No Tricks, Just Treats
An assembly for Halloween
by Becky May
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use our experiences of trick-or-treat to explore what the Bible has to say about prayer.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a trick-or-treat basket (or a container holding some sweets) and a Bible.
- Hold up the trick-or-treat basket.
Ask the children the following questions.
- Do any of you know what this is or what it might be used for?
- Have any of you been trick-or-treating before?
- What is trick-or-treating?
- Invite some of the children to briefly share their experiences, talking about what they have done when they have been trick-or-treating and what they may have received.
- Point out that not everyone takes part in trick-or-treating. Some families choose to get involved in this event and some choose to ignore it. It’s important that we respect the beliefs of different families. We should also think carefully about the rules that we need to remember if we go trick-or-treating.
- Encourage the children to share the rules that they follow if they go trick-or-treating and talk about what they need to do to stay safe, such as going out with an adult, only going to houses they know and being polite.
- Explain that trick-or-treating started hundreds of years ago when poor people would go from house to house and offer to sing a song or share a poem in return for food. Over time, this changed to become the event that we have today.
- Ask the children, ‘Do you know why we say, “Trick or treat” when people open their door?’
Listen to a range of responses.
- Traditionally, the meaning behind the saying was, ‘Please could you give us a treat or would you like us to perform a trick on you instead?’ However, today, we don’t usually perform tricks on people and it’s important that we don’t expect everyone to give us a treat!
- Explain that there is a Bible story about people going from house to house – but it wasn’t for trick-or-treating!
Explain that the story follows on from Jesus’ disciples asking him to teach them about prayer.
- Read, or ask someone else to read, the Bible passage Luke 11.5-10.
Explain that in this story, Jesus asks the disciples to imagine knocking on their neighbour’s door in the middle of the night and asking for some bread. Even though the neighbour would be in bed, Jesus said that the neighbour would get up and give the visitor some bread, just because he was bold enough to ask.
Jesus goes on to explain that God is like a good father, who gives his children the very best gifts.
- Explain that when we pray, we are asking God for things. It’s a bit like knocking on a door and asking for something, but in the story, Jesus promises that God won’t ever give us rotten tricks, only good treats. God will give us the things we need, the things that are good for us.
- Challenge the children to think about not simply asking for things from others and from God, but also about giving to others.
Ask the children what opportunities they might have to give good gifts to other people.
Time for reflection
Ask the following questions, telling the children to think about the answers quietly to themselves.
- Have you ever prayed?
- If you did pray, what might you ask God for?
The Bible doesn’t say that God will give us everything that we ask for. He is not like a genie in a lamp who will make all our wishes come true. The Bible teaches us that God will give us the things that are good for us: all treats and no tricks!
Thank you that we can come to you and ask you for things that are good for us.
Thank you that you care for us and want us to receive good gifts.
Help us to be people who give good gifts to others.
Help us to look for opportunities to give rather than receive.
‘Living and learning’ (Songs for Every Assembly, Out of the Ark Music)