Have you ever felt scared? Most people feel afraid at some time. Fear can be a good thing because it can keep us safe from doing something dangerous and hurting ourselves. Always remember that God cares for us and is with us to help us when we feel afraid. Here are some worship activities for you and your family to help you think about what makes you feel afraid and how you can help each other feel safe.
Around the time Jesus was born, lots of angels came to visit earth. They must have been quite dazzling and beautiful. But even though they were kind and had good news to share, they often surprised people and made them jump! Read these verses to see what the angels said to help people not be scared of them. Luke 1:11-13; Luke 1:26-30; Luke 2:8-12
Who Was Afraid?
In your family, take turns choosing one of these Bible characters. Look in your Bible to find a story about a time when they might have been afraid. How would you have felt if you were in their situation? How did God help them when they were afraid? Which of the stories do you like the best? Which person’s story helps you when you are afraid? How do these stories help you to understand more about God’s love and care for you?
• Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
• Joseph (Jacob’s son)
• Simon Peter
Take a piece of white typing paper and turn it so that the short side of the paper is at the bottom. In the lower half of the page draw a picture of a time when you felt afraid. Then turn the sheet over and hold the picture up to the window so the blank side of the paper is facing you. You should be able to see your first picture through the paper. Draw a very faint line along the top edge of the picture you have drawn. Now draw an angel on the back of your picture and above the line you have drawn. When you have finished, turn the page over to show your original picture. Pick up the picture and hold it up to the light to see the angel taking care of you in your scary moment.
As a family, use this sentence to tell others what makes you feel afraid and what helps you to calm down. Don’t forget that adults can sometimes be scared too! “I can feel afraid when _____________________, and what helps me to calm down is ___________________.” Here are some ideas to choose from for calming down:
• Remembering God is with me
• Asking someone to help me feel safe
• Repeating a Bible verse
• Breathing deeply and slowly
• Remembering a time when I managed my fear well
• Making a list of 10 things I am thankful for
• Other (What else would you and your family add to the list?)
Write out your list of helpful things to do when you are afraid so that you can look at it whenever you need to. Remember that when a person makes you feel afraid, you must always tell someone who cares for you so that they can help you be safe.
Whenever you feel afraid or worried, try this safe way of breathing that naturally helps you calm down. If you have ever blown bubbles, imagine you are blowing bubbles now. Take a deep breath in through your nose, as deep as you can. Hold it for 3-4 seconds, then blow your breath out as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible, or as if you are trying to blow a big bubble without popping it! Do this 3 or 4 times, and you will soon feel more relaxed and calm. Practice with your whole family! Why not blow bubbles if you have them? Imagine that all the bubbles blowing away are like giving all your fears and worries to God and watching them slowly disappear.
Bible Promises About Fear
God knows that our world can be a very scary place at times. He has given us lots of promises that He will be with us and that we don’t need to worry about the most important things. He loves us very much, and He promises to come and take us back to heaven one day. Here are some lovely Bible verses to help us with our fears. Choose the one you like best, write it out, and decorate it with your favorite colors. Ask an adult to help you look for other Bible verses that can help when you feel afraid.
• Deuteronomy 31:6
• Psalm 23:4
• Psalm 46:10
• Isaiah 41:10
• John 14:27
• Philippians 4:6, 7
Ask some of the adults in your family to tell you the story of a time when they were afraid and God helped them. Perhaps you could record or video them telling their stories. What can you learn from their stories that will help you with your own fears?
Peace, Be Still!
With your family, act out the story of Jesus in the storm in Mark 4:35-41. Find a large piece of blue or white fabric, like an old tablecloth, to use as the lake. Then find something small, light, and unbreakable to be the boat. You could cut a boat shape from a cardboard box, use a small dishwashing sponge, or even use a sock! Ask each person in the family or group to hold onto the corner or edge of the fabric and place the “boat” in the center of the cloth. Start by rippling the fabric “lake” together by gently shaking the edges that you are holding.
Talk about how tired Jesus is after a long day of teaching and helping people. He is so tired that He finds a snug place in the boat and falls asleep. Rock the boat gently so that Jesus will fall asleep. But soon a storm comes. Now ripple the lake so that the waves get slowly bigger and bigger and the boat is tossed about.
Think about how it feels for the disciples in the little boat in a big storm! Tell each other how you would feel if you thought your boat would turn over or sink. Then have one of the grownups call out “Peace, be still!” As quickly as possible, hold the blue fabric tight and still to make the lake calm down. Pray together, thanking God that He has the power to make all our storms disappear. Also thank Him for being with us, like Jesus, in the storms that come.
Paul's Secret for Scary Places
Paul was in some very scary places. Read about some of them in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. Which one of these would you find the scariest? But Paul learned some good ways to help himself when he was in a scary place. When he was in prison and close to death, he wrote an amazingly happy letter to his friends in Philippi. In Philippians 4 he wrote a list of things that can also help us feel less afraid, like being thankful, feeling content, finding joy in God, and thinking about lovely things instead of scary things. Read Philippians 4 with your family and find some of Paul’s secrets. Choose one of them to try with your family.
Make a Reminder
Use your best craft materials, or whatever safe things you can find in nature. Make something to remind you that God is always close to you when you feel afraid. Perhaps you could write a Bible verse on a piece of fabric that you can keep in your pocket. Create a picture for your home or gather some objects that remind you of God’s care and protection, like a heart, candle, or key, and place them in a bowl. Tell your family about what you made or why you chose what you gathered.