Children to -:
Learn to pray and put God first before doing or starting anything.
Know the importance of working together.
Trust that God gives us success when we put Him first and work in unity.
Bible Story Reference:
Psalm 33:12 – [GNB]:
Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord; happy are the people He
has chosen for His own! – Psalm 33:1
In the past 2 weeks, we have learnt about fruitfulness and peace. We have been praying that God will bless our nation with fruitfulness and peace. Ask: How many made peace with those around them by saying sorry? Who forgave those who wronged them? (Allow the children to respond) Romans 12:18 tells us that we should do the best we can to live in peace with everyone
This week, we will learn about unity and pray that God will bless our nation with unity. Unity means not divided. It also means being one, or oneness.
Our Bible story will help us understand the importance of working together in unity. (While telling the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls you can have the children participate by doing these actions- when you say Walls- the children raise both hands up, and when you say walls broken, they lower their hands.
Nehemiah lived in a place called Susa, the capital of Persia. He served king Artaxerxes as a cupbearer. That means that he was the one who served all the drinks that the king took and made sure that they were safe for the king to drink. One day, his brother Hanani and his friends came to Nehemiah and told him that the walls of Jerusalem (the children raise both hands up) were broken (the children lower their hands) They told him that the people in Jerusalem were in great trouble because their enemies could easily attack them. Imagine your home without a gate or even doors. Would you feel safe? (Allow the children to respond) You would not feel safe because strangers or even thieves can easily come in and take all your things or harm you. Now that’s how the people in Jerusalem were feeling. They were not safe. The walls (the children raise both hands up) were broken (the children lower their hands). When Nehemiah heard this, he was so sad. (Let us show our sad face) He sat down and wept (Let’s pretend that we are crying). For several days Nehemiah was sad and felt sorry for the people in Jerusalem because that was his home town. He chose to pray to God and not eat. We call that praying and fasting. He prayed and asked God to forgive him for his sins and the sins of his people. He was deeply concerned about Jerusalem and he chose to pray and put God first before doing or starting anything. Nehemiah then came up with a plan to go rebuild the walls (the children raise both hands up) of Jerusalem that were broken (the children lower their hands). Because Nehemiah had put God first, when he went to the king asking for permission to go to Jerusalem his home town, the king said ‘Yes’! Nehemiah also got letters from the king to hand to governors whom he would pass through their territories, letters for him to be given timber for building, and guess what? The king even gave him army officers to go with him! The king gave Nehemiah everything he asked for because God was with him.
There was no way Nehemiah was going to rebuild the wall alone. He needed people to help him. So, he called his people and explained to them how God had been with him and how the king had helped him. He asked them to come together so that they can start the work. The people said, “Let’s start rebuilding!”
(Ask children to repeat-Let’s start rebuilding!) And they started the work. As they were working together in unity, some people did not want them to continue. They wanted them to stop; but Nehemiah encouraged the people to continue working together in unity, and they did. Different people and families worked in unity and in 52 days, the wall was completed! The walls of Jerusalem were restored, and the people were now safe from their enemies.
What do we learn from this story?
Before we do or start anything, we need to pray and put God first – This is what Nehemiah did.
• Every person is important. When we use our different skills or gifts, we are able to complete great things for the benefit of everyone. – The people in Jerusalem worked together in unity using their different skills/abilities, they completed the wall and were now safe from their enemies.
• God gives us success when we put Him first and work together in unity – Nehemiah got permission and help from the king. The people also agreed to come together and in 52 days the walls were rebuilt
In what ways can we work together in unity at home/school/church? (Allow the children to respond – E.g. We can help with house chores, use our music gift in leading worship, playing with other children by sharing toys, helping the needy, praying together for our families and our nation, etc.) When we choose to be united or work together in unity as families or even as a nation, we will accomplish/do so much for the benefit of many, and God’s name will be praised.