The Promise of Deliverance

Read Job 5:17-27

“He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee” (v. 19).
But wait, there’s more! The concept of claiming to offer an irresistible deal, then adding further incentives happens all the time in marketing campaigns. The Old Testament Hebrews often used the same ploy in their writings. When Job’s friend Eliphaz told him God would deliver him six — no, wait, seven! — times, he was really saying, “God will deliver you over and over and over again!
Can you imagine how that might have sounded to Job? “Look, Job, I know you’ve lost your oxen and donkeys and servants and sheep and more servants and camels and more servants and all your children, but God will deliver you again and again.” I don’t think I would have reacted as well as Job did.
Job’s first reaction to his tragedy was to worship the Lord, and his reaction to Eliphaz’s speech was a heartrending cry, “My grief cannot be measured!” It took what seemed to Job like an awfully long time, but when he rested on this promise, God did deliver him. (Michelle D. Avery)
Father, teach me to live standing on your promises.

A Prayer for Deliverance

Focus Text: 2 Kings 19:14-22, 32-35

Central Truth: There is no problem too great for God.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list some difficulties in their lives from which God has power to deliver them.

Lesson Outline:

I.   A Prayer for Deliverance (2 Kings 19:14-19)

II.  An Answer from God (2 Kings 19:20-31)

III. A Deliverance Realized (2 Kings 19:32-35)

A Prayer for Students

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the privilege of teaching such a wonderful class. Thank you for how you are working in each of my students’ lives. Thank you for (state specific ways you see God working in the lives of your students). May you continue to bless each one, increase their faith, and deepen their love for you and for one another.
Lord, I pray that you would enlighten my class’s understanding of your Word. Help each one to see that the Bible is not an ancient, out-of-touch document, but instead that you are speaking to us through Scripture and that in your words we find abundant life.
I also pray that you would encourage my students to care for one another. Help us not to be a group of strangers meeting weekly, but a family who cares for one another deeply. When one has a need, help us all to rally around in support. When one rejoices, may we join in the celebration, happy that you have poured blessings upon our fellow Christian.
Father, help our class to develop a passionate love and concern for lost people. May our passion move us to action, instead of allowing us to simply feel good while sitting on the sidelines. Use us to impact the world with your love.

The Troubler

Read 1 Kings 18:16-19

“And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim” 
(v. 18).
“Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush. It can color any situation.”
False accusations are a part of life, but that does not make them any easier to take. And often being falsely accused can bring out the worst in us.
If you were playing the role of Elijah in this little skit, what would be your tone of voice as you speak the words of our focus verse? Defensive? Vengeful? Matter-of-fact? Sorrowful? Or to say it differently, “What is your attitude when you are falsely accused?”
However he said it, Elijah was not intimidated by the presence of the king. But neither does he “lose his cool.” Instead, Elijah carefully proposes to resolve their differences in an objective encounter. Even the king could not refuse the objectivity of Elijah’s proposal.
Attitudes are the result of cultivation. The attitudes we display under adversity have been a long time in the making. And our attitude can so color a situation that even God has difficulty redeeming it. (Gordon L. Snider)
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1).

Power Through Prayer

Focus Text: 1 Kings 18:25-39

Central Truth: Faith in God’s power can accomplish great things.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify qualities a person must possess in order to have power through prayer.

Lesson Outline:

I.   The Test (1 Kings 18:25-29)

II.  The Challenge (1 Kings 18:30-35)

III. The Prayer (1 Kings 18:36, 37)

IV. The Answer (1 Kings 18:38, 39)

A Prayer of the Teacher

Heavenly Father, I come to you humbly asking for your grace and mercy so that I can be the Sunday school teacher you want me to be.
I need your wisdom. Help me to understand what you are teaching us in your Word. Help me to know how to relate it to the life experiences of my students. Help me to share your truth in a way that is real and practical to their lives. Holy Spirit, work through the lesson and the words that I say to encourage, challenge, and convict.
Father, I need your strength. Help me to immerse myself in your Word so that I do not become spiritually empty and dry. Fill me with a hunger and passion for your truth. Make the Bible come alive to me in fresh new ways each time I read it. Help me to express that love to my students in a way that creates in them a fresh desire for your Word.
Thank you for your loving care. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Following God’s Guidance

