Children’s SS Lesson – Pray to God

“Pray to God!”

If you’re having trouble with your homework, who might you ask for help? If you hurt yourself while playing outside, who might you ask for help? If you are hungry and need a snack, who might you ask for help? When we need help, we ask others for help. We all need help with things at different times. Did you know God is also willing and able to help you when you have problems in life? You can pray and ask Him for help! Say with me, “Pray to God!”
Have you ever heard news that made you really sad or that you worried about. Maybe your parents got a phone call about someone being hurt or sick. Or maybe you heard something on the TV or internet about something bad happening somewhere in the world. Hearing bad news can be very scary. Do you remember from the last lesson what bad news the Jewish people heard?  Haman had made a law that all the Jews were to be killed on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month.

In every province the Jews fasted (stopped eating) and wept after they read this law. Many showed their sorrow by wearing sackcloth—clothing made of rough fabric—and covering themselves in ashes. This was often how people who were very sad would dress. That way other people would know they were very sad. The Jews knew the law could never be changed.

As Mordecai read the decree, he felt very sad for his people. He stood outside the king’s gate and showed how upset he was by crying out loudly, covering himself in ashes, and wearing sackcloth. 
 

In the palace, Queen Esther’s servants told her that Mordecai was outside the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth and crying loudly. She wondered why he was wearing sackcloth and sent a servant to give him some clothes and find out what happened.

But Mordecai refused the clothes. When Esther found out, she was very concerned. She sent Hatach (HAY-tak), a trusted servant to find out what was wrong with Mordecai.

Mordecai explained the new law to Hatach and handed him a copy of the decree that had been posted in the city. “Take this to the queen,” Mordecai urged. “Tell her that she must go to the king and beg for the lives of her people!”

Hatach returned to Queen Esther and handed her the copy of the law. He told her exactly what Mordecai had said.

Now Esther knew the great danger she and her people were in. But Mordecai was asking her to go to the king. That would be dangerous too! The law in Persia stated that if anyone—even the queen—went before the king uninvited, the king could have that person immediately put to death unless the king held out his golden scepter—a special rod that showed his power. The king had not asked Esther to come to him for the past month.

This was a problem for Esther. Either she could die going to the king, or her people would certainly die if she didn’t. Esther needed help.

When you need help in your life, do you worry about what you should do? All of us face hard things at some point. Maybe you’re starting a new after-school activity and you worry the kids won’t like you. Maybe you are scared about getting hurt or dying. Or maybe you have a decision to make about which sport to play and you aren’t sure what to do. Sometimes you can get worried, afraid, or even angry when troubles happen in your life. But if Jesus is your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Tell Him what troubles you’re facing and trust Him to help you.

 “Pray to God!”  Our memory verse talks about this. (Quote Philippians 4:6) You don’t have to worry or be afraid when you trust God. God loves you and wants to help you.

Esther and her people needed help. Trouble could come if she went to the king. But if she didn’t go to the king, her people would die.

“You must give Mordecai this message,” she said. “If I go to the king without being called, I could be put to death. And he has not called for me for thirty days.” Hatach hurried out to deliver the message to Mordecai. Stand up and hurry in place like Hatach did. Maybe he was out of breath when he got there.

Mordecai looked at Hatach and said, “You must take this message to Queen Esther: Do not think that because you are the queen and live in the palace, you will escape when all the rest of God’s people are killed. If you do not speak up for your people, they will be saved in some other way but you and your father’s family will be destroyed.”

Mordecai trusted that God is sovereign—He was in control! Mordecai trusted God to protect His people. He knew God had made a promise to the Jews.

God would always protect His people. He promised that through the Jews, a Savior would come into the world. The Bible tells us that God kept His promise. Many years after this story took place, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, into the world to die on a cross for your sins—for all the ways you break God’s laws. No one had to teach you how to be mean, swear, or steal. You were born wanting to sin. You deserve to be punished—separated from God both now and forever. But Jesus was perfect—He had no sin of His own. He didn’t have to die for sin. But He was willing to die because He loves you! (Read Romans 5:8.) Even though you are a sinner, God showed His love to you by sending Jesus, the Savior. Jesus was beaten and bruised. Blood came from His hands and feet as they nailed Him to the cross. Jesus took the punishment you deserve. After He died, they took His body from the cross. He was buried, but He didn’t stay dead. On the third day He came alive again! Now He’s in Heaven, ruling as King. God kept His promise to send a Savior through the Jewish people. He would protect His people.
 

Mordecai knew God had made a promise. He trusted that God is sovereign and would protect His people, even if Esther did not help.

Mordecai gave Hatach one more message for the queen. (Read Esther 4:14b.) Mordecai believed God had arranged everything so Esther could be queen at just this time and help her people. 

Hatach returned to Queen Esther and told her all that Mordecai had said. Now Esther knew what she must do. She said to Hatach, “Tell Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Shushan and tell them to fast. Tell them to do this for three days and nights. My maids and I will fast too.” Count to three with me. That’s how many days the Jews would not eat any food! Would you be hungry if you didn’t eat for three days?

In asking the Jews to fast, Esther was asking them to completely rely on God for His help. In that culture, fasting and prayer usually went together. When the Jews fasted and prayed, they were looking forward to God’s answer! Esther knew she and her people couldn’t face their trouble alone. They needed God’s help.

You don’t need to face your troubles alone, either. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Maybe you worry about being liked, are scared about getting hurt or dying, or you have a difficult decision to make. When troubles happen, don’t be afraid or worried.

 
 
 
 

Say with me, “Pray to God!”  God wants you to bring your worries to Him in prayer. Remember that you belong to Him and He loves to hear your prayers. Instead of being worried or afraid, tell God about that trouble in your life. Ask Him to help you and trust Him to answer you. While you wait for His answer, you can do what our memory verse says and thank God for how He will answer and for what He has already done for you. God will help you in His perfect time and way. The verse after Philippians 4:6 says, (read Philippians 4:7). God will give you peace even in the midst of your trouble. Because God knows everything, He knows the best way to help even if it’s not what you expect. No matter how God chooses to answer your prayer, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. You don’t have to face your troubles alone. 

Esther knew that she and her people couldn’t face their trouble alone. They needed God’s help. She sent Hatach to tell Mordecai to gather the Jews and have them fast for three days.

Esther said, “After the three days of fasting, I will go before the king, even though I could be killed. If I die, I die!”

Hatach took Esther’s message to Mordecai. What relief Mordecai must have felt, knowing that Esther would stand up for her people! He hurried off to spread the message among the Jews. Esther had called for their help and the Jews did what she asked. But Esther and the other Jews’ hope was not in what they said or did. Their hope was in God.

God is your only hope too. If you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Whatever trouble you face this week, will you remember to pray to God? When trouble comes, think about our memory verse. (Philippians 4:6) Remember you belong to God and He loves to hear your prayers. Tell God about your trouble. Ask Him to help you and trust that He’ll help you in His perfect time and way. The Bible says, (read Philippians 4:7). After you pray to God, God will give you peace even in the midst of your trouble. He may solve the problem right away or He might ask you to wait and trust in Him. You can thank Him for answering you even while you wait for the answer.
 
Let’s all write down something that is troubling us. Each day this week, will you tell God about your trouble and ask Him to help you? When God answers your prayer, remember it, so when we come back together, you can tell us about it so we can thank God together.
 

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