Use this simple object lesson to explain how believers offered prayers of praise to God through burnt offerings and sacrifices in the Old Testament, and how times and sacrifices have changed.
You’ll need a Bible, matches, a pillar candle, and small, individual candles with paper collars to protect kids’ hands from dripping wax.
Place the pillar candle on a table in the center of a darkened room. As you light the candle, invite kids to gather in a circle around the table.
Stand by the candle and say: Today we’re going to offer prayers of praise in a different way. In Old Testament times, people gave burnt offerings and sacrifices to God.
Read Hebrews 13:15 aloud; then continue: As Hebrews 13:15 explains, instead of giving offerings of animals or grain, our sacrifices to God are our praises. The psalm I’m about to read is your invitation to praise God by telling about the wonderful things God has done.
Read Psalm 66:1-5. Then pick up a small candle, light it from the pillar candle, and complete this sentence prayer: God, I praise you for _____________. Invite kids to take candles and follow your example.
When everyone has prayed and lit a candle, say: The Bible describes many instances when God’s glory shone in the temple, in heaven, and even on the faces of people. For example, listen to Luke 2:9.
Read Luke 2:9.
Say: Our room is glowing because we’ve given God glory for the wonderful things he’s done.
Have everyone carefully extinguish the candles. You may want to allow kids to take their candles home to use during personal quiet times with God. If you do, encourage children to get their parents’ permission and to ask for a safe candleholder.