The Lord's Prayer
Summary of Lesson Activity:
Ages 8-12 - Students will learn the Lord’s Prayer and its meanings and will learn to apply elements of the prayer to events in their lives. They will play a game of listening to modern-day situations and choosing the appropriate portion of the prayer which applies, by selecting among sentence strips. (Adaption provided for ages 4-7.)
(Here's my first lesson plan.....whew)
- Students will learn the Lord’s Prayer and its meanings.
- They will learn to apply elements of the prayer to events in their lives.
Teacher preparation in advance:
- Read background notes
- Ages 8-12 - take white poster board and divide into 14 equal strips. Each strip should contain one line of the prayer. You'll need two of each, for two teams.
- Ages 4-7 - draw or find pictures (see adaption)
Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Open with prayer.
Read the scripture: Matthew 6: 9-13
Jesus was a man of prayer. He would rise early in the morning to pray. Those who followed him watched him closely to learn how to pray. Sensing this, Jesus took time to teach his followers how to pray. He taught us to pray about everything, to never give up praying for those things we felt were important, and to always have faith when we prayed. God hears our prayers, and God answers our prayers. We need to spend time every day in prayer with God.
Jesus taught what we call the Lord’s Prayer; we find it in the book of Matthew. We’re going to look at each line to make sure we understand its meaning.
After this manner therefore pray ye: When Jesus says "after this manner" he means he is showing us the things to bring into our prayer life. We usually say this prayer word for word when we pray together in church. There are many many different ways to pray; this is what we should use as a model.
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. We recognize that God is holy. We praise his name.
Thy kingdom come. We know that God acts to change lives here on earth, and he will bring us all to his Heavenly kingdom.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. God wants us to turn to him daily in prayer and listen for His Guidance; He will enable us to follow Him. He loves us and wants us to love others–all others, even those who may be unkind to us,
Give us this day our daily bread. Jesus wants us to depend on God for our needs every day. We should not worry about whether we have a month's supply of food. God is an abundant provider. He wants us to look to him in faith for our needs. Many times Jesus did not even know where he was going to sleep at night when he started out for the day, or how he would be fed. He trusted God at every turn. He doesn't want his children to be worried and afraid, but at peace and trusting.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Now these words may be tricky. What is a debt? It means something that we owe. If we go the grocery store and get a candy bar, we have a debt. We owe the store money for the candy bar we want to take home. Sometimes we ask for things we cannot have. Sometimes we do things for others and they feel obligated to repay us. Jesus wants us to be willing to give to others without expecting anything in return. Sometimes people do things that make us angry. If we cannot forgive them, then God will not forgive us. We get what we give.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Jesus wants our prayer to strengthen our desire to do what is right. God does not intend for us to do wrong. He wants us to avoid everything that is bad and evil. He wants us to be good children.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Jesus again recognizes that all authority and power rests with God. God is in control.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
- Divide group into two teams provide each team with poster board strips; each strip should contain one line of the prayer.
- Present situations to the teams, they must determine which line applies, grab it and send one person with it to a designated spot.
- First team to get it right gets a point.
Answer: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
- You’re eating lunch with friends and one of them uses God’s name in vain.
- You feel really great and shout out “Praise God!”
Thy kingdom come.
- A person who has broken the law, been hurtful to others suddenly accepts Jesus as his/her savior
- Praying for people or friends who don’t know God’s Love
Answer: Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
- Your family stops to help someone whose car is broken down
- A visitor comes to church, and you greet them with a smile and introduction
Answer: Give us this day our daily bread.
- Your family and friends get together every month to share a meal together.
- Your parents are out of work, and you’re worried about how they will pay the bills
Answer: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
- A kid on your soccer team pushes you down and doesn’t stop to see if you’re okay.
- You talk back to your parents, then apologize, and they forgive you
- Your best friend says something really mean about you
Answer: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
- Someone drops their wallet at the mall with lots of money in it.
- Your teacher leaves the answers to tomorrow’s test on her desk
Answer: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
- The awesome power of a hurricane
- The beauty of a sunset
After the game discuss the ways this prayer can guide all we do.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer together
Draw pictures representing different parts of the prayer (loaf of bread, clouds and earth, someone helping another...be imaginative) on pieces of poster board. Describe different simple situations and have the kids pick the correct picture
Additional Situations to add to game
I've got a couple more that we will use:
Answer: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
- You’re eating lunch with friends and one of them keeps saying “Oh my god.”
Answer: Thy kingdom come.
- You pray for someone you know who has rejected God’s desire to be their friend.
- You hear about a peaceful protest in a foreign land that brings about a change for the better in conditions of human justice.
- Collective bargaining successfully settles a labor disagreement.
These are fun to think up! (Some of these would only work with older students. And some fit into multiple categories.)
Any others care to chime in?
A lesson written by Sally F.
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