Mix 3/4 rubbing alcohol with 1/4 water in a glass bowl and set aside.
As you read and explain the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (found in Daniel 3) and how God saved them from the fire use the tongs to coat the dollar bill in the water/alcohol solution making sure that it is completely coated. When you get to the point where they are thrown in the furnace light the dollar bill on fire (the water protects the bill while the alcohol burns off leaving the bill unharmed)
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out! She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans, Candy the yams and spice the hams, And though her daddy would scream and shout, She simply would not take the garbage out. And so it piled up to the ceilings: Coffee grounds, potato peelings, Brown bananas, rotten peas, Chunks of sour cottage cheese. It filled the can, it covered the floor, It cracked the window and blocked the door With bacon rinds and chicken bones, Drippy ends of ice cream cones, Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, Pizza crusts and withered greens, Soggy beans and tangerines, Crusts of black burned buttered toast, Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . . The garbage rolled on down the hall, It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . . Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, Globs of gooey bubble gum, Cellophane from green baloney, Rubbery blubbery macaroni, Peanut butter, caked and dry, Curdled milk and crusts of pie, Moldy melons, dried-up mustard, Eggshells mixed with lemon custard, Cold french fried and rancid meat, Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat. At last the garbage reached so high That it finally touched the sky. And all the neighbors moved away, And none of her friends would come to play. And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, “OK, I’ll take the garbage out!” But then, of course, it was too late. . . The garbage reached across the state, From New York to the Golden Gate. And there, in the garbage she did hate, Poor Sarah met an awful fate, That I cannot now relate Because the hour is much too late. But children, remember Sarah Stout And always take the garbage out! Shel Silverstein, 1974
How many of you like to take the garbage out? Why not? What do you think would happen to us if we didn’t take the garbage out? Well in our lives we have some garbage, does anyone know what we call it? It’s called sin.
Just like with the girl in our story the sin starts out as something little maybe a candy wraper or a old toy in the trashcan but eventually it gets bigger and bigger. The garbage in our lives affects our testimony or our reputation. Does anyone know what a testimony is? It is what comes into peoples minds when they think about us.
If I asked you to describe the pator for me what would you say ( give a couple of kids a chance to answer.) that is his testimony. there a lot of different things you can be know for some of them good and some bad. Turn to Mathew 5:14-16. as christians we are supposed to let our lights Shine . What do you think this means? It means that we are supposed to do the things that God would want us to do so we can have a good reputation or testimony that would lead people to Christ. (take out your flashlight) This flashlight represents us and the batteries represent God. W hen we are filled with Christ what does our light do (turn on the flashlight and off the overhead lights) when we allow Christ to take over our life we are able to Shine through the dark (turn on the light and begin removing the batteries) but often we will let a little sin in ( replace a battery with trash) it will start as something small, maybe when mom told you to clean your room you shoved everything under the bed (keep adding trash). Instead of taking out the trash we act like sarah did and we just keep letting our lives fill up with the garbage (turn out the lights) and our light cannot Shine anymore.
Just like with Sarah our daddy is begging us to take out the garbage from our lives. Who is our daddy? God is and he knows that the more the garbage piles up the more it is going to hurt us. And before we know it it is to late. No matter how bad we sin God will always forgive us so what is it to late for? Our testimonies, what people see in us. Once someone makes a decision about how you are it is almost impossible to change their minds for example if you are known as a liar and you tell the truth do you think someone will trust you? NO! because you are known for lying.
Turn to Proverbs 20:11. Is it only adults that people judge? This verse says even a child is known by his doings. It is just as important for you to have a good testimony as for me. When you tell someone you are a christian they start watching you to see if what you say matches with what you do and if they don’t see you being a light but instead see someone that has a garbage can that is overflowing why would they want anything to do with God? Once you become an adult it is heard to fix the bad testimony from not taking out the garbage but you guys are still young and it is not to late. I am going to read our story one more time and I want you to think about what we talked about as you listen to it.
In the example the Jesus gives we find that this is a guide, not a pat prayer to be vainly repeated. Learning a good structure to out prayer will help us pray more effectively.
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
When you are doing something you are not familiar with you will do one of 3 things:
Read an instruction manual (Bible)
Try to figure it out
Watch or ask others
So many people try to do the same thing about spiritual things. They simply try to figure it out or just follow the crowd RATHER than reading the instruction manual.
Prayer is just talking to God
So the question is: “How do I pray?” and God answers this question by FIRST telling you “How NOT to pray”
Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Your thumb is the closest finger to you, therefore when you look at your thumb you can remember to pray for those who are closest to you such as Jesus (a friend that sticketh closer that a brother) your parents, siblings and friends.
The next finger we see is our pointer finger. When we see this finger we can remember to pray for those who point us in the right direction such as our Pastor, Sunday School Teachers and Preachers.
The next finger we see is the middle finger. What is so special about the middle finger? It is the tallest of our fingers! With this finger we can remember to pray for those who are over us such as our government.
Next we see the ring finger. What makes this finger unique is that it is the weakest finger, try pushing your 2 ring fingers together. What happened? They bent because this finger is not strong enough to stand on its own. With this finger we pray for those who are feeling weak such as the sick and the elderly.
Now that we have looked at all the other fingers there is just one left. What do you think that this finger represents? That’s right it represents you. There are two special things about the pinkie: it is both the shortest finger and the farthest one away. When we put ourselves last on the prayer list it allows us to see things in a different light because once we have prayed for all these other people and problems our problems don’t seem so bad anymore.
So next time you fold your hands to pray and can’t think of anything to say remember your 5 finger prayer list. Remember the pattern of putting God and others first and being thankful.