2) Songs: Start the Story Hour with the learning our names song. Go around the circle or table and introduce each child.
4) Theme: Remind the children of the theme of the unit: Our joy in the Lord. “Sing of psalm of joy!” Tell them that they are going to learn about a psalm today that teaches us about our joy in the Lord.
5) Reading the Psalm: In order to simplify things for the children, first summarize the main point(s) of the psalm. In Psalm 116, the psalmist is singing about the love that he has for the Lord who hears his voice. What a comfort to know that God hears our cries for help in difficult times and that he also hears our songs of praise for his goodness God is always listening to the voice of his beloved people. Then read the psalm from the Bible. Then, repeat the main point(s) again.
6) Sing the Psalm: Sing today’s psalm with the children. You may sing all or only one stanza depending on what is appropriate for your psalm. If possible, include some hand motions to highlight key words. In this psalm, try:
love… draw heart on chest
Lord… point to heaven
Heard… cup hand around ear
Voice… extend fingers from lips
Cry… draw tear on cheek
Supplication… hands together in prayer
Ear… cup hand around ear
Strength… put both arms up like you’re weight lifting
Heart… point or draw on chest
Face… circle your hand around your face
7) Text… you may use a verse from the psalm in the Bible or choose a key line or two from the stanza that you chose to sing with the children. “He heard my voice” Psalm 116 stanza 1
- Praying Hands… trace each child’s hand on a sheet of construction paper folded in half. Place the thumb closest to the fold. Cut out the two hands leaving the thumbs still attached. When you open this up, you have two hands, when you close them, the hands are folded and ready for prayer. The children can color/sticker to decorate their hands if you like; there are some praying hands stickers in the craft kit. Glue the text inside the hands.
- Bedtime Prayers: Have children color the picture of the praying boy/girl as appropriate. Cut in a circle to fit inside a large paper plate and glue on. Cut a circle of lined paper to fit on the back of the circle for the parent to write their child’s bedtime prayer. Punch holes at the top of the paper plate and loop a string through so that the plate can be hang in the child’s bedroom. Here is a template of a girl praying: http://coloring-page.net/pages/bible-14.htmland a girl again: http://coloring-page.net/pages/bible-15.html and a boy praying: http://coloring-page.net/pages/bible-39.html
- Say My Prayers Song (sung to the tune of Row. Row Your Boat)
I will say my prayers
Each and every day!
I will always talk to God
And He hears what I say.
9) Closing Prayer... say the Lord's prayer together with the children
10) Going Home: Round up all the children around the table or sit in a circle again. Sing today’s Psalm together and then sing the closing. Then, check to see if all the children have collected their crafts and coloring sheets before they go home. Say goodbye and tell them that you enjoyed learning about God together and were happy to have them today! You were, weren’t you?