Elijah Works for God

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 10 - God's Power Works Through Elijah and Elisha

TEXT: 1 Kings 17:1-16


The students will be able to tell how God demonstrated His power through the miracles of Elijah—power to control the elements (rain) and to provide food for Elijah, a widow, and her son during the drought.


Introduction: Bring a loaf of warm bread to class, and open your session by sharing it with your students. Discuss how satisfying bread is when you are hungry. Ask your students if they have ever been hungry.

  1. Once there was a time in Israel when many people were very hungry. It was caused by the word of Elijah, at the command of God.
  2. Elijah told King Ahab that there would not be rain or dew until he commanded it.
  3. God directed Elijah to go to the brook Cherith, where ravens brought him food and he drank of the brook.
  4. When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath.
  5. Though she had only enough food for one meal, she shared with Elijah at his request.

Climax: Because she gave to the prophet, her meal and oil did not run out.

Conclusion: God demonstrated His power to control the elements and to provide food for those who trusted Him.

Response: Your students will be able to describe the miracles that took place in this lesson, and relate them to how God’s power works for and through those who trust Him today.


Elijah is a unique and one of the most dramatic characters of Bible history. Nothing is known of his parentage, but according to text he was born at Tishbeh. However, he had been living in Gilead for some time when he enters the Biblical narrative in 1 Kings 17:1.

His story opens dramatically, with Elijah confronting King Ahab with a prophecy of drought to be stopped only by his word. What a bold statement! Undoubtedly that statement was based on a strong faith in the power of God.

The location of the brook where God directed Elijah to go hide is uncertain. Some suggest that it was a branch of the River Jabesh, but the interest is not in the precise spot, but rather in what happened there: the ravens brought food to Elijah morning and evening until the brook dried up. God commanded Elijah to go to Zarephath, a city outside Israel in Phoenician territory, where a widow would sustain him. In the fulfillment of this promise God's miraculous power was again evidenced. The widow's reward for sharing of her meager provisions with the prophet was that her supply of meal and oil was multiplied as long as Elijah was with her.


  • Circle only the words that are in today's lesson:
    cruse of oil
    widow lady and son
    barrel of meal
    Have each class member pick one of the words they circled and explain how it fits into the lesson, or shows the power of God.
  • A little idea to help the children remember who came first, Elijah or Elisha: Remember "J" comes before "S" in the alphabet.
  • Make a list of things children can do for the Lord and have the class vote on a project that they would like to get together as a group and do the following week.
  • Bring a container full of oil and one full of flour or cornmeal. Demonstrate to the children that in the natural the more we use, the less we have. But God performed a miracle in not allowing the oil to run out. God always provides what we need.
  • In all of our lives as Christians God provides for our needs. It may not always happen when we choose, but when we leave it in His hands it works best. God is no different today than He was in Elijah's time. Share a testimony with your class of how God provided in your life or have someone come to your class and give his/her testimony.
  • Make a raindrop puzzle (see Patterns). Tell the story as you put the puzzle together.
  • Bring ingredients for making bread. Also have some bread ready to share with the children. Talk about how good it tastes. God knows just what we need!
  • Use two identical containers for flour and two for oil putting in just enough flour and oil in each for one meal. Use one and replace it with an identical one so when the children look again they will find the container still contains enough for another meal.


  1. Can God take care of us today, just as He took care of Elijah? Explain.
  2. Who was Elijah? Who was Ahab? What circumstances brought these two men together?
  3. Why was there to be a drought in the land of Israel? (What is a drought?) What would bring the drought to an end?
  4. What reasons did Elijah have for going to the Brook Cherith?
  5. What is a miracle? What miracles are recorded in today's lesson? Does God perform such miracles today?
  6. What things do you know that God has done in your life or in someone's you know that demonstrates God's power?


  • Use a picture of a raven and cut out pieces from yellow or tan construction paper to look like little cakes or pancakes. Use either a doll, Playschool figure, or flannel-graph figure as Elijah. Show raven bringing food to Elijah.
  • Make a little cornmeal cake to show the children what the widow made for Elijah. Also bring some cornmeal and oil in little containers so the children will see how very little the widow and her son had to eat during the famine. Show that if you took some out there would be less and less until it would be all gone. But God made the meal stay in the widow's container so she could feed Elijah, her son, and herself during the famine.
  • Suggestions for "food" for Elijah: Pepperidge Farm fish crackers, peanuts, raisins, berries or cherries. Let your students share Elijah's food for snack time.
  • Cut out paper clouds for the children to hold up. When Elijah prayed the clouds were removed—gone for three years and six months! James 5:17
  • Make a paper raven (see Patterns for Lesson 6b) and let the children help to bring food to feed Elijah.


Use the memory verse as a theme for your review. Make a series of illustrations on pairs (either a poster board or prepared as an overhead) showing a seemingly impossible situation and the solution provided by God. Make the situations appropriate to the age level you are teaching. Some possibilities: a bully/a friend; a hard problem on a test/an answer; a lost book/a book found; a sick child/a well child; a sin-spotted heart/a clean heart. You may also wish to include a visual of two things directly tied to the lesson, such as: no food/food; no rain/rain.

Puppet Show—Show willingness of widow to share with Elijah.

"Thank You" song
 Thank you for the world so sweet,
 Thank you for the food we eat,
 Thank you for the birds that sing,
 Thank you God for everything.

As you sing each line show a picture page (3'x4' or larger sheets) to illustrate what it means (see Patterns) and then elaborate on it. At the end sing the complete song again.

Dress up as Elijah and tell the story in first person. (CAUTION! This is not for Beginners.)


  • Friends of God — Story and Color Book, Standard Publishing
  • Elijah Asks for Bread — Lion Story Book, Lion Publishing
  • Elijah and the Oil Barrel — Family Life Institute Tape No. 28 (no address for publisher)
  • The Bottle That Stayed Full — By Sandi Veranos
  • A Magic Picture Book — David C. Cook