Use this children’s sermon lesson when teaching children the story of Elijah in the Bible. Download the teaching directions below, watch our children’s sermon video demonstration, and gather your object lessons supplies as you prepare to teach. This short message is perfect for kids church, Sunday School, or sharing the children’s ministry moment in your main worship service.
The Unexpected Whisper… Children’s Sermon on 1 Kings 19:1-15 on Listening to God
Lesson Objective: We often hope, or perhaps even expect, that God would speak to us in a clear and booming voice, or come to us in obvious ways. We might be tempted to give up on faith when times get tough or when we don’t “feel like” God is present. This message explains to children that God is always with us and frequently comes to us in unexpected ways. The story of Elijah on Mount Horeb reminds us that God is not always in the earthquakes and fires, but makes himself known with simple whispers.
Law/Gospel Theme: We sometimes tend to think that we can do enough to get ourselves closer to God. We want to hear His voice in booming audible tones, or we expect Him to show up in certain specific ways, and feel disappointed when He doesn’t follow our “rules.” Through Christ, God was made man and lived among us, and people missed Him then, too! God provides for us and comes to us in strange and unexpected ways sometimes. He might reveal Himself through quiet whispers or through other people. We trust in His care and look to His Son for hope and strength.
Object Lesson Materials: Noise maker/attention-grabber; lighter, fan/hair dryer, alarm
Bible Passage: 1 Kings 19:1-15
More Children’s Ministry Activities on Elijah and Listening to God
- Watch our children’s sermon on 1 Kings 19:1-15 and Crafts on Elijah Hearing God’s Whisper
- Compare a full Sunday School Lesson on God’s Gentle Whisper to Elijah
- Compare a an older elementary Bible Lesson on the Story of Elijah for Kids
- Compare another God appears to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:1-15 children’s church lesson
- See all our free Sunday School activities on the Story of Elijah for Kids
God’s Gentle Whisper to Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-15) Children’s Sermon
Greet children, and start off by using noise to grab their attention…
Hello, children of God! (After noisemaker) Did that get your attention? What does someone do if they want to make you pay attention? How do your parents call for you or get you to listen? What about alarms? How do you wake up in the morning? (Demonstrate a few alarm sounds from a phone or other device.) Some things are a bit louder than others. Some alarms are much stronger or more blaring than others! Sometimes things get our attention in unexpected ways, or take more careful listening than other times!
How do you listen to God? How do you think He gets our attention? Sometimes we would hope that God would speak to us in a big booming voice, or be obvious. But there are a lot of ways that we can encounter the voice of the Lord. He often comes in quiet or unexpected ways.
This reminds me of a story in the Bible. There was a man named Elijah, who was a prophet that told people about God. Elijah had worked very hard for the Lord, but was sad and discouraged that his hard work might not amount to much. God led Elijah up onto a mountain, and told him that His presence would pass by. Several things happened. First, there was a huge wind, blowing through the rocks—but that wasn’t God. Then there was an earthquake! That wasn’t God, either…then there was a fire, but even that was not the presence of the Lord. Do you know what came next? A whisper. A still, silent, simple whisper. And then God spoke to Elijah, asking what his plans were and what he was doing.
So you see, God doesn’t always show up in wild and obvious ways. He comes to us in moments of silence. Sometimes He speaks to us through other people. He speaks through His word, the Bible. And there might be times when we feel that God is silent. But He is ALWAYS there. His presence is always with us, and He always welcomes our prayers. No matter what happens, we know that He hears us and wants us to hear Him. We might encounter Him in quiet whispers or strange perceptions. But always He is near, if we are willing to listen and hear.
Why don’t we say a prayer and ask God to help us listen for His voice?
Children’s Prayer Moment (to close the sermon for kids)
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for coming to us
Even in unexpected ways
Help us to listen for your voice
And recognize when you call.
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference: 1 Kings 19:1-15 God’s Gentle Whisper to Elijah
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. -1 Kings 19:1-15