As with every successful relationship, two-way communication is essential. So listening for God’s guidance is just as important as asking in prayer. But how do you discern the voice of God? John 10:4 says that sheep follow their shepherd because they know his voice. After we study Jesus’ character in the Bible, it’s easier to follow Him, because we recognize His voice.
Prayer and forgiveness
Materials: Plenty of white paper, pens, a heavy suitcase, and a garbage can.
Lesson: God forgives and empowers change.
Have volunteers stand and hold the heavy suitcase and carry it around the room. Discuss what it would be like to carry baggage such as this around all the time. Then ask how it feels to carry burdens of sin like baggage.
Share the idea of God’s forgiving spirit with your group and have a volunteer read aloud 1 John 1:9. Have volunteers share what they think this verse means.
Then ask if anyone has sins they’d like forgiven and forgotten. Give each class member a piece of paper. Have them write out sins they would like forgiven and forgotten. When all are finished, read the text aloud again. Ask them if they believe that if we confess our sins, God can forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now ask them to fold their list and pray silently to God, confessing and asking forgiveness for their sins.
After all are finished, read the text aloud a final time. Explain that if God’s Word is true and they have confessed their sins, then He has faithfully forgiven them and they must believe and forgive themselves. To “unload the baggage,” ask each class member to rip up the piece of paper into tiny shreds and discard it in the garbage can.
After giving each class member a new sheet of paper, point out that prayer changes things and that God is faithful and just, and that this clean page represents their sins now recorded: none. On this blank paper they can now write goals and objectives so they won’t fall back into their old habits. In closing, have each member say a sentence prayer of thanks to God.
Materials: Prayer journals.
Lesson: Encourage a consistent prayer life. Give every Sabbath School class member a journal in which to write their personal prayers to God, songs, poems, activities, favorite texts and quotations, thoughts, and questions. At the end of the quarter, discuss their journals. Ask if anyone feels that he or she has experienced growth in their personal relationship with God.
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists