This week we learned about Hannah, whose faithful prayers were answered when the Lord blessed her with a very special son named Samuel. It wasn’t an ideal week. We had another family funeral (!) which pretty much wiped out our entire Monday, but I didn’t want to let a short week derail us when we just got back on track with our Bible lessons. So I plunged ahead with the ABC Jesus Loves Me Week 13 lesson plan, which just happened to include the next book on my Before Five in a Row list (see my previous post on The Runaway Bunny).
As usual, I introduced the story using our flannel board set. I love sharing Bible stories that are completely unfamiliar to Ian. He seemed particularly charmed with the story of Hannah praying for a baby, I think because we’ve talked so much about the baby we’re expecting by the end of the year. (And having the priest named Eli probably helped too, even though our “Eli” is really Elijah.) It’s a simple story that contains such a wonderful message about the power of prayer. We retold it several times in the morning, and then because I had left it out all day, Ian asked to do it later after dinner and again throughout the week. He liked putting the Samuel figure up in the air “so he could talk better” to Eli.
I’m already excited for next week when we get to talk about how God moved in young Samuel’s life. Our lesson challenged me to be more faithful in praying for each of my children, for I’m sure Hannah’s prayers did not end when Samuel was born. On our first day (I’ve been really bad about remembering this the last few lessons) I started singing the Bible verse to the tune of “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” as suggested in the lesson plan:
1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” “Pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
I tried to sing it throughout the week whenever I thought of it: bedtime, bathtime, in the car… Even Elijah was trying to sing along, though his gibberish didn’t make much sense to Ian. “Pray without ceasing, Eli!” Come on, 1-year old! Can’t you get the words right?
The boys both enjoyed reading the story in various Bible storybooks: the original version of The Beginner’s Bible (by Karyn Henley), Classic Bible Stories: A Family Treasury, and the original version of The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes. (I talked a little more about the different versions of these Bible storybooks in this post on the Red Sea.)
For our Bible notebook, we adapted a craft from Danielle’s Place. It’s quite a ways down the page, but if you search for “Praying Hands Picture” you’ll find it.
First we did a tissue paper collage for the “stained glass” window. (Ian took this work very seriously, though he got tired of putting all the pieces of tissue paper on, so we ended up with him being mostly in charge of the watered-down glue and me leading the way with the paper.) Then instead of using the premade silhouette from the pattern for the hands, I used Laura’s suggestion from ABC Jesus Loves Me and traced Ian’s hand along the fold of black construction paper so it would open up. He LOVED it! As soon as I had cut out his hands and explained that he could put them together to pray, he started playing with them and recited the memory verse, completely unprompted. (Well, he managed, “Pray without ceasing. 5:17,” but I was pretty proud, especially because I hadn’t said anything about writing the verse in it later). I tried to write the verse with a white crayon, but it was too hard to squeeze inside the hands, so I ended up writing it again on the outer portion. If I were to do it again, I think I might have printed it out on white paper and pasted it on, because it was just kind of hard read.
I didn’t have much for an iPod playlist this week, but the three things we had were fun:
- “1 Samuel 1 Hannah’s Prayer” from the ESV Audio Drama Children’s Bible from Faith Comes By Hearing
- “God is So Good” (I had it on several CDs of Bible songs)
- Karen & Kids podcast: “Samuel Part 1” (see this post to find out more about how we love Karen & Kids)
Even though we didn’t have time every day this week, I was really pleased with all we managed to do (including our Before Five in a Row activities). Ian had so much fun with it all, and as we prayed at bedtime Thursday night he wanted to be sure to thank God for his paper plate bunny mask. I’m glad he likes to share with God about all the things in his life. I hope it’s the beginning of a long life full of prayer.