The Lord’s Prayer
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The Lord’s Prayer
By Dr. Carol J Miller
(Have a copy of your version of the Lord’s Prayer to give to the children after the children’s sermon.)
Jesus’ disciples noticed that Jesus prayed a lot. He thanked God for food and for help—sometimes before he even got the help. He prayed all alone and in the middle of a group. Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray. He gave the disciples a prayer we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. We will look at Luke’s version, which is shorter than Matthew’s—Matthew’s is the one we know. But we can still learn a lot from Luke.
When you pray, what do you call God? [Tell them what name you use, then accept all answers]. The first thing we see is that Jesus calls God “Father”. We can, too. It means we are God’s very own children and we can talk to him just as we can talk to our dad or mom. We don’t need to use big words. Just talk with God. Any name we use is fine, but Jesus wants us to remember that God is as close to us as a dad or mom or someone else who loves you a lot.
Then Jesus does not tell us to pray for what we need. Jesus says to pray that God’s kingdom will come to pass. That means that time when everyone will follow God. When that happens, there will be peace, all people will be friends, we will all know God’s love, we will love the planet God made. We need to practice living that way now, being peacemakers, friends, forgiving people. Now that is something worth praying for!
Next Jesus tells us how we are to pray for ourselves. “Give us day by day our daily bread” (v. 3). Jesus does not mean we should just pray for bread and maybe peanut butter! He means we can pray for the things we need in order to live as God wants us to live––like water to drink or a house to live in. We trust God to provide those things every day; but we do not make them the things we are most concerned about.
The last part is when we pray for how we treat others. “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us” (v. 4). It is hard, but we have to work at forgiving people who have been mean to us. That does not mean it is ok that they hurt us. It is not ok. It does not mean that we have to let them keep on being mean to us. We may have to get away from them if they won’t stop. We may have to tell an adult or have an adult help us talk to them. But to forgive means we need to ask God to take the anger out of our hearts.
The last sentence means that we don’t want to have things happen to us that might make us stop loving God. Everyone has hard things happen. We are asking God to help us through those things and to trust God when things are bad.
If you do not know the Lord’s Prayer by heart, take home this copy of it. Maybe mom or dad can help you to learn it.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan