Lord’s Prayer

We recently gave a class about the Lord’s prayer.

 

The Children recognized this instantly, some from parochial school, some from services at our church.  The important thing is they recognized this scripture.

We went on to discuss the Lord’s Prayer, where did it come from and why Jesus taught it?

Well the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, so Jesus said, well, then pray like this:

Matthew 6:9-13
King James Version (KJV)

9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Amen.

 

Afterwards some of the younger kids asked, well what does some of the words in the prayer mean, so we dissected it a bit so they could understand.  ** At the end of this I will provide links to some of the materials used to further explain, I used these references as a guide and changed Somme info around based on the understanding levels of my kids (ages 3-10) so it could be easy to understand.

#1: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Meaning: Hallowed means praised or honored.
Example: We are praising God, Honoring his name, announcing where is is at, Our Father [Lord} in Heaven, we praise and honor you.

#2: 10 Thy kingdom come
Meaning: Thy kingdom come means that Jesus will come back to rule here on earth.
Example: God, when you come I can’t wait to see you.

#3: Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Meaning: This is a request to see God’s will clearly and do it, just like you would if you were in heaven.
Example: God let me see things, the way you see things, so I can help talk about your word.

#4: 11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Meaning: Make sure the people in my family have enough  things to survive and thrive. A chance to ask God for something you need that doesn’t have to be food!
Example:
God thank you for our home, I ask that you continue to give my family shelter, food, clothes, and take care of us etc.

#5: 12 And forgive us our debts,
Meaning: This is a chance to tell God about anything bothering you that you did wrong
and ask his help in not doing it again.  You are asking God to free you from sin or bad deeds.
Example:
God, you saw me yell at my sister yesterday. I’m sorry. Please help me to be a more
patient person.  God I apologize for my sin…….please help me so I do not sin no more.

#6: as we forgive our debtors.
Meaning: Forgiving others.
Example:
Father, you know how hurt I was yesterday when …..happened…but, god help me forgive ….. for this.

#7: 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
Meaning: Asking God to protect you in situations where you might sin.
Example:
Father you know I am tempted to gossip when I get around my gossipy neighbors.
Please remind me not to.

#8 For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Meaning:
You’re essentially telling God that you trust him & have faith in him and his power.
Example: Father, you are so big and strong. I know you can help me get better grades.

#9: Amen!
Meaning:
Amen means to submit something with heart and to believe with confidence
God will hear and respond to it.  Like when you send a text, and you write a message, the other person gets it once you hit send, think of Amen as hitting sent.
Example:
I send this prayer up with confidence, because it’s my honest feelings and I know
you always listen to me!

 

The following (with some modifications based on our kids needs and based on what took place when we demonstrated in class) has been modified from the original guide which I used to reference the following illustration (again link will be at the end).

A Balloon Shows the Importance of Prayer

We used Balloons to help give an illustration to our kids.  It may be hard for kids to understand how seriously God takes our prayers. This lesson using
a balloon will show that words are not empty; they take form and substance and are very real in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Materials
Large balloons, one for yourself and each child in the class.

Lesson
Sometimes we may not want to pray. We may feel that prayers are just silent thoughts
that don’t do a whole lot. We can’t see prayers as they go out of our mouths.
Pretend you are trying to grab hold of the air in front of your face as you pray: Our Father, who art in heaven…
Whisper: And if our prayers are silent, or little whispers, we can’t even hear them…

 

It may seem like it’s much more worthwhile to go outside and
play! At least our friends talk back to us in a voice we can hear.
Ask the kids:  Have you ever heard God’s voice??

However! That is all deception. Prayers are very real. Jesus does
not miss a single one!
Not only that… Prayers go up to heaven and they take form! Up
in heaven, according to the scripture we just read, our prayers
take on a beautiful scent, like the smell of incense.
Try and catch the air in front of your face again as you pray:

“Father, make me a really good teacher so my students will know you as well as I do.
Am I being silly to try to catch my prayers? Yes. But are my prayers real? Yes.”
Here’s one way to know that prayers are real and they “take shape” up in heaven.

 

Take out your balloon. Each time you say a line of the Lord’s Prayer, stop to blow a small breath
into the balloon… look very sincere, like you are thinking about every line between breaths:
Our Father who are in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Pinch the mouth of the balloon but don’t tie it…
Amen.
Does this balloon have a bigger shape now? Yes.

ASK: What’s inside of it? Air.
ASK: But what else is inside of it? Your prayer.
EXPLAIN:  When our prayers get up to heaven, it’s as if they take shape. Like
this balloon. If you can picture balloons wandering all over the
skies of heaven, that would be like all of our prayers.
When we pray to God, let’s remember that it’s like sending a balloon
up to heaven. You are sending something up to him that is very real! That’s why it’s
important to not fool around when you pray. That’s why it’s important to understand the
realness of God. Your earnest prayers are what connect you to him… and don’t think that
he misses a single word you say!

 
This balloon will not fly up to heaven… why not? It’s filled with air and not helium.
Still… I’m going to send my prayers up to God now… Look up at the ceiling and, keeping a
pinch hold on the balloon, let go of the mouth and let all the air fly upward.
Because I really meant my prayer… it will go up to heaven and turn into incense.
Before learning the Lord’s Prayer, let’s learn the most important thing, which is to pray
to God sincerely, with our whole hearts, so that what we’re sending up isn’t a lot of hot
air!
Have them take turns praying, blowing into the balloon and letting that prayer go on up to heaven.

Ask:
Do you believe that your prayers are in heaven now? Do you believe that they smell really great up there, like incense or flowers? Because that’s what Revelation says is true!

 

After this project of blowing and releasing our prayers into the air, the kids ended up tying up their balloons, they drew on their balloons “my prayer”

 

 

What I enjoyed most about this lesson was being able to show using the examples how prayers get to God.  Some kids remember more when associated with an activity/project or some sort of illustration.

Father thank you for the resources provided to not only to teach the children about prayer and of course the Lord’s prayer, but to give them a visualization that will be etched in their memories.  They understand the concept that prayers should not be empty, they should not be meaningless, they should not be filled with words as fillers, but instead powerful words.  They understand that though we cannot physically see our prayers make its way to you, but that you can see them, that you receive them.  Amen.

Resources:

Teach Sunday School: Lords Prayer

Super Book: Teach us to Pray

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