NOTE: This lesson contains material and visual accounts that may be difficult for those who have experienced similar events first hand in your area. As the teacher, you will know best how to handle this sensitive situation.
The path of damage that tornadoes leave behind can span one mile wide and 50 miles long, often putting thousands of people in harm’s way. Recently, various states have experienced severe tornadoes, killing and injuring several people and leaving many without homes. After the twisters moved on, major flooding ruined even more houses and buildings.
Life can be filled with hardship and difficulty. God does not promise us an easy path, nor does He always answer prayer the way we hope He will. It can be a challenge to stay encouraged and trust God when the troubles and pains of life seem overwhelming and He seems to be silent. And it is even more difficult to see a purpose in it all. As you watch this video, consider what the people in the midst of these tornadoes may have been asking God.
Share this video with your students [:58]:
Violent tornado hits Missouri’s capital…
- What do you think the people in Missouri were praying for before and during the tornadoes? (Answers will vary but might include: that the tornado would not reach their homes; that their families would be safe, etc.)
- Why do you think that God did not respond the way some of them had hoped? (Answers will vary—accept all reasonable answers, but reserve possible biblical answers for Step 2 lesson material.)
- Have you ever gone through a difficult time and committed it to prayer, but it did not seem as if God was listening? Tell us about it. (Answers will vary. As students share, acknowledge how difficult that must have been, but do not offer theological answers.)
- Can you share about a time when you received an answer to your prayers but it was not what you had hoped? (Answers will vary; be prepared to share your own experience.)
Even when God seems to be silent, we can rely on the fact that He hears our prayers during difficult circumstances. Let’s find out more about what happens when we pray.