Conversation Starters: Hannah- Trust-filled Prayer
Posted by Karah
CONNECTION POINT: Prayer helps people know Jesus.
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: During the Thanksgiving season, our thoughts rightfully turn to the things for which we can thank God. But what about those areas of life where thanksgiving is hard? Hannah was a woman who did not resign herself to the hardship she faced. She was despondent, but she sought God’s help and trusted Him with the answer. Thanksgiving and praise can flow from our trust that, regardless of what we face, God is with us and is working on our behalf.
Bible Character: Hannah
2 Kings 4:1-7
LIFE POINT: Elisha traveled and told people messages from God. One day a woman called to Elisha, “My husband has died. I owe money to others. I have no money.” Elisha asked her what she had. She only had a jar of oil. Elisha told the woman to borrow empty containers from her neighbors. She should go in her house, close the door, and start pouring oil into the empty containers. The woman and her sons got many containers. She began to pour the oil from her jar. Her sons kept bringing her containers, and she kept pouring oil into them. When all the containers were full, the jar the woman had been pouring from was finally empty. Elisha told the woman to sell the oil and pay what she owed. She would have enough money left to live on. God helped the woman have what she needed.
LIVE IT OUT: Draw a large O in the center of a sheet of paper. Give your child crayons, markers, or stickers to decorate the paper. Say: “Obey starts with o. You can obey God.”
2 Kings 4:1-7
LIFE POINT: A widow came to Elisha. “My husband is dead. I cannot pay my bills. So, people are coming to take my children. They will make my sons their slaves.” “What do you have in the house?” Elisha asked. “Only a little oil,” said the widow. Elisha said, “Go home. Get as many jars as you can. Ask your neighbors. Get lots of jars! Go into your house with your sons. Close the door. Pour oil into the containers.” The widow did as Elisha said. She closed the door. Her sons kept bringing jars to her. She kept pouring the oil from the little oil she started with! She filled many jars. When there were no more jars, the oil stopped. Elisha told the widow, “Sell the oil. Pay what you owe. You and your sons will have enough money to live on.”
LIVE IT OUT: Why should we obey God? Talk with your child about how he would answer this question. Help your child compose a prayer, asking God to help him be obedient.
1 Samuel 1:9-28; 2:1-3
THE POINT: Christ-centered living chooses prayer, not hopelessness.
• When have you been persistent in asking for something you really wanted?
• What are some ways people deal with deep disappointment or unresolved pain?
• How have God’s responses to your prayers shaped your understanding of Him?
• What are some practical ways to cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude?
Discuss the following quote:
“When we make self the end of prayer, it is not worship but self-seeking.” ¹ —Thomas Manton
LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray together with your student every night this week and determine ways you can each improve your prayer life.
• COMMUNITY: Share prayer requests and concerns with your student. Create a combined list and commit to praying for those names throughout the week.
• CULTURE: When life becomes tough, even non-believing friends may reach to God in pray. Discuss with your student how we can use these opportunities to share the truth about prayer and the gospel with our friends.
¹. Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 4 (London: James Nisbet & Co, 1871) 339.