When God Says “Not Now” to Kids {Prayer Activity}

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There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

when God says "not now"

Sometimes God answers prayers with, “Yes”. Sometimes, “No”. But it’s the, “Not Now,” answers that can frustrate us. How should we help our kids understand God when he tells them, “Not Now?”

There are two words our children need to understand. Those words are: Appointed Time. Use the activity and verses listed below to help your child learn that God has a time for everything.

When God Says “Not Now” Prayer Activity

Materials: beans, a clear plastic cup, and a paper towel (You will want soil later when the plant is ready for it.)when God says "not now" Lesson: Because God is eternal, he knows what will happen in our lives, and because God has a good plan for us, he knows what he wants to do with our lives. When we pray and we ask things of God, and if those things are based on God’s promises, then he will say “yes.” However, that “yes” may not take place *when* we want it to. when God says "not now" In everything there is a season. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that. There is a time to be joyful, and a time to be sad. There is a time for war, and a time for peace, etc. When God tells us “not now” it is usually because 1) He has something better for us in the present, or 2) the timing isn’t right. It isn’t the appointed time yet. Perhaps we need to grow more spiritually or mentally before a certain prayer is answered. No matter the reason, we can trust that God knows what is best for us.

bean2Activity: Dampen the paper towel and place it inside the cup. Place 3-4 beans around the side of the cup so your child can watch the growth.

when God says "not now" Ask: We have now planted these beans. Will it take a short time, or a long time for our plant to produce new bean pods? (a long time) Can the new pods form while the beans are in the cup like this? If not, how come? (No, the plant is not ready to produce new bean pods yet.)

when God says "not now" Prepare to Pray!

Pray with your child. Ask God, in his timing, to produce new beans. As you watch the plant grow, pray for new beans. When the time is right, transfer the beans into a pot with soil and continue to pray for new beans. When the new beans appear, thank God for his timing.

“Not Now” answers to prayer usually teach us patience and grow our faith. Our job is to keep asking, seeking, trusting, and following the One who knows what is best for us.

Click on the image below to print FREE PRAYER CARDS. Choose the age-appropriate printable for your children and print on card stock. Grab a pen and write down the chosen verses, or have your child write them down.Scripture Prayer CardsMy Scripture Prayer Cards 3-12 blog

Verses to Pray When God Says “Not Yet”

Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you. ~ Genesis 18:14

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.” Mark 13:33

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law. ~ Galatians 4:4

And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. ~ Hebrews 6:15

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. ~ 2 Peter 3:8

Now Pray!

Encourage your children to not just read or say the words, but to pray them from the heart.

Click on the image below for more articles in this series.prayer

{All of these verses link to BibleGateway. If you would rather choose a different version of the scriptures, then click the link and choose the version you want.}

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