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Pause for Thought: Comfort

During tough times, what brings us comfort?

by Alexandra Palmer

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider what might bring us comfort during tough times.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Pause for Thought: Comfort) and the means to display them.
  • Have available the YouTube video ‘The Lost Son: Animated Bible Story’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 8.34 minutes long, but you will only need to show it from 1.02 minutes to 6.30 minutes. It is available at:
  • Optional: you may wish to use the ‘Pause for Thought: Comfort’ extension activity (available at: Comfort - Extension Activity) that accompanies this assembly.


  1. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the children a range of questions about the image on the slide. Examples could include the following.

    - What does the slide show?
    - How do you think the animals are feeling?
    - How does the picture make you feel?

    The assembly is going to consider things that bring us comfort, so encourage the discussions to include this.

  2. Show Slides 2-5.

    Ask similar questions to those in Step 1, encouraging the children to think about phrases such as comfort, being peaceful, relaxation, finding peace and so on.

  3. Explain that all five pictures show something that might bring people comfort when they are struggling in some way, such as feeling sad or stressed. Some people find that exercise helps them, whereas others might cuddle a teddy bear, stroke a pet or listen to music. Some people might go for a walk and look at beautiful scenery.

    Ask the children to think of any other ways in which they might find relaxation and comfort.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Introduce the Bible story about the lost son.

    Explain that while Jesus was on earth, he told stories called parables, which can be described as heavenly stories with an earthly truth. The story of the lost son is about a father who has two sons. The younger son asks for his share of the inheritance, which he is given. He then leaves home and travels to a faraway land.

    Show the YouTube video ‘The Lost Son: Animated Bible Story’, playing it from 1.02 minutes to 6.30 minutes.

  5. Ask the following questions to help discuss the video:

    - Why did the son ask for his inheritance?
    (Answer: the son wanted to move to a different place so that he could have some fun and wouldn’t have anybody telling him what to do. He thought that money was more important than his family.)

    - How did the father feel when his son left?
    (Answer: the father felt sad, upset and disappointed, and he missed his son.)

    - What did the son do with the money?
    (Answer: he was unwise and spent it all. He took comfort in the money that he had and, because he hadn’t saved any and hadn’t made any true friends, when his money ran out, he had no food to eat and no one to help him out.)

    - Why did the son return home?
    (Answer: he decided to return home so that he would have food to eat and somewhere to live. More importantly, he wanted to seek the comfort and forgiveness of his father.)

    - What did the father do when his son returned?
    (Answer: he forgave his son and comforted him by making sure that he had good clothes and shoes to wear, along with food to eat. He also threw a party.)

    - Why was the older brother grumpy?
    (Answer: he wanted to know why he had never had a party when he had always worked for his father. Sometimes, we don’t recognize the things that we could be grateful for that make us happy and comfortable.)

Time for reflection

Remind the children that during tough times, it’s important to know what sorts of things give us comfort that lasts. Compare this to the story of the lost son, where his money, which initially brought comfort, soon disappeared!

Ask the children, ‘What sorts of things give us comfort that lasts for a long time?’

If possible, allow time for the children to discuss this question with a partner or in small groups.

Listen to a range of responses.

Suggestions might include family, friends, hobbies, pets, exercise, sport and so on.

In Jesus’ parable, the lost son returned home and took comfort in his father.

Ask the children to think quietly about the sorts of things that they can take comfort in at home.

Pause to allow time for reflection and thanks.

Ask the children to think quietly about the sorts of things that they can take comfort in at school.

Pause to allow time for reflection and thanks.

Dear God,
Thank you for the story of the lost son and the lessons that we can learn from it.
Thank you for all the ways in which we can find comfort at home.
Thank you for the different things that we can take comfort in at school.
Please help us always to look out for people who need our care and comfort.


‘Our God is a great big God’, available at: (3 minutes long)

Extension activities

  1. Using the sheet that accompanies this assembly (Comfort - Extension Activity), encourage the children to think about the sorts of things that give them comfort. Children can illustrate and write down four things that bring them long-term comfort.
Publication date: May 2021   (Vol.23 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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