Praying With Emotion

Scripture: Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-52, Luke 22:40-53, John 18:1-12

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn Jesus understood how horribly painful his death would be and prayed, asking God to find some other way.
  • Students will learn Jesus accepted he had to die on the cross in order for us to have an opportunity to spend eternity with him in Heaven.
  • Students will learn sometimes the things we ask God for in prayer, God will not give us. We may not understand why God sometimes says “No” to our prayers, but must trust in God and His ultimate plan.
  • Students will learn how to pray to God about their emotions.

Guiding Question: How can God help us when we pray to Him about our emotions?

Materials: Pencils, slips of white paper

Procedure: Review the story of Gethsemane from the scriptures above. Emphasize that Jesus was feeling many emotions as He prayed to God about going to the cross. God said “No” to Jesus prayer to avoid what was about to happen to Him. Although Jesus obeyed God, he was still very emotional when making his request. Remind students that it’s okay to pray our emotions to God – as long as we obey Him in the end just like Jesus did. Jesus knew a horrible death was coming yet He still obeyed God and set an example for how we should obey God.

Tell the students that God will always help us and give us an answer when we pray – even if it is not the answer we expected. The answer He gives is because it is for our best and part of His plan for us. He will give us guidance and wisdom when we come to Him for help.

Prior to the lesson, write several dozen emotion words on separate slips of paper. Split the students into two teams. Have the teams take turns drawing a word then as quickly as possible they decide what could happen to make someone feel that way and then they act out or draw the scenario without using words. The team that guesses correctly comes up and decides what the person feeling that way could pray about to God. Without using words, they act out or draw their answer. The team that guesses correctly comes up and decides what someone else could pray for a person feeling that way and acts it out/draws it. The team that guesses correctly comes up and draws another emotion word.

Additional Questions: How can using scripture during prayer help us deal with our emotions?

Supplemental Activity: Have the students trace their hand on construction paper and cut it out. On each finger, have the students write an emotion and find a Bible verse that they can use while they pray when they are feeling that emotion. Have the students write the verse next to them emotion. Have students share at the end of class if possible.

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