Ephesians 6:12 warns, "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." The shield of faith is a key element in the armour of God mentioned later in the chapter with which a Christian should equip himself in order to stand strong against the schemes of the enemy. Shield of faith crafts illustrate for children the practical applications of prayer and trusting in God as weapons in this spiritual battle.
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Shield of Faith
Explain to children that Ephesians 6 says that a spiritual battle is raging all around us at all times. No soldier would go into battle without his armour; neither should they battle Satan without the shield of faith in Jesus Christ. Have the students cut a basic shield shape out of heavy cardboard or foam. The children can then roll up some newspaper into narrow tubes and tape them in a cross shape in the middle of the shield. Have the students lay papier-mâché strips over the entire shield. Allow the strips to dry. The children can then paint the cross and shield in contrasting colours. Attach cardboard strips, twine, string or yarn to the back for a grip.
Coat of Arms
Remind the children that when the devil attacks, God is their shield so they don't need to be afraid. Cut shield shapes out of construction paper and paint or draw lines dividing the shield into four quadrants. Give them to the children and have them cut and paste or draw pictures of symbols that represent God and his protection in each section. Reinforce the idea that this will remind them to trust God in difficult situations.
Praying Hands Shield Puzzle
Tell the story of Daniel continuing to pray to his God in spite of the king's decree banning prayer to anyone other than himself. Talk about how Daniel continued to do the right thing, even when it was hard and dangerous, and how God shielded him from harm in the lions' den because of his faith. Print out pictures of praying hands and give them to the children to colour. Cut shield shapes out of construction paper and have children glue the praying hands in the centres of the shields. Instruct them to write the caption "Daniel prayed and his faith in God shielded him from harm." On the reverse side, tell children to draw in puzzle-piece shapes and cut along the lines. Give them plastic baggies in which to store the pieces. As they put the puzzles together, remind them that prayer is a powerful shield because it demonstrates how much you trust God to take care of you.
Paul states in Ephesians 6:16 that the shield of faith will "extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one." Print out colouring pages of a knight with a shield on heavy paper or cut shields out of heavy cardboard. Have the children colour and decorate them as desired. If using colouring pages, reinforce them by gluing them on a heavy cardboard backing. Glue or tape a paint stirrer to the back securely. Gather small red, orange and yellow bean bags. Let the children take turns tossing these "flaming missiles" at one another and batting them away with their shield paddles.
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