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)
1. Children will view the video Veggi Tales “Daniel and the Lions Den”.
2. Children will learn about the 4 elements in prayer and the acronym ACTS.
3. The children will practice writing a prayer that contains the 4 elements.
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.
2. Distribute the popcorn with help from the Shepherds or volunteer children. (Popcorn should already be made.)
3. Tell the children that today they will be watching a video about Daniel and the Lions’ Den and talking about prayer.
1. Before the video, tell the children you will discuss the video after watching it. However, while watching the video ask them to think about why Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. What law did he break? Why did Daniel decide to break the law?
2. Show the video. Older children: they might be offended at the idea of watching Veggie Tales. Assure them of their maturity and that they are watching the video for the basic outline of the story. This Bible story is really a very scary story. Veggie Tales presents it in a way that little kids can understand. Ask the older children to watch for ways in which the real story might have been different or more REAL and scary.
1. Discussion Time: What happened in the story?
Older Children: How was the Veggie Tales version different from the real story? There are the obvious: animation, vegetable characters, singing, etc. Then you can discuss: real lions and how very frightened Daniel must have been and how jealous and angry the administrators were with Daniel, etc. Read the Bible version (Daniel 6:1-28) for comparison if the discussion doesn’t run long.
Younger Children: recap the main events of the story with the children.
2. We are going to focus on prayer:
¨ Why was Daniel put in the Lion’s Den? What law did he break?
¨ Why were the jealous leaders so sure they could trap Daniel with this law? (He was well known as someone who was faithful to God. They made a law that tried to force him to be unfaithful.)
¨ Look in your Bibles and read 6:10-11. What 2 things did Daniel pray for? (Thanks and help) How many times a day did Daniel pray? (3) How did Daniel pray? (on his knees) Why do you suppose he prayed in front of an open window where he was sure to be caught? (he did not want to hide his faithfulness to God)
¨ Ask the children about their prayer habits: When/where/how they pray. What do they pray for? Do they pray regularly? Just when they need help?
¨ Daniel was in serious trouble in the den. If you were Daniel, what would you pray for? Children might answer: “Help”! What kind of help? Wait until you get responses like: “Kill the lions”, “get me out of here!” God didn’t do that though. How did God help Daniel? (6:22 God shut the mouths of the lions so they couldn’t hurt him) Does God always help us the way we ask God to help? (God gives us the help we need. Sometimes we don’t see it that way, though.) What kinds of things might you ask help for? What might you talk to God about?
3. Learn about the 4 elements of Prayer. We are going to look at the 4 parts of formal prayer. It is OK to talk to God and ask for help and make one sentence prayers. When you pray more formally, at church, before going to bed or in the morning, or whenever you want to make a prayer to God, you can practice using the 4 parts. They are ACTS. A=adoration (starts the prayer and addresses God/Jesus/Holy Spirit), C= confession (what might we confess), T=thanksgiving (what are we thankful for), S=supplication (send help, what help do we need, be careful of telling God exactly how to give help).
4. How do we usually end a prayer? (Amen) What does Amen mean? ("So be it.")
1. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Ask younger children to draw a picture of Daniel or of themselves praying. Ask older children to write a brief 4 sentence prayer.
2. Ask the students to stop and sit quietly for prayer.
Prayer: Ask for volunteers to help with the prayer or as a suggestion - Thank you, God, for listening to our prayers and being with us when we’re afraid. Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up popcorn. Put bean bag chairs in piles against the walls.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.
2. Read Daniel chapter 6 to familiarize yourself with the details of the story.
3. Check out the workshop room before your first Sunday so that you know where everything is located. The bin with popcorn supplies is located in the left closet in Holywood.
4. PRACTICE OPERATING THE POPCORN MACHINE.
Veggie Tales Video Where’s God When I’m S-scared?, Visual Audio