Jesus Told Us to Ask
TEXT: Matthew 7:7-11; John 16:23-28
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to explain that Jesus wants them to go to Him in prayer: to ask, to seek, to knock. They will be able to tell why we ask all things "in Jesus name."
- memory verse
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. — Matthew 7:7
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Bring a doll to class (or even a real baby, if this is possible). Ask your class how a baby tells us it needs something. Establish that it "asks" for something by crying. The loving parent will attempt to meet that need for the baby. In the same way, our heavenly Father wants to meet our needs. He always understands just what these needs are and what is best for us. The way we "ask" Him for our needs is through prayer.
- The Lord tells us to ask, seek, and knock; and will reward us accordingly.
- He points out that if parents give their children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him?
- When we make our request in the name of Jesus, we will receive it that our joy may be full.
Climax: God wants us to pray and bring our requests to Him, and He has promised to answer.
Conclusion: It is a good thing to look to the Lord for the needs of our life.
Response: The students will be able to explain how we are to make our requests known to God.
- background information
Prayer is asking and receiving; it is talking with God with the purpose of making your request known unto Him in faith. The scripture Matthew 7:7 is so simple on the surface that we are in danger of failing to recognize its immensity. Our Lord instructs the believer to ask seek, and knock, because these three words cover the whole spectrum of prayer.
Prayer is asking and receiving. When you know the will of God regarding a need, whether it be material or spiritual, you can ask and receive. This is prayer according to the revealed will of God.
Prayer is seeking and finding. When you do not know the will of God regarding a need, whether it be material or spiritual, then you are to seek His will in prayer concerning this need until you find it. This is prayer for a knowledge of the unrevealed will of God in a specific need.
Prayer is knocking and opening. When you know the will of God, and yet you find a closed door, you are to knock, and keep on knocking until God opens the door. This is tenacious prayer—prayer for mountain-moving faith. Knocking prayer perseveres until the impossible becomes the possible. This is miracle-working prayer. All things are possible when you ask, seek, knock.
- in-class activities
- Bring a bag of newspapers and a bag of pop bottles. Talk about newspaper drives and bottle drives. People go from door to door asking, seeking, knocking. When we pray we are asking or seeking and knocking on God's door.
- Make three puppets and put a different letter on each one: A,S,K. Use these to demonstrate what each part of the A.S.K. prayer means. Mr. A can be the one to ASK Jesus for the daily needs and other things he knows God wants him to have. Mrs. S might need an answer to something she isn't sure about so she SEEKs God's will, whether it is yes or no. Miss K wants to find the answer to her prayer so she keeps praying (KNOCKing on Heaven's door) until God fulfills the prayer in His perfect time. Be sure that each of these prayers end with the words "In Jesus' name." The children need to know that Jesus is the reason we can A.S.K.
- Cut out enough five-inch happy-face circles for all the children in your class. Hand them out and tell each child to write his name on his circle. Make one for yourself also. Give the children an example and then let them take turns telling how their name might help someone else. Examples: your name used on a job application, an introduction as your friend, your signature on a legal document or check. Explain that as Jesus' friends we can go to God the Father, in Jesus' name.
- Put a large, clear, glass jar (anything from a canning jar to decorative vase) on a table in a corner of your class. Have a scratch pad and pencils next to the jar and encourage the children to write out special prayers, as many as they wish, but at least one per child. Tell them to end all their prayers with, "In Jesus' name." They may then fold their prayer paper in half and put it into the jar. There is no need to read the prayers because Jesus knows what they say. Tell them each time they see the jar they can know that they and their friends did as Jesus commanded—they ASKed.
Special Instructions for Unit 30: Give your students the Prayer Power Project for this week: Grab Bag Prayer
- When can we pray?
- Where can we pray?
- What are some things about which you can talk to Jesus?
- How do we seek salvation?
- What are some other things people pray about?
- How do we knock to receive God's promises?
- Why do we ask for things "In Jesus' name?"
- pre-school suggestions
- Use a toy telephone to demonstrate how easy it is to call on Jesus when we have a need or when we want Him to do something for us.
- We want all our little children to learn that if they have a problem "Jesus will make it better." Show them a picture of Jesus and explain that we can pray to God because Jesus died and went to Heaven for us. Jesus is our best Friend and we can ask anything in His name.
- Make finger jello. Using alphabet cookie cutters or a cardboard stencil, cut out A,S,K letters for all your students. Talk about asking as your children eat the A, seeking as they eat the S, and knocking as they eat the K.
- review ideas
Write the word ASK on three pieces of construction paper. Do the same for the words SEEK and KNOCK. Hand these nine pieces of paper out to various children in the department. Tell them that when they see their word being acted out to raise their sign to show the rest of the department. Examples:
- Someone asking for a glass of water
- Someone looking for something
- Someone knocking on the wall
Have the following on hand.
- Bread and a rock
- Fish and plastic snake
- A good apple and a bad apple.
Have three children come up and pick one object of each set that their mom would give them if they asked for something because they were hungry. Bring out that the Bible says our heavenly Father knows how to give us good gifts even more than our parents do. God knows what is best for us and if we do what He wants we will be winners.
Use the In-Class Activities ASK puppets idea and elaborate on the ASK prayer. Write a script in which the ASK family fulfills each of their parts. Again be sure each prayer ends with, "In Jesus' name."
On eleven 5" x 8" pieces of colored construction paper write the letters to the words IN JESUS' NAME (one letter per paper). Scramble the words (NI SEJUS MANE) and pin them to a bulletin board. Let the children help you unscramble them, and then talk about why you use these words in your prayer. When we say, "In Jesus' name," we are really saying, "When Jesus died He made it possible for me to talk to You, God." We can ASK in Jesus' name.