STUDY 1: “LORD, REMEMBER ME
TEXT: 1 Sam 1:10-22, 24-28
Key Verse: James 5:16
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)
Anxiety exacts a high price- even in the lives of teens. And worry can rob people of health, peace of mind, and joy. God never intended for His children to carry the weight of their needs alone. He wants us to make a habit of talking to Him about our concerns. In this study, students will consider the prayer of Hannah (Samuel’s mother) as she asked God for a son. After years of humiliation in a culture where childlessness was thought to be a curse, Hannah’s persistence demonstrated extreme faith.
Your students are probably accustomed to the usual emphatic challenge: “You need to pray more.” But try to show them the value of prayer so that it becomes a daily desire, not just a sense of duty. The way you lift up the needs of your students in prayer can be contagious; for “prayer is something better caught than taught.”
As you prepare for this study, ask God to renew your passion for prayer. Spend time recalling the answered prayers in your life. If you don’t keep a prayer journal of requests and answers, consider starting one. Your faith, as well as your students’ faith, will be built up by a record of God’s faithfulness in your life.
The Basic Message: Explain to students…
- 0.0.1 The Basic Message: Explain to students…
- 0.0.2 Activity Option: PERSISTENT PRAYER
- 0.0.3 Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers… • How to identify and combat hindrances to prayer. • Not giving up when prayers aren’t immediately answered. • The need to follow through on our promises to God.
- 0.0.4 Daily Dew Drops
- 0.0.5 Fact Check Policy
- 1 OUR MISSION
- 2 OUR VISION
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?
Take all concerns to God, and remember that persistent prayer pays off.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Anxiety diminishes faith, while persistent prayer builds it.
HOW DO I LIVE IT?
Bring your needs to God, persevere as you wait for answers, and follow through on any commitment you make to God.
Activity Option: PERSISTENT PRAYER
Part of Hanna’s grief came from the fact that Penninah taunted her, and nothing Elkanah said or did seemed to console her. So Hannah went to the temple to pray.
Guide: Ask students to suggest things that might cause us to pray desperately for an answer. Point out that persistent prayer is not about begging God to do something He would prefer not to do. But it’s often a matter of repeatedly acknowledging our dependence on God until answer is realized.
Study Overview: Explain that today’s study considers…
• How to identify and combat hindrances to prayer.
• Not giving up when prayers aren’t immediately answered.
• The need to follow through on our promises to God.
Inform and Discuss
a). Don’t Worry!
1. Read or have a volunteer read 1 Sam 1:10-11. What was Hannah concerned about? What did she do about it? [Hint: Hannah was upset about not being able to have a son. She prayed.
2. How does worrying about things affect them? [Hint: It usually doesn’t do anything but make them worse.
3. What are some negative effects of worry? [Hint: Worrying about things doesn’t do anything but make them worse. Also, it can have emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences.
Guide: Point out that it’s very rare for anything good to come from excessive anxiety. In contrast, prayer allows us to give those things we can’t fix on our own to God; He knows the best answer for each of our concerns.
4. In what types of situations might believers -or even unbelievers -pray, “Lord, if you get me out of this, I’ll… “? Why do you think people try to back up their requests with a vow?
Guide: Explain that people usually make such a plea when they are desperate. Emphasize that, as a rule, God doesn’t want rash or hasty vows – He wants a willing heart that will follow through on what has been promised. As Hannah prayed, she vowed to dedicate her son to the Lord’s service for life. That was a serious, but sincere commitment.
b). Don’t Give Up!
1. Read or have volunteers read 1 Sam 1:12-16. What is the “right way to pray”? [Hint: Prayer is a relationship; it’s simply talking to and with God- expressing dependence on Him and asking Him to work as He sees best in a given situation. It demands that we focus completely intensely on the target of our prayer–God, and His ability to meet our needs.
Note: Persistent prayer is about depending on God. He can say “no.” (See 2 Cor 12:6-9′ 2 Sam 12:16-18.) God can also say “wait.”
2. Read or have volunteers read James 5:16. What should we do before praying for someone else? [Hint: Confess our sins and repent. God says the prayer of the righteous is effective.] Guide: Remind students that we don’t have to be perfect or feel that everything is in order before coming to God. In fact, when we don’t feel worthy is often when we need to pray most, but we need to get our hearts and motives in the right place.
3. Read or have volunteers read 1 Sam 1:17-20. What attitudes of Hannah showed that she prayed with faith? [Hint: After intensely seeking God in prayer, Hannah talked with Eli, began eating, and no longer looked so sad. She knew that God had heard her and she trusted Him with the outcome.
Guide: Point out that God later answered Hannah’s prayer by granting her desire. She named her son Samuel, “Because l asked the Lord for him.” No matter how difficult or desperate the request, God knows our desires and is able to fulfil them. We don’t need to give up when the answer doesn’t arrive when we thinkit should.
c). Don’t Forget to Follow through
• Read or have volunteers read 1 Sam 1:21-22, 24-28. What can we learn from the faithfulness of Hannah in following through on her vow to God? [Hint: As believers, we should follow through on our commitments to God. If we’ve made a promise to do something, we need to keep it.
Guide: Explain that Hannah not only did her part in response to the answered prayer, but she gave glory to God, not to her ability to pray. The Book of 1 Samuel 2 goes on to not only record Hannah’s celebration of God’s faithfulness, but also recorded that God blessed her with five more children.
Involve Them: PRAYERWHERE?
Start a discussion about students starting and leading a prayer or Bible group at school. What would be some advantages of coming together at school for a time of prayer and/or Bible study? What are some of the needs they could pray for? If their schools already have prayer groups, have teens pray for the groups.
Inspire Them: Remind students “The Basic Message” of this study (pg. 99), explain WHAT the Big Idea behind the study is; WHY it matters; and HOW we can live the lesson captured in the study.
Ministry Activity: POPCORN PRAYER
Explain to the class they are going to pray “popcorn style.” That is, everyone who is willing should pray a short, simple prayer for something that concerns them at the moment. (Encourage full participation, but allow shy students or quest to pass.) This activity can help break down some walls of fear in regard to praying in front of peers.
Conclude by reminding students that God never intended us to be weighed down with worry. Give your concerns to God through persistent prayer and spend time listening for His answer. When the answer comes, be willing and prepared to do your part to carry out God’s plan for your life.
Teacher Hint: Ask Yourself…
1. Do students understand that they can replace worry with prayer?
2. Are they prepared to pray persistently for the needs that concern them?
3. Do they understand that the conditions of their hearts can affect the outcomes of their prayers?
4. Have they had opportunities to practice prayer or hear prayer modelled?
Daily Dew Drops
Mon: God Is Here for You – Philippians 4:6-7
Tue: He’ll Carry You – 1 Peter 5:7
Wed: You Worth Much More – Matthew 6:33-34
Thu: Just Be Strong – Joshua 1:9
Fri: Be Fervent – Romans 12:11-12
Sat: Don’t make Empty Promises – Ecclesiastes 5:4-6
PS: I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you could drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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