The students will be able to explain that God answers some of our prayers with a Yes.
Introduction: Bring an electric clock to class, as described in the In-class Activity for this lesson. We can unplug the clock and make the hands stop, but does time stop or go backward? Tell your class that today you are going to talk about a time when that did happen—in answer to prayer.
Climax: Again the answer was Yes, and Jesus healed the blind man's eyes.
Conclusion: There are times when God's answer to our prayers is Yes.
Response: Your students will be able to describe the prayers of the two examples given in today's text, and will tell how God responded in each case.
Joshua, an Ephraimite, son of Nun, though born in Egyptian bondage about 1500 B.C. was named, significantly, Hoshea, meaning "salvation." Two months after Israel's exodus he was appointed Moses' commander. Later he represented Ephraim in spying out Canaan and returned insisting that Israel, if faithful to God, could conquer the land. This was opposed to the majority report and almost cost him his life. Subsequently, however, for having "wholly followed the Lord," he not only escaped destruction but also received assurance, unique to himself and Caleb, of entering the Promised Land.
In the spring of 1406 B.C., Joshua was chosen by God to be Moses' successor. God promised to be with him as He was with Moses, saying, "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." God warned him, though, of coming apostasy, but even here God promised Joshua the successful conquest of Canaan. In just six years Joshua took the whole land, and "left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses."
It was God's presence with Joshua that brought the victories in the many battles against the Canaanites. When Israel was defeated, it was because sin was in the camp. Many times Israel faced overwhelming odds, but God's miraculous power intervened and the victory was won. It was not the numbers or the skills of the armies of Israel but God who had promised: "I have delivered them into thine hand." Joshua believed God. He dared to command the sun to stand still upon Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. God didn't fail him.
Ajalon was a city of Dan assigned to the Levite sons of Kohath. It is identified today with the modern Yalo, 14 miles from Jerusalem, north of the Jaffa road.
Our God is not just a God of Old Testament times but He also revealed Himself through the ministry of Jesus. The blind man that Jesus healed as He came toward Jericho, had to exercise the same faith that Joshua had in God Jehovah. And it is faith in God and obedience to His Word that brings answers to prayer today.
Have several students or teachers come up carrying a posterboard showing something they once asked God for. (The illustrations can be simple line drawings, pictures cut from magazines, etc.) Have them briefly tell their story, including what the circumstances were surrounding their request. Then have them turn their posterboard over to show the word Yes—God's answer.
Make a "Prayer-Memory Box." To do so, collect several items which might trigger your memory of a time when God answered Yes to one of your prayers. (A toy car might remind you of a vacation, or a ribbon might bring back memories of a special gift). Tie a string to each item, put the item into the box, and let the string hang over the edge. Ask some of the students to come forward, one at a time, and choose a string. As you pull each item from the box, make a comment such as: "Oh, that reminds me of the time . . . " Tell your students that each time they pray they will be adding to their own prayer memories.
The Man Born Blind — Palm Tree Bible Series, Concordia
The Beggar's Greatest Wish — Arch Book, Concordia