EPISODE 03: God Answers Prayers
Unit 02: Jesus & His Teachings
Luke 11:1-4; Matthew 6:9-13; 1 John 5:14

To hear Jesus describe it, prayer is a conversation with God. We share with God and God hears and responds to us—though not necessarily the way we expect.

But most people usually aren’t in a conversation with God; they’re delivering a monologue. They speak (sometimes without giving much thought to what they’re saying) and, if they’re listening at all, what they hear in return is … crickets.

That silence leaves people, including us, wondering if God really is listening. And if He is listening, we wonder why we don’t get clear, direct answers to our prayers. Are we missing what God’s saying? Doesn’t He care? Is it that He misplaces our prayers among the millions that come to Him every day?

Today we’ll GET INTO what Jesus says about prayer and explore a model prayer Jesus shared with His disciples. After the video, we’ll TALK IT UP and ACT IT OUT, discovering that God not only hears our prayers, but He answers every one of them.

So relax, light up a screen, and watch “Praying Lessons.” You’ll have a ringside seat at a lesson on prayer that none of Jesus’ disciples ever forgot!

Play Video

In today’s video Jesus teaches His disciples, and us, about prayer. Use these questions to TALK IT UP and dig into what Jesus, in God’s Word, tells us about prayer.

  • Jesus begins His prayer by honoring and praising God. Why do you think Jesus sees that as important?
  • The part about God forgiving us as we forgive others … what do you think of that? If you don’t forgive others, do you think God won’t forgive you? (Hint: Look at Matthew 6:14.)
  • If God’s will were done on earth like it is in Heaven, what’s something you think would change?
  • If God doesn’t want us to do wrong things, why doesn’t He just stop us from ever being tempted?
  • What part of the Lord’s Prayer do you relate to most? Why?

Maybe it’s happened to you too: You ask a question or make a request, and everyone ignores you. You’re left hanging—and that feels awful.

Well, that won’t happen when you’re talking with God. God not only hears you, but He also answers every prayer. We don’t always get a “yes” to our requests, but we’re heard—and we can trust that God’s answers are always for our best. (Read Romans 8:28.)

Notice that when Jesus gives an example of prayer, there are several parts to His prayer. Not every prayer has to include each part, but if you want a well-rounded prayer life, you’ll want to be familiar with each part:

  • Praise is honoring God for who He is and what He’s done. (Matthew 6:9)
  • Surrender is letting God know you’re on board with doing His will and serving Him. (Matthew 6:10)
  • Requests brought to God can be anything. He wants to hear from us! (Matthew 6:11)
  • Forgiveness is something we always need, and Jesus reminds us we need to forgive others too. (Matthew 6:12)
  • Protection from anything that would draw us away from God—Jesus suggests we pray for that as well. (Matthew 6:13)

Now that you know a bit more about what you can include in your prayers, choose 1 (or more) of these ideas and give it a try—right now.

  • We can praise God with our words—Jesus described one way to do that. We can praise Him with our posture too (kneeling, arms raised, bowing, etc.). Quick—do that now! In what ways does the posture you assumed communicate praise to God?
  • If you were to surrender to God today—to do His will and His work before doing what’s on your list—what would that involve you doing … or not doing? Tell a partner.
  • Get some practice praying the parts of prayer that Jesus described with a quick game of Beanbag Prayer Prompts.
These questions will help you connect the Bible story to your own lives. Use all the questions or pick 1 or 2—your choice!
  • When are you most likely to pray? Why then? What motivates you to pause and talk with God?
  • People who heard Jesus pray must have been shocked to hear Jesus speaking as though He were talking to a loving Father. How would someone listening to you pray describe how you feel about God? What emotions come through in your prayers?
  • Many people get in the habit of praying at meals or bedtime when they’re young children. Think about what you learned about prayer when you were younger. Do you think it was helpful? What, if anything, would you change about what you were taught about prayer?
  • What’s a one- or two-word prayer you’re confident God would hear and answer? What’s a situation in which that prayer might be prayed? (Example: “Help!” while falling off a ladder.)
  • Given what you’ve heard in this episode, what leads you to believe God hears and answers prayers? What questions do you still have about prayer?


  • 6 American pennies per person
  • Resealable plastic snack bags

Note: If you don’t have access to American pennies, explain that each American penny includes these words: “In God we trust.” You can use other coins in place of American pennies.

Explain: Jesus criticized people who prayed in such a way as to impress others (Matthew 6: 5-6). And He cautioned against “babbling,” spewing out lots of words hoping that volume mattered more than conviction (Matthew 6:7-8).

Jesus taught that our prayers are to be focused and heartfelt. We’re talking to a God of immense power who’s also our loving King and Father. We can come into His throne room, but we do so mindful of where we are and who we’re talking to.

And we come trusting that God will hear us and respond.


  1. Give each person 6 pennies.
  2. Have everyone find and read together the words on the penny: “In God we trust.”
  3. Ask them to place their pennies in a stack, one at a time, as they silently pray as you direct. (Note: Consider pairing younger children with a teen or adult for this activity.)

Lead the prayer this way:

  • God, hear us as we silently pray. Hear us as we praise You. (10 second pause; place 1 penny on table)
  • God, hear us as we silently pray. Hear us as we give ourselves to You in surrender. (10 second pause; stack penny)
  • God, hear us as we silently pray. Hear us as we bring our requests to You. (10 second pause; stack penny)
  • God, hear us as we silently pray. Hear us as we ask Your forgiveness. (10 second pause; stack penny)
  • God, hear us as we silently pray. Hear us as we ask You to protect our hearts and minds. (10 second pause; stack penny)
  • God, we trust in You. Hear us as together we say “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” (Have everyone say this together and then stack their last penny.)

Provide resealable plastic snack bags to store their pennies to use as prayer prompts during the week.

God answers prayers—always. That can be a hard truth to trust in a world where people don’t always follow through to keep their promises. But there’s so much joy in seeing how God is different than anyone and anything else! God loves you—always. Hears you—always. And always, always, always answers when you call on Him.

Helping others see that God cares and answers prayers is an encouragement to them. And it can be a great reminder for you! Here are a few ideas for sharing what you’ve discovered about God answering prayers.

  • Make a prayer chain and hang it where you (and others) can see it. Write praises and prayer requests on strips of paper and then use tape to create and link loops. When you pray, remove a link and prayer about what is written on the strip. Run out of chain? Make another! Invite others to add their own links to your chain. Promise to pray for their needs—and do so!
  • Working with a partner (or as a group), make 2 columns on a sheet of paper. Title the left column: Prayer Requests. Title the right column: How God answered—“Yes,” “No,” or “Wait.” Working with your partner, add to the chart each day over the next week. As you look back together, you’ll begin to see how God always answers prayer.
  • Create a prayer sketchbook. In a notebook, draw pictures or symbols that describe your prayer requests. Review your sketches every few days as you add new sketches. How is God answering your prayers? Show your sketchbook to a friend and share what God’s doing to answer your prayers.

Use the hashtag #GodInAction so we can see what you’ve discovered too!