Drama, Reader's Theater, Storytelling, and Puppet Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Lord's Prayer
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Lord's Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-13, Our Father, who art in heaven, Kingdom come, How to pray, etc.
Bible lessons and ideas about the Lord's Prayer -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.
This lesson was actually a breakout session at summer camp, Camp Feliciana, 2000. The children would have discussed the story a bit more in small groups before they came to me for the drama workshop. We had an hour and a half for this lesson, one of the goals of which was to present a rather unpolished performance for the rest of the campers that evening (this lesson plan was actually used in the closing worship service on Friday).
In other words, you may want to spend a bit more time digging into the story than the lesson plan calls for.
The Lord's Prayer
Reader's Theater/ Storytelling Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Readers Theater of the catechism questions related to the Lord’s Prayer; each question is accompanied by a tale or scripture reference. Everyone learns to tell the parable of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee.
Matthew 6: 5-15 and Luke 11: 1-4; also Luke 18: 9-14.
At the end of the Rotation, the students will
- Locate the four Gospels in the New Testament and know they are the Good News about Jesus.
- Relate the story of Jesus teaching his disciples to pray.
- Know the Lord’s Prayer.
- Understand the Lord’s Prayer through the framework of the Catechism questions.
- Tell a Bible story that relates to one of the key concepts contained in the Lord’s Prayer.
Teacher preparation in advance:
- Read background notes
- Gather materials from supply list.
- Write the parable key words (below) on the flipchart, using two alternating colors (for the two group/back and forth retelling). That is "parable" would be written in red, "sure" in green, "two" in red, "pray" in green, and so on.
- Props, scenery, costumes.
- Bibles, pencils, paper, flipchart and markers.
- Books: there are illustrated versions of the Lord’s Prayer (although many have unattractive illustrations). Also look for picture book collections of New Testament stories and parables and collections of prayers.
Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Open with prayer.
Read the scripture: Matthew 6: 9-13 and Luke 11: 1-4
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Do you sometimes feel that you need someone to teach you how to pray? Jesus disciples felt they needed help talking to God.
If time permits: Compare the Good News Bible (Today’s English Version) to how we say the Lord’s Prayer.
Bringing the story to life: Storytelling
Teach the story: The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Luke 18: 9-14
- Tell the story.
- Tell the story with listeners following the key word list:
- Tell the story a third time, with listeners visualizing key words.
- Divide into two groups, each responsible for half of story (assigned via color-coded key words).
- Have two groups tell the story. (It will be a back and forth telling, like a ping pong match.)
- Switch colors so each group can learn the other half of the story.
- Ask a few volunteers to tell the story (okay to use key word list).
- Give them a copy of the story, divide into pairs, and take turns telling the story back and forth, trying not to peek.
- Ask for volunteers to try telling without the list.
Congratulate all on a job well done!
Practice the choral reading of the catechism questions and related scripture. Decide who will read what for the closing worship performance. Decide who will tell the story the group learned. Encourage volunteers to learn other stories that can also be part of the performance.
If time permits: students may select a different story to learn for the performance.
- Why do we pray to God? (Catechism question #46: Because we were created to live with God, who desires the prayers of our hearts. Our hearts long for God, for we need God’s help and guidance every day.)
- When are some times that you talk to God in prayer?
- What are some ways that you talk to God in prayer?
- Is there a right way and a right time?
Say the Lord’s Prayer together.
The Lord’s Prayer: A Choral Reading with Bible Stories
Based on Belonging to God: A First Catechism - see resouces.
Reader: How did Jesus teach his followers to pray? [Question #48]
Reader: He taught them the words of the Lord’s Prayer.
In the book of Matthew, Chapter 6, it is written
All: 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.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.
Reader: What do we mean when we pray to God as “Our Father”? [#50]
Campers: As Jesus taught us, we call upon God like little children who know that God cares for them and loves them. Because Jesus prayed to God as his Father, we too can pray to God in this way.
Scripture: Matthew 18:1-5
Reader: When we pray to God as our Father, do we mean that God is male? [Question 51]
Campers: No. Only creatures who have bodies can be male or female. But God is spirit and has no body.
Scripture: Genesis 1:27
Reader: What do we mean when we pray to God “in Heaven”? [#52]
Campers: We mean that God draws near to us from beyond this world and hears our prayers.
Scripture: Luke 2: 13-14.
Reader: What do we mean when we pray “hallowed be your name”? [#53]
Campers: We pray that God’s name will be honored in all the world and everywhere treated as holy, because God’s name really stands for God.
Scripture: Exodus 3:13-15
Reader: What do we ask when we pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? [question 54]
Campers: We ask God to fulfill God’s purposes for the whole world. We also ask God to make us able and willing to accept God’s will in all things, and to do our part in bringing about God’s purposes.
Scripture: Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 3: 7-13
Reader: Why do we pray “Give us today our daily bread”? [question 55]
Campers: Because all good things come from God. Even in our most ordinary needs, God cares for us completely.
Scripture: Psalm 78: 23-29
Reader: What do we ask when we pray “Forgive us our sins”? [#56]
Campers: Telling God we are sorry, we ask God not to hold our sins against us, but to accept us again by grace.
Storyteller: Luke 18:9-14
Reader: Why do we continue with “as we forgive those who sin against us”? [question 57]
Campers: Because we are to forgive others, just as God has forgiven us.
Scripture: Colossians 3:13
Reader: What do we ask when we pray “Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil”? [question 58]
Campers: We ask God to protect us, especially when we most need it. We pray for God to free us from all desires that would lead us to sin, and to shelter us from the powers of evil that may threaten us.
Scripture: I Corinthians 10: 12-13
Reader: What does it mean to pray “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever?” [question 59]
Campers: We praise God for being able and willing to do everything we have asked in this prayer. We give ourselves over to God’s wise and gracious rule, because we know that God can be trusted to make all things work together for good, now and forever.
Scripture: 1 Chronicles 29: 10-12
Reader: Why does our prayer end with “Amen”? [question 60]
Campers: “Amen” means “so be it” or “let it be so.” It expresses our complete confidence in God, who makes no promise that will not be kept and whose love endures forever.
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:20
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Luke 18: 9-14
(adapted from Today’s English Version)
Jesus told this parable
to people who were sure of their own goodness and despised everyone else:
“Once there were two men
who went up to the Temple to pray:
one was a Pharisee,
the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood apart by himself and prayed,
‘I thank you, God,
that I am not greedy and dishonest like everybody else.
I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there.
I fast two days a week,
and I give you one tenth of all my income.’
But the tax collector stood at a distance
and would not even raise his face to heaven,
but beat his breast and said,
‘God, have pity on me, a sinner!’
I tell you,” said Jesus,
“the tax collector, and not the Pharisee,
was in the right with God when he went home.
For everyone who makes himself great will be humbled,
and everyone who humbles himself will be made great.”
- Belonging to God: A First Catechism, PCUSA. https://www.presbyterianmissio...god-first-catechism/
- “Enabling Children to Tell Bible Stories” by Tracy Radosevic, The Journal of Biblical Storytelling, 2000.
A lesson written by Amy Crane for Camp Feliciana, Norwood, LA
Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.