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.

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.

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.

Good Works

The last word picture is about Dorcas. Take some time to look back at the pictures you have done, and remember the lessons taught by each Bible character.

Dorcas was a quiet woman who was remembered for what she had done.

How do you think Dorcas related to the people around her? What spiritual gift did she have?

How did the work of Dorcas relate to her being a Christian? Do Christians need to do good works?


Before and After Pictures

Work together to create a word picture of Paul for your character notebook.

Paul was an active man who served many generations by serving his own generation.

Compare Paul’s temperament or disposition before and after his conversion.

In what ways can a hot, quick, active, practical, and strong-willed temperament like Paul’s be used by God? How does Paul’s life illustrate this?

How can a person be a boss or a leader and still relate properly with other Christians?

Picture of a Disciple

Create a word picture of Peter for your character notebook.
Peter was a man who often acted on impulse, but still was mightily used of God.
Ask the class to list what Jesus may have seen in Peter to select him to be a disciple.
List the differences in Peter when he was first called and after he became an apostle. List the similarities.
What motivated Peter? Why was he a man of action? How was his action modified and directed after he met Christ?
Compare Peter’s faith to that of other people in the Bible. Compare our faith to Peter’s faith.


Side-by-Side Pictures

There are two characters for today’s word pictures, Mary and Martha. Create a separate picture for each one.
We are not to criticize Martha’s service, but to learn the importance of keeping our service to God in proper focus.
Analyze each woman’s weaknesses and strengths. Compare the hospitality of Martha and Mary. Was one sister better than the other?
Did Mary and Martha work as a team? Can two people working together be more effective than when working alone. 


Have the class tell what they admire about Mary and Martha, or about someone else they know.


A Melancholy Man

The character for this week's lesson is Jeremiah. Create a word picture of him for your notebook. 
Jeremiah was a melancholy man whom God used to prophesy.
What qualifications did Jeremiah have to be a prophet? What qualifications did Jeremiah think he had? 
Did Jeremiah think he was capable of doing what God wanted him to do? Describe how God can use a person who thinks he is small. Do you know of anyone like this?
Jeremiah was known as “the weeping prophet.” How can a sorrowful person like that be used by God?


Handling Problems

Work together to create a word picture of Job for your character notebook.
Job was a patient man who endured temptation and suffering. 
Job 1:3 says that Job was a great man. Why was he great? What personal characteristics helped him to be a leader?
How was Job able to handle problems that came up in his life? Do we have different problems today than Job had? How can we establish a trust in God like Job had?


Portrait of a Queen

Use all the details given about Esther to create a word picture for your notebook.
Esther was a woman who took a chance.
List the good qualities of Esther. How did those good qualities help her to become queen and prepare her for her role in rescuing her people?
Esther was a brave woman. List what actions Esther took that were dangerous to her. What things are worthy enough for a person to risk great loss?