The Lord's Prayer
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will play a game to correctly sequence the prayer, and paraphrase the prayer to help develop and understanding of the meaning. They will close by praying together.
- Children will correctly put the words of the Lord’s Prayer in order, and work toward memorization of the prayer.
- Children will paraphrase the prayer and discuss the meaning of unfamiliar words and ideas.
- Children will pray for each other and world events through a prayer circle.
- Cut and mount on posterboard or construction paper the materials needed for sequencing game.
- Prepare a masking tape line numbered 1-5 (or 1-3 for small groups) for ordering prayer.
- Write the Lord’s Prayer on the easel
- Read Bible background notes and be prepared for leading the final prayer activity.
- Game pieces
- Dictionaries/Thesaurus/Bible Dictionaries
- Candles for prayer time (depending upon option chosen)
- Copier or notebook paper,
- Paper easels, and markers
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and Introduce yourself.
Read together the Lord’s Prayer on the easel. Hide the prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Game -- Right Order (about 15-20 minutes)
Number five spaces on the floor at least an arms length apart.
Give each child a piece of the Lord’s Prayer and have them put themselves in the correct order, first to last. (An option to make it more difficult can be to have children arrange themselves without talking, or forbid one or two dominant players to talk.) Let them know how many of them are standing in the correct place, but not which ones are in the correct place. Then they move around. Continue until the sequence is completely correct. Then play again with different phrases. You may want to begin with sequential phrases 1-5, 3-7, etc. to begin. Then make it more complicated by really mixing things up (#2, 5, 6, 9, 11) for example.
NOTE: The number in the correct order refers to the place where they should stand, not their positions relative to each other. For example if children put themselves in the order 1 3 2 4 5, there are three correct (1, 4 and 5) If they put themselves in the order 2 3 4 5 1 there are zero correct. 2-5 are in the correct order relative to one another but they aren’t standing where they should stand.
- Our Father
- Who Art in Heaven
- Hallowed be Thy Name
- Thy kingdom come
- Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
- Give us this day our daily bread
- Forgive us our debts
- As we forgive our debtors
- Lead us not into temptation
- But deliver us from evil
- For Thine is the kingdom, and the power
- And the glory, forever and ever. Amen
End by handing out worksheet and having the children put the phrases in the correct order. (If time is running short, this can be taken home as a handout)
Main Lesson – Paraphrase (20-25 minutes)
Using the Lord’s Prayer written out on the easel, work together as a group to define difficult words and explain unfamiliar phrases. Write these next to each phrase in a different color.
Group 2 or 3 children together, and give each group one of the 12 game pieces, a blank piece of paper and markers to right with. Explain that their job is to rewrite the words using paraphrases, definitions, or some sort of alternative wording. For example “Give us our daily bread” could be “we ask only for those things that we absolutely need.”
When they are done with their phrase, have them post it in the correct order on the wall. Then they may take another game piece. Work until all 12 sections have been paraphrased, then say the new prayer together.
Life Application (10 minutes)
Explain the different types of prayer. Explain that today’s prayer is going to be a prayer glorifying God and giving thanks. Give examples of these two things. Why do you think it is important to glorify God rather than simply asking for stuff? Give children a minute to reflect on what they might want to say.
Give each child a candle, such as are used on Christmas Eve, being sure to have the wax guard on it. Talk about fire safety and tell the children how you expect them to behave.
Sit in a circle, passing the light around, with each child praising or thanking God. When the light gets passed around the whole circle, say a prayer yourself, and close saying the Lord’s Prayer together.
Note: Speaking aloud, rather than silent prayer is important because it moves children a step closer to being comfortable praying in public. Silent prayer is an option in some other rotations, but here we want children to practice praying in front of others.
Before beginning, explain that this is an activity to be taken seriously. If any children don’t think they can do this or be respectful of others ask them to excuse themselves now.
Ask children to write out their own paraphrase to the Lord’s Prayer (older) or to draw pictures to illustrate each section of the prayer (younger).
To take home
Lord’s Prayer bookmarks.
With younger children, divide children only into two groups. You work with one and have the shepherd help the others. Older children can work in pairs, with adults circulating and advising.
If you have extra time…
Additional journal entries can be made about prayers to glorify or give thanks to God.
If time runs short…
Make sure you don’t spend so much time on the game that you lose the paraphrasing activity.
A lesson written by Rev. Lisa Martin, from: Trinity UCC,
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