy of connecting with God!

Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1: Prayer Means Praising
In its simplest definition, prayer is talking with God. Therefore, prayer should begin with worship — an acknowledgement of who God is. Too often, Christians come to prayer only in times of need and begin by asking for things. God is a loving Father who delights in giving to His children (as we will learn in lesson three) but when we approach the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, prayer should commence with submission and awe and reverent respect. This lesson will give children tools to use prayer first as a means to deepen their friendship with God through praise.

Lesson 2: Prayer Means Repenting
When we praise God and sincerely focus on how wonderful and majestic He is, we become more and more aware of how sinful and unholy we are. If we are Christians, forgiveness is already ours — Jesus paid for it on the cross, but to have our relationship restored, we need to own up to our sin—to admit the things we have done wrong as God's Spirit brings them to our mind. In a healthy prayer life, God shows us our sin, we recognize it, and then we determine, with God's help, to repent—to go the other way. This lesson will help children learn how to do this in prayer. If we can teach children how to allow God to reveal their faults and shortcomings, they can blossom into mature disciples of Christ as the adults in their lives watch in bewildered amazement!

Lesson 3: Prayer Means Asking
Like a father who delights in caring for his children, our heavenly Father loves to give us good things—not only what we need, but what we enjoy! We seek those things with prayer. Asking for things in prayer isn't a bad thing, but when it comes after praise and repentance, there will be a striking difference in the kinds of things we ask for! In this lesson, children will learn how to ask God for their needs, but also about other things they can ask for. They will become intercessors for others and the world around them!

Lesson 4: Prayer Means Yielding
This lesson may be the most important of them all. Many people praise God. Some repent of their sins. Millions ask Him for things. But prayer's real life-changing power comes when we yield to God. And that is difficult. Yielding is the act of letting others have their way. In prayer, yielding is choosing to let God have His way—no matter what. Disciples of Jesus follow Him wherever He leads. This lesson will teach kids how to ask God in prayer: "What are You asking me to do? Where are You asking me to go? How do You want me to respond? Which decision do You want me to make?" It will then encourage them to yield to whatever God reveals to them. It won't always be easy, but it will always transform their lives.

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