Scripture: Daniel 6:1-28
Memory Verse: “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (CEV)
Like Daniel, we should trust God even when it is hard.
Objectives: Children will focus on times in their lives when it might be difficult or unpopular to follow God. They will see that being a follower of God is not always easy and it might involve more difficult choices than we sometimes expect. Children will learn that Daniel is an example to us of faithful prayer and trust in God even when it is dangerous to do so.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name tag. Make sure the children are wearing name tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
¨ There is a new student at school who does not have many friends yet. Your friends tease you for being nice to the new student. Will you stick with your old friends or try to make friends with the new student? Are there other things you could do?
¨ Your mom asks you to give some of your money to Pennies for Hunger but you had planned to spend it on something for yourself. What choice will you make?
¨ You really want to do well in school, but you did not study for a test. You sit next to the smartest kid in the class. Will you do your own work or will you look over at the other student’s work for a little extra help?
¨ You and your family are spending the night at your church as you host homeless families (Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network) but you were asked to a friend’s house for a sleepover. Where will you choose to spend the night?
¨ Your family always says a prayer before a meal. You are having a friend for supper. Will you say the prayer as usual or will you ask your mom to forget it this time?
¨ You heard something about another kid at school that is not very nice. Will you tell someone else what you heard, even if it is not nice and maybe not even true, or will you just keep it to yourself?
¨ A friend of yours is teasing a younger kid on the bus. Will you tell them to stop teasing the kid, go along with the teasing, or stay out of it?
¨ Feel free to write other situations that seem better to you.
Prayer: End with a simple prayer thanking God for Daniel’s example. Also ask God to help us do what is right in our lives even if it is difficult or unpopular.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up. Put pillows behind stage area. Put away boom box, workshop bin, etc. Turn out lights and close door.
When and How to do Puppet Practice: If a group has never attended a puppet workshop (first graders, early in the year) or perhaps has attended only one puppet workshop, they will need to practice with the puppets before completing the application. Do these warm-up exercises for 5 minutes, if necessary:
· “Show how your puppet looks when it is speaking quietly.”
· “Show how your puppet looks when it is speaking loudly.”
· “Show what your puppet does when it is listening.”
· “Show your puppet praying.”
· “Show how Daniel might have felt in the lions’ den.”
· “Show your puppet being happy when he was safe from the lions.”
**The Life Application for Kids:--from Hilliard Presbyterian Church Summer Sunday School
It takes strength and guts to believe in God and obey God's commands and be a role model to others. Believing one thing and doing another is wrong. Being two-faced or hypocritical is wrong. Saying you love God but not obeying God is wrong.
I'm sure Daniel thought about giving-in and hiding the fact that he was a follower of God. But Daniel decided to stand up for his belief in God, even if it meant death. There are times when even kids have to stand up for their beliefs--when they see someone treating another badly-- when they hear gossip--when they have the tough choice of sleeping in or going to church--when it's time to pray and they'd rather play--when others speak negatively about church--when there are things distracting them away from worshipping God. Distractions and lion's come in all shapes and sizes!
Questions for Discussion:
· Is it possible to say you love God but not obey God? How do you show that you love God? How can you say you love God and believe in God's commandments but not follow them?
· Is prayer worth it to end up in prison or being killed? Can you be faithful to God without praying or talking to God? Can you love someone and never talk to them?
· Why didn't Daniel 'fake it' and act like he was praying to King Darius?
· What's so important about praying only to God? (Possible answers: Daniel knew he was an example to others. Daniel felt his faith in God was too important to lie about it.)
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with you as you prepare and teach this lesson.
2. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.
3. Prepare an opening/closing prayer or plan to use the ones included in this lesson.
4. Write your memory verse on a white or poster board and post in the room each week.
5. Prepare index cards with your situations that the children will act out in their groups.
6. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. Bring a CD or tapes music for background music while you are gathering, meditative music for reflection time.
Daniel 6:1-28 (Contemporary English Version)
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society
1Darius divided his kingdom into a hundred and twenty states and placed a governor in charge of each one. 2In order to make sure that his government was run properly, Darius put three other officials in charge of the governors. One of these officials was Daniel. 3And he did his work so much better than the other governors and officials that the king decided to let him govern the whole kingdom.
4The other men tried to find something wrong with the way Daniel did his work for the king. But they could not accuse him of anything wrong, because he was honest and faithful and did everything he was supposed to do. 5Finally, they said to one another, " We will never be able to bring any charge against Daniel, unless it has to do with his religion."
6They all went to the king and said:
Your Majesty, we hope you live forever! 7All of your officials, leaders, advisors, and governors agree that you should make a law forbidding anyone to pray to any god or human except you for the next thirty days. Everyone who disobeys this law must be thrown into a pit of lions. 8Order this to be written and then sign it, so it cannot be changed, just as no written law of the Medes and Persians can be changed."
9So King Darius made the law and had it written down.
about the law, but when he returned home, he went upstairs and prayed in front
of the window that faced
11The men who had spoken to the king watched Daniel and saw him praying to his God for help. 12They went back to the king and said, " Didn't you make a law that forbids anyone to pray to any god or human except you for the next thirty days? And doesn't the law say that everyone who disobeys it will be thrown into a pit of lions?"
" Yes, that's the law I made," the king agreed. " And just like all written laws of the Medes and Persians, it cannot be changed."
13The men then told the king, " That Jew named Daniel, who was brought here as a captive, refuses to obey you or the law that you ordered to be written. And he still prays to his god three times a day." 14The king was really upset to hear about this, and for the rest of the day he tried to think how he could save Daniel.
15At sunset the men returned and said, " Your Majesty, remember that no written law of the Medes and Persians can be changed, not even by the king."
16So Darius ordered Daniel to be brought out and thrown into a pit of lions. But he said to Daniel, " You have been faithful to your God, and I pray that he will rescue you."
17A stone was rolled over the pit, and it was sealed. Then Darius and his officials stamped the seal to show that no one should let Daniel out. 18All night long the king could not sleep. He did not eat anything, and he would not let anyone come in to entertain him.
19At daybreak the king got up and ran to the pit. 20He was anxious and shouted, " Daniel, you were faithful and served your God. Was he able to save you from the lions?"
21Daniel answered, " Your Majesty, I hope you live forever! 22My God knew that I was innocent, and he sent an angel to keep the lions from eating me. Your Majesty, I have never done anything to hurt you."
23The king was relieved to hear Daniel's voice, and he gave orders for him to be taken out of the pit. Daniel's faith in his God had kept him from being harmed. 24And the king ordered the men who had brought charges against Daniel to be thrown into the pit, together with their wives and children. But before they even reached the bottom, the lions ripped them to pieces.
25King Darius then sent this message to all people of every nation and race in the world: "Greetings to all of you! 26I command everyone in my kingdom to worship and honor the God of Daniel. He is the living God, the one who lives forever. His power and his kingdom will never end. 27He rescues people and sets them free by working great miracles. Daniel's God has rescued him from the power of the lions." 28All went well for Daniel while Darius was king, and even when Cyrus the Persian ruled.