Have you ever thought of using a cell phone for one of your Sunday school object lessons? So many children now have them and the role of communication is so important. I use the phrase “God likes us to phone every day” to remind my students to keep in touch with God.
Sunday School Object Lessons Series: Cell Phones & Talking with God
Phoning home is a good idea when God is on the other end of the line.
Romans 8:28, Psalm 121:4, Matthew 10:30, Isaiah 40:31
Hold up a cell phone. How many of you have one of these already? There should be a few or many, depending on the grade level.
What are some of the good things about a cell phone? You can text your friends. You can always know what your friends are doing. You can phone home and ask to sleep over at a friend’s. You can call for a ride if you are stuck.
Your parents don’t care so much about you texting your friends. They give you cell phones for other reasons, and texting is just a benefit you get. What are some of those reasons? So that they can always know where you are. So that they can get in touch with you right away for an emergency. So that you never get lost or can’t find your way; you can contact them to come get you.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that God loves you even more than your parents do, but that is the total truth. Just as you text or phone home when you need your parents, you should check in with God lots of times each day. How do we “phone home” to God? Through prayer.
Some people say that when we speak to God, it’s a little more like “˜texting’ than speaking on the telephone. Texting is a little harder, isn’t it? What are some of the pains about texting?
It’s hard to spell out what you want.
You’re afraid the other person might not understand you.
In texting you can’t remember the language – the abbreviations.
You have to wait for the answer.
Sometimes you can’t understand the answer.
Sometimes you get cut off.
So, texting has a lot in common with prayer when we look closely.
It’s hard to spell out what you want in a text. When we pray, we don’t always know what it is we want.
After a scary movie when we can’t sleep, we might say, “God, I’m scared. Help me.” But how is He supposed to help? Is he going to rewind time and erase the scary movie from our heads? Not likely. Will He demand an apology for seeing something too scary if we call on Him for help? Not likely, but that’s a type of thought we all have sometimes.
The good news is that the Holy Spirit knows what we want and need, even if we are unsure of it. Romans 8:28 says, “The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for utterance.” In other words, unlike when you text, there’s the Holy Spirit, which translates exactly what you mean. He knows that what you really need is an invisible angel to come into your presence and calm you down, and you’ll be thinking clearly again ion the morning.
When texting, we use abbreviations another person doesn’t know. We also get cut off sometimes. Have you ever been in the middle of a text or the middle of a phone conversation, and your phone simply shut down?
Sometimes it feels like our prayers might have gotten “shut down.” We can’t feel any response from God, and we can’t see any changes in the situation we’ve asked Him about. Unlike our cell phones, God never shuts down. Psalm 121:4 says, “The God who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Jesus said in Mathew 10:30, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Sometimes when we pray we have to wait for our answers. Waiting is important. It builds patience. Isaiah 40:31 says they that wait on the Lord will mount up with wings like Eagles.
Cell phones are modern and cool and expensive, and everybody wants one. Prayer is timeless and free and does not fail, unlike our cells. We have a Holy Spirit who can make sense of whatever we say; the important thing is that we say something – we dial into God several times a day at least. We have a father who is always at the other end and who never drops a call.