As the children come forward, begin asking each one of them for a pencil (or any item will do! Maybe something you need for worship that day!). Keep asking them over and over and over. Ask them if they are annoyed by your questions yet…Hopefully, one of them will be, will find a pencil or pen in the pews/chairs and give it to you! Ask them how it felt when you were asking them over and over for the pencil. Accept all answers. Say, “Sometimes people do annoy us when they keep asking us for things or to do something. But when someone asks you for something, especially when you know that they really need it or it will really help them, you also want to do that thing for them or get the item that they need. As people, we really do like to help others when we can and are able!”
In today’s story from Luke, Jesus tells a story of a woman who is all alone, no family and she needs help. A judge in Jesus time was more than a person who worried about laws, but also could help people in all kinds of different ways. So the woman went to the judge for help. The judge thought that it would be easier to not help her, but she kept asking him! Just like I kept asking you for a pencil! Finally, he does help her! Jesus tells the people listening to this story that if people can listen to each other and help one another, then think about how much God listens to you! God wants us to talk to God all the time, about everything. Even if we think that it’s not important, or something your ashamed you did, or who your mad at, or the beautiful flower you saw. God wants us to know that it we’re not annoying when we talk to God. God says, “Tell me everything! Tell me about your bad day! Tell me about the new toy you saw! Tell me when you mess up! Tell me when you help someone! Tell me you love me! Tell me you are mad at me!” God can handle anything we say. Even if like the woman, we say it over and over and over.
What do you want to tell God today? (Write it down quickly and use it for the closing prayer. Depending on the ages, offer to have each child offer a prayer.) Yes! We can tell God anything!
Invite the children to pray what they named earlier. End with the Lord’s Prayer if that is appropriate for your context and congregation. Jesus told his disciples that this prayer encompasses everything we need.
For prayers of the people (or prayers of intercession) have a quarter sheet of paper in each bulletin or in a basket accessible for all with pens or pencils. Invite people to write what they would like to say to God today. Depending on the size of your congregation, read them all out loud, or have a large wooden cross where people can hang their prayers to God. You can also offer a time for people to pray the prayers on the cross.
Another option is to have a list of needs from the congregation and community: meals, help with house/yard work, donations, prayer, companionship, etc. Have a place where people can write a need and someone else can offer to fill it.