“1 Samuel: God Hears Hannah’s Prayer for a Son”
Dig In to the Bible
- Read: 1 Samuel 1:9-28
- In This Passage: Hannah doesn’t have a baby, and that makes her sad. She prays that God will give her the desire of her heart: a son. She promises that if God answers her prayer, she’ll give her son back to God. God hears and answers Hannah’s prayer, and she gives her son back to God when he’s weaned. God hears our prayers, too.
- Bible Point: God hears our prayers.
- Summary Verse: “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (Romans 12:16).
- You’ll Be Teaching: God hears our prayers. This can be hard for kids to understand, as they’ve probably experienced praying for something and not getting the answer they wanted. Help kids see that even though God doesn’t always do what we ask, he always hears us and he cares about our hearts’ desires.
- Think About: What’s at the top of your prayer list right now? How do you feel about God hearing your heart’s desires? What has his care meant to you?
Dig In to Prayer
- Pray that God will help kids turn to him with their needs and desires.
- God has wired each child differently—one is rowdy, one is quiet, and one is unpredictable from week to week. Prayerfully let God help you move out of your own comfort zone to enter into the unique learning styles and world of your kids. God will hear your prayers!
Introduce the Lesson
Say: Today we’re going to learn that God hears our prayers. We’ll learn about a woman in the Bible who prayed and how God heard her prayer. Let’s talk about what we hear.
Tell kids what your favorite sound is. For example, you might like to hear your kids laughing, the sound of rain, or classical music.
Open a Bible to 1 Samuel 1, and say: One of God’s favorite sounds is our prayers! God hears our prayers. Let’s see what the Bible says about the prayer of a woman named Hannah. The Bible is special because it’s full of true stories about what God has done. God can talk to us as we read and hear about his works. Let’s listen to God as we hear from the Bible today and as we pray to him.
Pray, thanking God for hearing our prayers.
Watch this Video:
Form a circle, and have kids sit so they can easily pat their laps.
Say: Listen carefully! Pause. Do you hear anything? Motion for kids to cup a hand over their ears and listen. Clap your hands four times on a steady beat. Did you hear the claps? This time, listen to the claps, and then repeat them just like you heard. Ready? Clap your hands four times on a steady beat again, and then cup your hand around your ear and listen as kids repeat the rhythm. You may have to lead younger kids in copying instead of just listening.
Say: Great job! Let’s make a game. Listen while I clap, and then repeat what you hear. Together we’ll make a fun beat. Clap a different, simple beat; then have kids repeat the beat you make. Mix things up by patting your lap between claps. You can make it a little more difficult by speeding up the beat or making the patterns more complex. Ideas include:
- clap, pat, clap, pat
- clap, clap, pat, clap, clap, pat
- pat, pat, clap, pat, pat, clap
- pat, pat, clap, clap
Talk About It
Say: We made some fun beats together! You listened and answered, just like God listens to and answers our prayers.
Tell about a time you heard someone ask you for something. Perhaps one of your kids just asked for a snack, or maybe a parent asked you to make something for a holiday dinner.
Ask: • When has someone asked you to do something?
• What did you do?
Say: We can pray and ask God for things because God hears our prayers. Like you always echoed my claps, God always answers our prayers. He may not always say yes or answer right away, but he loves us and is always listening.
- gallon containers of water
- buckets or sink
Hold Containers of Water
Say: Our Bible story today was about a woman named Hannah. Hannah was very sad because she didn’t have any children, and she really wanted to have a baby. When we feel sad or angry or upset, our hearts can feel heavy and weighed down—kind of like a heavy jug of water!
Give your kids a container of water, and encourage kids to each try to pick it up and hold it for as long as they can.
Say: When we feel sad or weighed down by worry, we can talk to our family members or friends. That can help our hearts feel not quite as heavy.
Help your kids find partners, and have them pick up the container of water with a partner, making the container a little easier to hold. Offer kids a little help with the lifting and in making sure the container doesn’t drop on someone’s toes. Check to make sure the lid stays securely in place, and make sure each child gets a turn.
Say: The Bible says that Hannah poured out her heart to God, instead of holding on to her sadness inside her heart. That means she told God everything she was sad and upset about. God doesn’t want us to bottle up our worries or sadness inside, either. He wants us to pour out our hearts to him by praying and telling him everything we’re feeling. God hears our prayers.
