Use this lesson to teach kids that we can give our worries to God.
- Connecting: Watch an object lesson about releasing worry.
- Teaching: Learn what to do with worry (Matthew 6:25–27, 34; Philippians 4:6–7).
- Responding: Act out releasing worries (1 Peter 5:7).
Before starting this lesson, fill a bowl with water. Draw a smiling face on the foam. Place the foam in the bowl and place several stones on it so that it stays at the bottom. Place the bowl in a prominent place where everyone can see it.
Worrying doesn’t change anything. It distracts us and keeps us awake at night. It can even cause physical illness. Worrying serves no positive purpose, so why do we worry? We worry because we do not fully recognize who God is and that He loves us. We worry because we want to have control of our lives but know that we don’t. When we fully believe that God will take care of us, then worry flees.
Rest this week in the shadow of the Almighty. When you feel worry creeping in, read these truths out loud and ask God to help you believe each one:
Family Connection: After teaching this lesson, ask your children about the 4 steps to overcoming worry that they learned. Then if worry tries to creep back in, you can go through the steps together.
1. Connecting: Watch an object lesson about releasing worry.
Ask children to gather around the bowl with the object in it. (If you are live-streaming, bring the camera in close!)
Today we are going to learn about how God cares about our worries.
See the foam weighed down in the water? That is what it can feel like when you are weighed down with worries. Listen as I tell you about a girl who was weighed down by worries, just like that foam is weighed down with stones. Her name is Maria.
Let’s see if she manages to get all those worries off her back. When Maria worries, she gets a stomachache and bites her nails and has trouble sleeping. She has heard that people in large groups will get sick with the coronavirus. Her father works really long hours at a crowded building with hundreds of workers. Maria is worried that her father will get sick.
Maria is also worried because she’s heard that some schools have closed for a while because someone there has coronavirus. She loves school and doesn’t want to have to stay home all the time.
Here are some other ideas Maria heard from other kids about the virus that make her very worried:
Raise your hand if any of you have heard things like this about the virus.
Well, Maria heard some true news and some false news about the virus. And all that she heard had caused her lots of worry which was weighing her down like this piece of foam.
Let’s talk about how Maria can get rid of all the worry weighing her down.
First, Maria told her mom that she was worried. Her mom gave her a big hug.
Remove 1 stone from the foam.
Maria told her mom she was scared that her dad would get sick because he worked with a lot of other people. Her mom told her about all the things that the workplace was doing to help their employees stay healthy.
Remove the next stone.
When Maria’s mom told her that she didn’t have to always stay inside, or always wear a mask and gloves, or that playing on the playground didn’t mean she would definitely get sick, Maria felt better. Finally, Maria’s mom prayed with her and asked God to help Maria face her worries.
Remove 1 stone when each worry is solved.
Wow! Look what happened! The foam has risen to the top of the water. Just like this, Maria rose above her worries. It looked almost impossible at first. Now things are looking much brighter, and Maria is smiling.
I think so. I have had many worries that looked like they would not go away. Not all of our problems go away, but God will help us in the middle of them, just like He helped Maria.
Pause for children to raise hands.
To worry about something means to keep thinking negative thoughts and to be anxious or overly concerned about something. All of us worry sometimes. Today we will learn that God wants to help us when we worry.
2. Teaching: Learn what to do with worry (Matthew 6:25–27, 34; Philippians 4:6–7).
Let’s read from the Bible to hear what Jesus said about worry.
Read Matthew 6:25–27, 34 from your Bible. It is also printed here:
God cares about even the smallest parts of His creation, such as the birds. He cares even more about you! You don’t need to worry because God is good and you can trust Him with your problems.
When you worry, there are 4 steps you can take.
1. Recognize that you are worried. Recognize that you are feeling anxious about something. Worry and anxiety are sensations you can feel in your body as well as your mind. When you worry, you might feel lightheaded, have headaches, have stomachaches, or feel a fluttering sensation in your stomach. When you feel this way, it may be because you are worried about something.
Pause for children to respond.
2. Name what it is that is worrying you. Try to identify the specific problem or situation that is bothering you. If possible, tell a trusted friend, family member, or teacher about it. If that is not possible, say it to yourself.
3. Think positive thoughts. Worry usually happens when we are thinking negative thoughts. For example, you might worry about if someone you know might get sick with the virus. You may think negative thoughts about “what ifs.” “What if” thinking usually feeds our fears and worries instead of helping us feel better. Instead of thinking those negative thoughts, think positive thoughts.
4. Give your worry to God. Pray and ask God to take your worry. When we give our worries to God in prayer, He fills us with peace. Listen to this promise:
Read Philippians 4:6–7 aloud:
Often, we worry because we don’t remember that God is in control and that He loves us. We don’t remember that we can trust Him with our problems. The more we entrust every part of our lives to God, the less we worry. We will practice giving our worries to God in a few minutes.
Allow children to share what they remember about the 4 steps. Remind them of the steps as needed: 1. Recognize that you are worried. 2. Name the thing that is worrying you. 3. Think positive thoughts. 4. Give your worry to God.
Remember Maria was worried about the coronavirus. Some of what she had heard about it wasn’t true. Let’s learn the real facts about the virus.
Here are the best ways to protect yourself and others from the virus:
So you can see from our earlier story that some of Maria’s worries weren’t even real! That’s how crazy our worries can get!
3. Responding: Act out releasing worries (1 Peter 5:7).
Every human being has problems and worries sometimes. Now we will release our worries to God. Think about a difficult problem you have—something you really worry about. You do not have to share what it is.
Now we will follow the advice in 1 Peter 5:7.
We will do this by praying. I will say a sentence of the prayer and pause. During the pause, you can talk with God about your worries.
Lord Jesus, You know my problems and every worry in my heart. (Pause.)
There are some things that I worry about that make me feel like crying. (Pause.)
But You love me and can help me. I place my problems into Your hands and ask You to help me. (Pause.)
Thank You for giving me the joy of knowing that You care for me. I love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Remember the 4 steps we learned about releasing worry:
- Recognize that you are worried.
- Name what is worrying you.
- Think positive thoughts.
- Give your worry to God.
Now let’s act out casting our worries and problems on God. Everyone stand up and act out the things I say.
Your problem or worry is heavy. Pretend that you are carrying a worry that is very heavy. How would you walk? How would you look? Act out how you would feel.
Give the children 1 minute to act out carrying a heavy worry.
Now we will throw these worries onto God. Act out throwing that worry away from you. Lift that heavy worry and throw it far from you. Then walk around showing how you feel now that you are not carrying that heavy weight. What would you feel? How would you look now?
Give the children 1 minute to act out throwing their worries down.
Now let’s all shout, “God wants to help me with my worries. He cares for me.”
As you end the lesson, hand out the student pages to help kids remember the 4 steps to dealing with worry.
Pray a blessing over the children based on Proverbs 3:5:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on what you can see and understand. Give Him all your problems and worries. May He fill you with His peace!
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