Editor’s note: Are you looking for a way to expand the prayer horizon for the kids in your VBS, Sunday school class, or Bible club? Then check out the prayer cards CTA has developed. Referring to the fingers on one hand, these cards remind children to pray and suggest what to pray about. This devotion is adapted slightly from the free downloadable Ministry Message that accompanies the prayer cards.
Have you ever tried to talk to somebody, but that person just wouldn’t listen? Maybe your brother or sister was watching a favorite cartoon, and just ignored you. Maybe you were in church and wanted to tell your mom a story, but she just said, “Shhhh!” Have you ever tried to talk to your dad when he was on the phone? Did he whisper, “Wait!”—and go on talking. It doesn’t feel good to be ignored, does it?
You’ll be excited to know that there is someone who will always listen when you talk. Do you know who that person is? (Give the children a moment to think and offer their guesses.) That’s right—it’s God! When we have these special talks with God, it’s called praying. We can talk to God about anything. We can pray anywhere and everywhere.
Getting to the Heart
We may have lots to say to our mom or our sister, but we have much, much more to say to God! We can praise God. We can ask him for help. We can ask for forgiveness. We can talk about anything else that’s on our minds.
When we’re about to explode with joy, God wants us to tell him. When we feel disappointed, discouraged, or afraid, God is always there for us. He wants us to ask him for help. God loves us very much and always wants to hear our feelings.
When we’ve said mean things or done mean things, we can pray, too. When we’ve disobeyed or failed to help someone, we can confess these sins to our heavenly Father. He will always forgive us for Jesus’ sake. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid. God sent his only Son, Jesus, to be our Savior from sin. Jesus died on the cross and then rose from the dead for us. We don’t have to carry around our guilt or our worries. We can tell Jesus we are sorry for our sins, and he will forgive us! We can also ask him for help in avoiding sins in the future. He will help us grow in the faith and love we need to turn away from sin and live more and more like his joyful children.
These prayer cards show us a great way to remember all kinds of things we can pray about—using the fingers on our hand. Let me show you! Let’s all fold our hands in prayer and get started!
When you fold your hands, which fingers are on top and closest to your body? (Allow children to answer.) You’re right—it’s your thumbs! Since your thumbs are closest to your body, they can remind you to pray for the people who are closest to you. You can pray for your family, your friends, and anybody else that you love. For instance, you might want to ask God to make you a good friend. You might ask Jesus to help everyone in your family get along with one another.
Next, we’re going to talk about our pointer finger. We can use this finger to remind us to pray about people who point us in the right direction, people who give us guidance. For example, teachers or police officers or your pastor and other leaders at church. What could you ask Jesus to do for these people? (Allow children to answer.)
Now, let’s move on to our tallest finger. This one reminds us to talk to God about the people who lead our nation. Can you give me an example of what we should include in these prayers? (Allow children to answer.) Yes, we can pray for our president, governor, or mayor. We might ask God to keep judges and senators safe and help them to make good decisions.
Our ring finger is next. Did you know that this is our weakest finger? It reminds us to think about the people in our life that are sick or in trouble. For example, when somebody you love is in the hospital, you can ask Jesus to comfort that person and to make that person strong and healthy again. If one of your friends is stuck in a bad situation, you can ask God to show you how to help.
Our last finger is the pinky finger. It’s the smallest finger, isn’t it? This finger reminds us to pray for ourselves. We might see ourselves as little or unimportant, but just think! Because of Jesus you get to talk with God himself! You can talk to God when you’re happy or excited. When you do well in school or you’re able to do something really fun, you can thank Jesus for everything he has done for you and all that he gives to you!
Taking It Home
When we talk to God, he always listens. We are his forgiven children in Jesus. He will always answer our prayers, giving us what’s best for us and for the people around us. Even when he doesn’t do exactly what we’ve asked, we can trust him. After all, Jesus died for us! If God did that very, very best thing for us, we know that everything else he does is best, too.
I’m giving each of you one of these little prayer cards. Use them as you pray anytime, anywhere, and about anything. If you get stuck and forget what to say, remember to look at your hands and pray for all the things we talked about today.
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