Pour Out Water
Say: Let’s pour out our hearts to God right now. Think about something you’re sad or angry or worried about. Pause. Each person is going to get to pour out some of the water from our containers. When it’s your turn to pour out water, imagine you’re pouring out your sad or angry feelings the way you’re pouring out the water.
Make sure each child in a group gets to help pour out some of the water.
After they have emptied their containers, have kids take turns holding the empty container to feel how light it is.
Say: When we pray to God and tell him what we’re feeling, he can make our hearts feel lighter and happier by filling us with his comfort and peace and love, kind of like our containers were light and full of air after we poured the water out.
Pray: God, thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for caring about the things we’re excited about, sad about, and worried about. Thank you that we can pour out our hearts to you and for making our hearts feel lighter with your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
- “Animal Ears” handout (1 per child) (download here)
- 3×17-inch strips of white paper (1 per child)
- safety scissors
- Print some of each of the 3 “Animal Ears” pages in the handout so kids can choose which animal ears they want to make. Cut out the ear shapes ahead of time for young preschoolers who won’t be able to do it.
- Make a sample craft to show kids.
Say: Today we’re talking about how God hears us when we talk to him. That reminds me of animals that have big ears and can hear really well. Rabbits’ ears perk up and move side to side when they hear something. And our dogs and cats can usually hear things outside before we can!
Ask: • Have you ever noticed that before with animals? Let kids share about their pets or other animals and what they’ve noticed about their ears.
Say: Let’s make some animal ears for our craft today!
Give each kid a 3×17-inch strip of paper, and let kids choose one of the three animal ear templates—a dog, a cat, or a bunny.
Have kids color the white strip of paper in a color to resemble the animal they’d like to be. Then they can color the ears on their handout and cut them out.
While they are working on their ears, go to each child and wrap the strip of paper around his or her head like a headband. Then take the headband off and staple the ends together to make a headband that fits the child’s head.
When kids have finished coloring their ears, help them tape the ears onto their headbands.
Say: God hears our prayers! God doesn’t need big ears like animals to be able to hear us. God is so good at hearing us that he can even hear us when we pray silently in our hearts.
Wrap It Up:
Markers or Crayons
Have your kids make prayer hands to help lead them through the different steps of prayer. Trace their hands on the construction paper. Have them cut them out, or help them cut it out. Then on each finger have them write one of 5 phrases: “Praise God, Confess your sins, Thank God, Pray for others, Pray for yourself.” Lead them in praying through each of the fingers. Then have them put them where they will see them everyday.
Play a Game Like Mother, May I?
Say: I have a question. Can you count to five with me? Invite kids to count with you. One, two, three, four, five. Great job! You heard my question and answered. In our Bible story, God heard Hannah’s prayers, and he answered with a yes! Let’s play a game where you’ll ask me questions and I’ll answer them.
Have kids stand in a line facing you at the opposite side of the room. Tell them that the goal of the game is for everyone to get to you, but they have to ask how many steps they can take to get there.
Say: You’ll take turns asking to take one, two, three, four, or five steps. You’ll say, “Please, may I take two steps?” or however many steps you want everyone to take.
Let a few kids take turns asking to take steps. After they ask, respond, “Yes, you may,” or “No, you may not. But you may take [number] step(s).” Then have all the kids take that number of steps.
After a few rounds, invite the children to ask for different actions, such as the following:
- jumping jacks
- giant steps
- high knees
- marching steps
Play until all the kids have had at least one turn and they’ve all reached you at the other side of the room for a big group hug.
Talk About It
Say: You made it! In our game, you asked me questions and I heard you. Sometimes I said yes, but sometimes I had another idea. In our Bible story, Hannah asked God for a baby boy. God heard Hannah’s prayer and gave her a baby boy.
Tell kids about a time you received something you asked for. Perhaps it was a birthday or Christmas present or a special dinner someone made for you. Or maybe you got better when you were sick.
Ask: • Tell about a time you asked for something and got it.
Say: It’s always exciting to get something we ask for. And we can be sure that when we ask God for something, he’ll always hear us. But like in our game, sometimes he says yes and sometimes he has a different idea. The different ideas you had in our game still brought you closer to me. And every time we talk to God, he’ll give us something that brings us closer to him. God hears all our prayers. Talking to him helps us grow close to him. God always knows what’s best for us and loves us so much.