Use this free Sunday School lesson plan when teaching the story of Elijah to children. Simply print the PDF teaching notes below, gather your supplies, and share these powerful Bible stories in your kids church, children’s ministry, or Sunday School.
How can we see God’s character? Without seeing His characteristics, how can we be sure? Why can’t we hear His voice clearly? Elijah is given the opportunity to experience God’s full presence and His spirit in this story. It can be frustrating for Christians to feel like God is distant or doesn’t respond to our questions as we would imagine. But God does provide wonderful moments when He does.
Lesson Focus: God does not always do what we expect. However, He uses mysterious and amazing ways to comfort us and remind us of His glory.
Passage: 1 Kings 17:7-24
Target Audience : Kindergarten-6th Grade (adaptable to older or younger).
Materials Required: cardstock, paper, straws and decorative material, hair dryer, fan, Ping-Pong ball, pom-pom, Bibles
Sunday School Activities: Listening to God
- Watch our children’s sermon about 1 Kings 19:1-15, and crafts on Elijah Hearing God’s Whisper
- A complete Sunday School Lesson on God’s Gentle Whisper to Elijah
- A Older Elementary Bible Lesson on The Story of Elijah For Kids
- Another God appears in Elijah’s 1 Kings 19:1-15 children’s church lesson
- Check out all of our Free Sunday School Activities on the Story of Elijah For Kids
Game Activities to Introduce the Lesson
Lesson Opening Wind power…As today’s story involves wind, let’s start with a blowing race. Students will need a straw and small items such as a Ping-Pong or pom-pom. Students can race one at a time, or two at a stretch depending on how many space is available. They will need to use only the straw to maneuver the ball between marks. Younger students can feel the air moving through their hands by holding up a hand. Let them know that we will be talking a bit about wind. Can we see wind? We don’t see wind, but we do know that it exists because we can see its effects as trees bend and sway, or hair blowing around wildly. This story shows Elijah’s encounter with God’s power and presence.
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.
How can we hear God speaking to us? How can we tell He is near? We wish we could hear Him clearly, but God is always there in unexpected and mysterious ways. Sometimes He speaks to us in whispers, but he can communicate with us through many means. These crafts are a celebration of Elijah’s Mount Horeb story. They show how God is always present with us, and can communicate even when we don’t feel or hear Him. The “mystery sound bag” is a collection of odd objects that allows us to play a game of listening for God’s voice. The story is told with a decorative element by the “God Whispers Wheel”.
Bible Story Video of Elijah for Kids
1 Kings 19:1-15 Sunday School Bible Lesson for Kids
Note: You can make this story interactive by adding the addendums to parentheses if you wish.
Students should be reminded of Elijah’s story, especially if they are following up on an introductory lesson. Talk about his struggle with the wicked queen and king; how God looked after Him at the river, and with the widow; and how they defeated the false priests from Baal.
King Ahab became more agitated about Elijah’s head after the priest-expunging incident and was forced to flee again. Have students sit down under a table or in the corner. The prophet felt extremely discouraged and tired at this point and was ready to give up. This is how you felt once. Elijah wondered why God had left him the only prophet of God. God had not abandoned Him…
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. -1 Kings 19:3-9
God made us with physical needs. He knew that Elijah could not continue without nourishment, and provided for his stamina with miraculous encouragement. (At this point, walk around handing students a cracker or other small item to nibble).
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.” -1 Kings 19:9-11
God was getting ready to do something wild for Elijah. We cannot experience God and walk away the same. Elijah had to prepare himself for meeting God, and must have wondered what was coming.
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?” -1 Kings 11-13
First, blow the kids with the blow dryer. The wind rushed through, surely God was there. But no… then an earthquake occurred (if you can, shake the table and scootch your children). It was amazing, but it wasn’t the Lord. Instead, He spoke softly. Sometimes we are unable to predict how God will act or what we hope He will do. Perhaps the Lord will show Himself in the simplest and most humble of ways…
Craft:Wind-Powered…provide students with more straws and papers. Let them color and decorate the card/paper pieces. Then show them how to fold them into a wheel shape. The wheel can be attached to a straw or an eraser of a pencil. Younger students can help fold the paper accordion-style to make fans.
Close your session with prayer and a reminder of God’s work in our lives. Ask God for wisdom, strength and gratitude for the choices He makes. Ask God for His help in honoring Him in all we do and say.
FAQ about the Story of Elijah in the Bible
Elijah is one of the most important prophets in the Bible. His story is told in 1 Kings chapters 17-19. Elijah was a man who was true to God, even when everyone around him was worshiping false gods. He boldly confronted the King and declared that there would be no rain or dew except at his word. Elijah’s faith was strong, and he remained faithful even when he was threatened with death. God ultimately took Elijah up into heaven in a whirlwind, but not before he had anointed Elisha to be his successor. The story of Elijah is an important one for believers, because it shows us that even when life gets tough, we need to remain faithful to God.
The story of Elijah is full of powerful messages that can teach us a great deal about God, faith, and obedience. Here are just a few of the things we can learn from Elijah’s story: God is always in control. Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, we can trust that God is in charge and knows what He is doing. This was certainly true for Elijah; even when he was being pursued by enemies, God was able to protect him and give him strength. Faith is essential to pleases God. Elijah had great faith in God, which allowed him to do amazing things like call down fire from heaven.
Elijah is a powerful name with biblical roots. The name Elijah means “Yahweh is my God” in Hebrew. Elijah was a prophet in the Old Testament who was known for his miracle-working power. He defeated the prophets of the false god Baal and led the people back to worshiping Yahweh. Elijah’s spirit was seen as particularly strong and fiery, and he has come to be associated with passion, strength, and perseverance. The name Elijah has become significant for many people beyond its biblical roots. For some, it has come to represent renewal, hope, and change.