The Lost Birthday Gift
TEXT: Matthew 7:7-11; John 16:23-28
Alicia skipped along beside her mother. They were at the mall to buy a birthday gift for Jamie, Alicia's little brother. Alicia wanted to get a big, white teddy bear with a stocking cap and cute red neck scarf. She had seen it in the toy store two weeks ago.
A short time later, Alicia left the toy store carrying a big sack with the bear inside. Then Mother said, "Alicia, would you like to see a puppet show?"
Alicia gave a jump for joy. "Oh, Mommy, could we?"
They walked to a big area beside the escalators. There were lots of children in front of the puppet stage. Alicia watched excitedly as the curtain opened, and two puppets danced onto the stage. They talked and sang with squeaky voices. Everyone laughed and clapped. Alicia put her sack down beside her so she could clap too.
Soon the show was over. People started walking and pushing and shoving. There were so many people that Alicia couldn't see her mother. That scared her!
She ran quickly over to the escalator and climbed up onto a bench. Now she could see over heads. "There she is," cried Alicia. Jumping down, Alicia ran to catch hold of her mother's hand.
"Mommy!" she said. "I thought I had lost you!"
Her mother gave her a quick hug. "Well, you found me. So don't worry anymore. Now, we'd better get home and start the birthday dinner."
Birthday! All of a sudden Alicia realized that she didn't have the sack with Jamie's bear. She remembered setting it down so she could clap for the puppets. She must have left it where she had been standing.
They looked around the area, but there was no sign of the bear. What should they do? Suddenly a verse from the Bible popped into Alicia's mind. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; ... "
"Let's pray, Mommy," she said. "Jesus can help us find the bear." They sat down on a bench and bowed their heads. "Jesus, please help us find the bear," Alicia prayed. "I really want to give it to Jamie for his birthday."
When they stood up, Alicia's mother had an idea. "Let's go where we bought the bear," she said. "Maybe someone took it back there."
Sure enough! When Alicia went to the counter in the store, the lady pulled out the bag. "Someone found it near the stage. They saw by the sack that it had been purchased here, so they brought it back."
There was a big smile on Alicia's face as she walked out of the store. "God answered my prayer," she said. "All I had to do was ask."
This lesson develops the theme of A.S.K.—Asking, Seeking, and Knocking—when we come to God in prayer. Review the memory verse with your child, and talk about what it means, and the differences in the three methods of approach.
Stage a treasure hunt for your child using these three key words. Write a number of clues on pieces of paper which will guide him step by step to the treasure. On each clue, include one of the three words. For example: "Ask your father for the next clue." "Seek for the next clue inside the front cover of one of the books on the dining room table." "Knock on your sister's door and wait to be given the message taped on the inside."
A fun treat as the treasure at the end of the hunt could be the three letters A, S, and K made from chocolate, or cookies cut into these shapes. Be sure to end your search by reinforcing the thought that we can receive many treasures from God through prayer if we Ask, Seek, and Knock.