Read Psalm 119:25-32

“I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart” (v. 32).
    In this psalm, David declares an earnest desire to travel the path of the Lord. He prays for guidance and seeks the anointing of the Lord that he may have the strength to fulfill the will of God.
    The story is told of a young African boy who was asked if he could run. “ ‘Can I run?’!” the boy replied, “Where I come from we have to run to survive!” He quickly became the lead runner for the school track team, and as the season progressed, the young man won every race he participated in and broke the record for several specific events. Finally, the last race of the season was upon them. As the starting gun was fired and everyone took off, the coach watched in disbelief as the young man lagged behind the rest. On the final lap of the race, however, something happened. Our hero lifted his head, took off in a flash and finished the race in first place. When asked later what had happened, he declared, “My feet felt like they were full of lead. I just couldn’t run, so I prayed, ‘Lord, if you’ll pick my feet up, I’ll put ’em down.’ Then, just like that, I could hardly keep my feet on the ground.” (Daniel P. Edwards)
“My Strength is made perfect in weakness” (God).

Divine Guidance Through Prayer

Focus Text: Genesis 24:10-28

Central Truth: God can direct our lives through prayer.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify ways in which we may know God’s will in our lives.

Lesson Outline:

I.   A Specific Prayer (Gen. 24:10-14)

II.  An Appointed Encounter (Gen. 24:15-21)

III. A Fulfilled Mission (Gen. 24:22-28)

A Special Focus

    During this Sunday school quarter, “Tips for Teachers” will have a different focus. If asked, we would probably all agree that prayer is essential, not just for every Christian, church, and Sunday school class, but also in the preparation of Sunday school lessons, etc.
    The problem often is implementation. We say we believe in prayer, and we know we should pray, but do we actually take time to do it? In an attempt to encourage his own prayer life, this writer has found it helpful to use a book of prayers as a prayer starter each day.
    With that idea in mind, the “Tips for Teachers” in Lessons 2-12 of this quarter will be written as prayers that you could pray each day of the week for each particular lesson, or you could choose from these prayers one or more to pray for each day of the week.
    Heavenly Father, we pray for each teacher reading this text right now. Encourage them in their faith. Bless them in their teaching ministry. Help them to reflect you in everything they do, say, and think, so their students may find in them Christian role models to imitate, and thus grow in their faith. Amen.

Necessary Instruction

Read Luke 11:1-4

“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” (v. 2).
    In an environment where self-aggrandizing hypocrites sought the attention and adulation of others when they prayed, and where idol-­worshiping heathen used meaningless repetition in prayer (Matt. 6:2), the disciples wanted to learn how to pray from Jesus, whose prayers clearly received a response from God the Father. What did Jesus teach?
In contrast to those hypocritical and meaningless prayers witnessed by the disciples, Jesus taught them to pray with directness, sincerity, and transparency.
Jesus invited them to begin by addressing God as “Our Father.” From this simple, direct form of address, Jesus’ disciples were reminded of their status in relation to each other (“Our”) and God (“Father”). They belonged in the family of God.
    Jesus’ teaching on prayer was also a contrast to the affectation of the hypocrites: it was a call to sincerity. Unlike the pompous language of the self-righteous or the vain repetition of the heathen, Jesus wanted the disciples to pray with sincere simplicity. Their prayers were to be meaningful.
    Finally, Jesus taught His disciples to pray with transparency, acknowledging their needs rather than touting their own righteousness. Jesus’ disciples were to confess their physical and spiritual needs while seeking the will of God. Their walk and talk with God were to be authentic. (Lyle A. Witt)
God help us to pray with directness, sincerity, and transparency!