“God Proves to Elijah that He is Real!”
Dig In to the Bible
- Read: 1 Kings 18:1-40
- In This Passage: Elijah is in hiding from King Ahab. He comes out to prove that Baal isn’t a real god and that only God is real. He issues a challenge to see whose god can light an altar on fire. The prophets of Baal build and dance around their altar for hours, but nothing happens. Elijah pours water on his altar, and God still lights it on fire, proving God is real.
- Bible Point: God is real.
- Summary Verse: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
- You’ll Be Teaching: God is real. Kids may not worship statues like Baal, but they often idolize things like phones, video games, celebrities, or TV shows. Help them see that none of those things can truly satisfy; because God is real, only he can.
- Think About: How do you know God is real?
Dig In to Prayer
- Pray that God will help your kids experience how real he is.
Quick Tip As kids discover the real truths about God, sometimes they may have theologically incorrect answers. That’s okay. The truths they discover on their own will be so much more significant than what someone tells them. Let them express their own questions and beliefs. Guide them toward Scripture to find answers about the real God.
Introduce the Lesson
Say: Today we’re going to learn that God is real. We’ll see what he did in the Bible to prove that he is real and that other gods are fake.
Tell kids which fictional character you wish was real, and why. Encourage your kids to share what fictional character they wish was real.
Open a Bible to 1 Kings 18, and say: In the Bible, some people made a fictional god—just a statue—and treated it like it was a real god! But only God is real. The Bible isn’t like other books; it’s special. The Bible is one way God talks to us. God is here right now, ready to talk to you, because he’s real. Let’s talk with him now.
Pray, thanking God for being real in our lives.
Ask kids if they know how to do any impressions. For example, they might be able to whistle like a bird, make an elephant noise, or imitate the voice of a famous person. If you can do an impression, start it off! Then give kids a turn to showcase their talents.
Say: Wow! Those were great impressions. If you closed your eyes, you might even think those were the real thing! But since we saw that those noises came from our friends, we know they were fake.
Today we’re going to talk about what’s real and what’s fake. We’ll learn that God is real.
Watch This Video:
Game Time: “Nothing Like the Real Thing!”
- poster boards or large sheets of paper
- masking tape
- upbeat music (optional)
- music player (optional)
- Tape the poster boards about 3 feet apart on the wall, and place a marker on the floor under each poster. Make sure to keep the height of your smallest kids in mind when hanging the poster.
Race to Draw
Say: Earlier we heard about a wild experience that God’s prophet Elijah had when he asked God to show the people of Israel that God is the only true god. The people had been worshipping fake gods—imitations of God—and Elijah wanted these people to know the truth. The fakes were nothing compared to the real God, and only God deserved their worship.
Let’s play a fun game to see how an imitation just isn’t as good as the real thing.
Explain that kids will take turns running to their poster board from a starting point to pick up the marker and adding one line at a time to a drawing. The lines can be made in any shape and length but must be continuous; once the artist lifts the marker from the poster, his or her turn is over. He or she will then run back to tag the next person in line.
Stand near the poster boards you’ve taped to the wall so kids can see you as they draw, because they’ll be drawing you. Kids will race to create the best imitation of you that they can before time’s up.
If you’d like, play upbeat music to signal the beginning of the game and while kids play. When time is up, turn the music off to signal the end of the game.
Talk About It
Ask: • Why do you think your drawing is a good or not-so-good imitation of me?
• Would you rather spend time with the real me or a drawing of me? Why? Say: Even professional artists couldn’t make an imitation of me that’s exactly like me. Kind of like you drew imitations of me, the people of Israel made imitations of God and even worshipped those imitations. But God showed them that only he is the real God. God is real and wants us to spend time with and worship him, not imitations of him.
Say: God is real, and he’s doing miracles all around us. Some might seem ordinary, but they’re God’s hand at work. Every time you take a breath, that’s a miracle. God is the one who made your lungs to inhale and exhale! If you’ve held a little baby, that baby is a miracle. Every gift we get is from God.
Read James 1:17.
Say: But since those gifts can seem ordinary, sometimes we might want to see a miracle like Elijah saw. God still does big miracles, but not everyone will get to see one. Let’s see what the Bible says about believing God is real, even if it seems like we’re not seeing big, out-of-the-ordinary miracles.
Read Hebrews 11:1.
Ask: • How can faith be evidence that God is real?
Read John 20:29.
Ask: • Why is it blessed to believe in God without seeing physical evidence that he’s real?
Read Romans 1:20.
Ask: • What are some things you’ve seen in nature that show you God is real? Say: Whether or not you think you’ve seen a big miracle, God is real. He’s as real today as he was when he lit Elijah’s altar on fire. Look for God all around you this week…you might see more miracles than you realize!
Craft Time: “Altar Snack”
Red and orange gummy bears or worms
Use the supplies to build an edible altar!
Download this Word Search as an additional optional craft activity to do with your kids!
Wrap Up: “Real Altar”
- river rocks or paper
- permanent markers
Say: God is real. Maybe you haven’t seen him light an altar on fire, but God has done a lot of stuff to prove he’s real! Share an example of how you’ve seen that God is real. For example, you could share about seeing a beautiful sunset or about suddenly feeling peaceful when you had been feeling sad.
Distribute permanent markers and river rocks or paper. Have kids write or draw their own ideas of how they know God is real. They can choose just one or two words to sum up stories.
Have kids share about what they wrote. When finished, have all the kids make one big altar by stacking their rocks or making a pile of their crumpled papers.
Pray: Thank you, God, for all the ways you’ve shown us you are real. Help us continue to see how real you are in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Additional Optional Game: 2 Truths and a Lie
Say: In our story today we heard about how Elijah and many others saw proof that God is real. Other people were worshipping a made-up god. Sometimes we have to separate what’s real and what’s made-up.
You’ll see what I mean in this game. To get started, think of two things about you that are real. They can be things like where you’ve gone on a family vacation, if you’ve been to a concert, and whether you have a special talent. Give kids a minute to come up with their two real facts about themselves. Next, make up something you wish were true about yourself—but it’s not. It could be something you really want to do but haven’t yet, such as going to Disneyland, seeing the Grand Canyon, or scoring a goal in soccer. Try to keep your made-up fact something that could probably happen. Give kids another minute to think of their fictitious facts.
Start the game by sharing your three statements, and invite kids to guess what’s real and what’s made-up. After a few guesses, reveal what you made up. Then have kids take turns saying their three statements, and invite everyone else to guess what’s real and made-up.
Talk About It
Ask: • What made it hard to tell what was real or made-up about everyone here?
• What makes it hard or easy to know for sure that God is real?
Say: We shared real things about ourselves and made-up things about ourselves. God is real. But sometimes people worship made-up gods like Baal. Today, that might mean worshipping a celebrity or your phone. Let’s worship only God because he’s the only real God.