Tuesday: Struggle

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord God, open our ears to hear your Word, and our minds to understand it. Be with us now, and always. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 27:18-20
[Paul and several other prisoners were sailing on a ship with some sailors when a storm hit]. The storm was so fierce that the next day they threw some of the ship’s cargo overboard. Then on the third day, with their bare hands they threw overboard some of the ship’s gear. For several days we could not see either the sun or the stars. A strong wind kept blowing, and we finally gave up all hope of being saved. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Why do you think the sailors threw their cargo off the ship during the storm? Does that decision make sense to you? Why or why not?

Child: Why would it be important for sailors to be able to see the sun or the stars in Paul’s day? How would modern sailors handle that problem?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, sometimes things seem dark all around us, and it is hard to imagine how we’ll find our way forward. But you are our guide, leading us every step of the way. Help us to remember that in hard times. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you trust God when you’re scared. Amen.

Monday: Understanding

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God's name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, as we listen to your Word today, may we come to know you better. Help us to see that we can always count on you—even during the stormy times. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 27:18-20, 39-44
[Paul and several other prisoners were sailing on a ship with some sailors when a storm hit]. The storm was so fierce that the next day they threw some of the ship’s cargo overboard. Then on the third day, with their bare hands they threw overboard some of the ship’s gear. For several days we could not see either the sun or the stars. A strong wind kept blowing, and we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

Morning came, and the ship’s crew saw a coast that they did not recognize. But they did see a cove with a beach. So they decided to try to run the ship aground on the beach. They cut the anchors loose and let them sink into the sea. At the same time they untied the ropes that were holding the rudders. Next, they raised the sail at the front of the ship and let the wind carry the ship toward the beach. But it ran aground on a sandbank. The front of the ship stuck firmly in the sand, and the rear was being smashed by the force of the waves.

The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners to keep them from swimming away and escaping. But Captain Julius wanted to save Paul’s life, and he did not let the soldiers do what they had planned. Instead, he ordered everyone who could swim to dive into the water and head for shore. Then he told the others to hold on to planks of wood or parts of the ship. At last, everyone safely reached shore. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Have you ever had to travel during a scary storm, like Paul did? What happened?

Child: Why might the Captain have wanted to save Paul’s life? Do you think God had something to do with that? Why or why not?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord God, when we are frightened, may we trust in your larger plan. Help us to remember that you are always with us, working for good. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words:

May God give you peace in any storm. Amen.

Sunday: Worship

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you … in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gracious Lord God, we want to hear your words of wisdom, and to learn from them. Help us to remember all of your teachings. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Psalm 37:30-34
Words of wisdom come when good people speak for justice. They remember God’s teachings, and they never take a wrong step. The wicked try to trap and kill good people, but the Lord is on their side, and he will defend them when they are on trial. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: The psalm tells us that God will defend good people. What does this mean?  How does God use us to defend others?

Child: The Bible reminds us that the Lord  is on our side. Why is this an important thing to remember, even in times when we are wrong? How does God being with us help us to do better?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Lord God, you are always working for good and defending those who need your help. Use us for your good purposes, so that we may be a blessing in the lives of others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you leave your troubles in God’s hands. Amen.

Saturday: Generosity

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you … in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Mighty Lord, make us firm in faith, and brave in sharing it. Help us to learn what it means to be courageous as we read more about Paul today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 24:14-16
[Paul said,] “I admit that their leaders think that the Lord’s Way, which I follow, is based on wrong beliefs. But I still worship the same God that my ancestors worshiped. And I believe everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets. I am just as sure as these people are that God will raise from death everyone who is good or evil. And because I am sure, I try my best to have a clear conscience in whatever I do for God or for people.”  (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Paul spoke about believing in Jesus as “the Lord’s Way”? Why is trusting and believing in Him the “way” that God wants us to live each day?

Child: When we trust in Jesus, why does that make us want to help others trust in Jesus, too? How does God use us to give his promise to others?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Dear Lord, people learn about you from what they see in us, your followers. Help us to be generous and good, so that our lives would give you glory. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you give the promise of God to others. Amen.

Friday: Trust

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, the world is full of temptations. Be with us, guard us, and make us strong, inside and out. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Listen: Pay close attention to this reminder from Luther’s Small Catechism.

God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, but pray that when we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory. (Luther’s Small Catechism)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Have you ever been tempted to do something wrong, but felt God leading you away from that? What happened? How did God help you?

Child: Luther’s Small Catechism tells us that “God tempts no one to sin.” What does that tell us about God? Why can knowing this help us to trust God more fully?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, you are good, all the time, and we can trust you with everything. Thank you for guiding us, and for helping us to say “no” when we are tempted to sin. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you look to God for help and guidance. Amen.

Thursday: Compassion

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Holy God, stir up your Holy Spirit in us today. Make us into compassionate followers who love your Word and who care for your people. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as the Bible story is read in the form of a rhyme.

Paul was brought before a judge
By some folks who held a grudge;
They believed that Paul was bad
And his actions made them mad.

What on earth could Paul have done?
Worshipped Jesus Christ, God’s Son!
This was more than they could take.
(They thought Jesus was a fake).

Paul explained he broke no rules,
And the judge was not a fool:
Seeing Paul had done no crime
He delayed the case in time.

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: A group was pressuring the judge to turn against Paul. Have you ever been pressured by a group, but said “no” to them? What happened? What role did your faith play in that?

Child: After hearing Paul’s argument, the judge showed compassion and put off making a decision. Have you ever changed your mind about a big decision? When? How did God help you?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Holy God, sometimes people try to turn us against others. Help us to be strong, to think for ourselves, and to treat everyone fairly. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you be fair to all you meet. Amen.

Wednesday: Mercy

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you … in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, you give us what we need when we face challenges. Be with us now, and help us to learn more about the quiet ways you shower us with mercy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Listen: Pay close attention as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 24:10-12
The governor motioned for Paul to speak, and he began: “I know that you have judged the people of our nation for many years, and I am glad to defend myself in your court. It was no more than twelve days ago that I went to worship in Jerusalem. You can find this out easily enough. Never once did the Jews find me arguing with anyone in the temple. I didn’t cause trouble in the Jewish meeting places or in the city itself. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: When Paul was ask to explain his actions, he was very respectful? Why is it important to show respect to others, even when they don’t show respect to us?

Child: Many people said Paul was guilty, but Paul had done nothing wrong. How does it feel to be accused of something you didn’t do? Does it help to know that Paul (and Jesus) experienced this same thing?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

God of grace, you see all and know all. When people say bad things about us, help us to remain honest and respectful, so that by our words and actions, we will show the truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May you be honest and respectful in all you do. Amen.