Jacob's Prayer Rock
Welcome the children.
Did you ever have a place that was special to you in some way? (Give one or two children a chance to share.)
Tell about Abram/Abraham and
Jacob who was his grandson:
Abram was a man chosen by God to become the father of all his special
people he chose to lead and protect in the Old Testament.
God wanted him to move away from his family and live in the place God would
lead him to. One special place for Abram was
called Bethel. Abram stayed there
for a little while and the Bible tells us he sought God while he was there. He also built an altar to God near that place.
A few years later, Abram was moving to Egypt for a while because
there was a terrible famine where he had been living.
A famine meant there was very little food and people were starving. After the famine was over, Abram moved back to Bethel
where he had lived earlier and he lived there for some time.
And again the Bible says that, Abram sought God.
Ask children: What do you
think that means, Abram sought God. (get
Explain: It means that
Abram prayed to God. That he spent a lot of
time talking to God and listening to learn what God would have him to do
Where should he
live? And what about his nephew, Lot? They lived in the same place and it was getting
crowded with all their flocks of sheep. And
God made special promises to Abram that he would have many descendents (that means
children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on and on for hundreds of years) and that
God would bless them. Later God changed
Abrams name to Abraham.
God and Abraham talked a lot together.
Many years later, Abrahams grandson, Jacob also passed through
a special place. He had some serious problems. He had made his brother very angry with him and now
he was hurrying away on a trip to stay with relatives many miles away because he learned
his brother wanted to kill him. Jacob came to
a special place and went to sleep. He used a
big rock for his pillow.
I brought a rock with me today, but Im sure this one is smaller
than the one Jacob used. I didnt want to
carry one that was too big and heavy. Does
this look like a very soft pillow? I
dont think so either. I hope he put
something soft on it like a blanket or some extra clothes he was carrying to make it
softerat least the rock held his head up a little while he slept. Anyway, while he was sleeping he had a dream. He dreamed about a ladder that went all the way up
to heaven and angels were coming up and down the ladder.
God was at the top of the ladder and he spoke to Jacob about the promises he had
made to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac and God said those promises were true
for him and all his children and grandchildren too. When
Jacob woke up he knew he was in a special place. He
took the rock that was lying flat on the ground and stood it up on end like a pillar. (Turn the rock in your hands the same way.) He also poured oil over the rock to honor God. He called his special place Bethel. Do you remember hearing that name once already? I wonder if it is the same place that Abraham
stayed earlier or if Jacob knew how special his grandfather Abrahams Bethel was to
Do you have a special place to talk to God? (pause for responses)
Did you know that you can talk to God anywhere and he will listen?
It is good to choose a special place to pray because doing this can
help us to remember to pray more. God wants us
to talk to him every day.
I have brought you each a prayer rock today. It has a poem attached to it that reads:
I'm your little prayer rock
and this is what I'll do.
Just put me on your pillow
'til the day is through.
Then turn back the covers
and climb into your bed,
and, whack! your little prayer rock
will bump you on the head.
Then you will remember
as the day is through,
to kneel and say your prayers
as you intended to.
Then when you are finished
dump me on the floor.
I'll stay there through the nighttime
to give you help once more.
When you get up next morning,
clunk! I stub your toe,
so that you will remember
your prayers before you go.
Put me back upon your pillow
when your bed is made,
and your clever little prayer rock
will continue in your aid.
Because your Heavenly Father
cares and loves you so,
He wants you to remember
to talk to Him, you know.
I hope you will use this prayer rock to help you remember to pray to
God every night and every morning. You
dont have to use it for a pillow like Jacob did, but maybe it will help you to
remember to pray.
Lets pray to God now
To make the prayer rock, find a way to attach it to a card or
paper that has the poem written on it. It can be taped on, or better yet wrap the
card in fabric or a see-through netting and tie a string around the ends of the fabric.
Punch a hole in the top left corner of the card and run the string through it to
tie them together.
Note: If your children are very young and you feel
this is too long, you could abbreviate it so the children's sermon begins with Jacob and
skip all references to Abraham except the part where God talks about His promise to
Abraham and Isaac
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