PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, JUNE 14
DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN
Bible Passage: Daniel 6
Story Point: God shut the mouths of the lions to save Daniel.
Key Passage: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
What is God Like: God is trustworthy.
Theme for Unit: Prayer - We trust God and He hears us.
CHRIST CONNECTION: One of the things we have been asking this month is Why do we pray? We pray—and Daniel prayed—because we trust God, and we know He hears us. God showed His power to rescue Daniel from the lions, but Daniel was just a small part of a much bigger story. God ultimately rescued us from a much bigger problem—sin and death—through His Son, Jesus.
1. CHECK OUT THE BIBLE STORY
OPTION 2: WATCH IT
2. SHARE YOUR STORY
Consider questions that pursue the heart of your child during natural points of connection. Here are a couple for during a walk or at the dinner table this week:
- What is something we could pray for our family, our neighborhood or our friends this week?
- What do you think you would have done in Daniel’s position? When are times you get scared?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
- Did Daniel stop praying to God when the king made the new law? (No, Daniel kept on praying to God.)
- What was Daniel’s punishment for praying to God instead of the king? (He was thrown in the lions’ den.)
- What happened to Daniel in the lions’ den? (God saved Daniel from the lions.)
- What new law did King Darius make? (Everyone must respect God.)
- Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us.
- Why did the other leaders want to get Daniel in trouble? (They were jealous of him, Dan. 6:3-4)
- What law did Darius create? (For thirty days; people could not pray to anyone except him, Dan. 6:7)
- What was Daniel’s response to the king’s law? (Daniel continued praying, Dan. 6:10)
- Why do you think Daniel obeyed God rather than King Darius? Guide the kids to see that God is our ultimate authority. We are called to obey God above any earthly leaders. If Daniel were to obey the king’s decree to pray to him, Daniel would have been sinning against God.
- Is it always easy to obey God? Why or why not? Help kids understand that obeying God can be difficult. We have to fight against our own sin, and we may face persecution from non-believers. Jesus reminded His disciples that we will be blessed when people mistreat us for His sake. (Matt. 5:11-12; John 15:18-19) We can also remember that Jesus faced punishment and even death when He was obedient to God’s plan to rescue sinners. (Heb. 5:7-9)
- How can your obedience to God point others to His goodness? Explain that our obedience shows others that we really do trust God and believe the Bible. When we choose to follow God, especially when disobedience might seem easier, we demonstrate to the world that God is worthy of our obedience.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
MAKE A PRAYER WALL
WHAT YOU NEED: Bible, tape, index cards or sticky notes, markers
WHAT YOU DO: Open a Bible to 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 and read it. Write Pray Constantly on a sheet of paper and tape it to a wall. Below the sign, tape off a frame or make a decorative border. Provide index cards or fun-shaped sticky notes and markers. Encourage every family member to draw or write something they can talk to God about on an index card or sticky note. Encourage them to attach their drawings to the prayer wall.
WHAT YOU SAY: We can talk to God about anything at any time! Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us. God want us to talk to Him about everything. He loves to hear the prayers of His children. He is a kind and generous God who always keeps His promises. We can trust Him! God always answers prayers according to His will. God will always give His children what we would have asked for if we knew everything He does.
WHAT YOU DO: Invite everyone in the family/group to sit in a circle. Go around the circle and encourage each person to name three things she is thankful for. When everyone has shared, spend a minute thanking God for the way He has blessed everyone in the circle.
WHAT YOU SAY: This we heard a story about Daniel. He loved God and prayed to God many times each day. Do you remember what Daniel did when the king made a law saying prayer to God would be illegal? Remind children that there are places in the world where it is illegal to pray to Jesus. Consider praying for the persecuted church as a family.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU DO: Practice saying the key passage together. Create motions.
PRESCHOOL: constantly, (praying hands) give thanks (ASI for thanks) in everything (spread arms wide). 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
ELEMENTARY: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
PLAY "FOLLOW THE LAW"
WHAT YOU DO: Make up some new “rules for home” for children to follow. Call out commands and lead children to do what you say. Tell children to hop, touch an ear, turn around, or say, “God is powerful!” Allow children to take turns making new laws for the group to follow.
WHAT YOU SAY: This week we heard about a law that King Darius made that Daniel could not follow. The law said that people could only pray to the king. Anyone who disobeyed the law would be thrown into a den of lions. Listen to our Bible story to hear what happened when Daniel obeyed God instead of the king’s law.
SET UP A ZOO
WHAT YOU NEED: little people animals and people, stuffed animals, etc. blocks or craft sticks. Note cards and crayons (optional)
WHAT YOU DO: Place toy zoo animals, people figures, craft sticks, and chenille stems in an area with blocks. Guide preschoolers to build enclosures and set up people figures to be zookeepers or visitors to the zoo. Provide index cards and markers. Challenge an older preschooler to spell ZOO and make signs for the zoo’s entrance and exit. Talk about visits to the zoo and inquire about an animal’s diet and behavior. Check out some online zookeeper talks if your child in interested in a specific animal.
WHAT YOU SAY: Many animals at the zoo can be very dangerous to people. Daniel knew that if he disobeyed the king’s new law and prayed to God, he could be thrown into the lions’ den. Daniel knew what could happen, but he kept on praying to the one true God anyway. Do you remember what happened to Daniel?
PRAY IN "DANIEL'S HOUSE"
WHAT YOU NEED: large cardboard box, a tent, or supplies to build a fort (table and blanket works!)
WHAT YOU DO: Use scissors or a utility knife to cut a door and windows in an appliance box to make “Daniel’s house.” Place pillows or cushions inside. You can also just make a fort or put up a tent. Invite children to play out going in the house to pray.
WHAT YOU SAY: Even after the king made the new law, Daniel went into his house and prayed to God three times every day, just like he had always done. God saved Daniel from the lions. God is powerful! God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from something more dangerous than lions. Jesus rescues us from sin and death.
journalingFOR 4TH-6TH GRADE
Guide kids to think about and answer one or two journaling prompts. Be sure to join them.
- What does this story teach me about God or the gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Are there things God is asking me to do in this story? How are they for God’s glory and my good?
- Are there any promises in this story to remember? How do they help me trust and love God?
- What characteristics of God do I see in this story?
- What does the story teach me about people around me?
- If I’m honest, what parts of this are hard to understand or believe?
talking to kids about the gospel...
Here’s one way we talk about the gospel with elementary kids
A- We are God’s most treasured creation! Created to be with Him. However, there’s a problem. It’s sin. Sin is anything we do that isn’t what God wants for us. We’ve all done it, even me. And sin gets in the way of us having a relationship with God. We need to admit we have this problem!
B- Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did in order to make a way for our relationship with God to be made whole again...specifically He loves you SO MUCH that...”Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4) He took the punishment we deserved.
C- Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Jesus says that our response, or the way we accept it is by faith. In other words putting our trust in Him.