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Our Father

Activity Objective:
To discuss the meaning of the words to the Lord's Prayer
Lesson Outcome:
The children will understand what the various phrases of the Lord's Prayer mean.
Materials
  • 10 large index cards
Directions:
  • Tell the children that they are going to work with a partner to learn about what we mean when we pray the Lord's Prayer.
  • Invite the children to form pairs.
  • Give each pair an index card.
  • Invite the children to work together asking and answering the questions written on their card.
  • After two minutes reconvene the group and have each pair share their phrase, questions, and answers with the group. Start with the first phrase of the prayer and go in order.
Learning Styles:
People Smart,Word Smart
Approximate Time:
10 minutes
Hints:
  • Each card has a different phrase from the Lord's Prayer along with questions about that phrase on one side of the card. The other side of the card has the answers to those questions.
  • The phrases, questions, and answers follow:

OUR FATHER
Who is “Father?” God
When we say “Our,” whom do we mean? Do we mean just the children in this classroom? Do we mean all the people in our Church? Do we mean only the people in this country?
We mean everyone. God is the Father to all the five billion people on earth.

WHO ART IN HEAVEN
What does “art” mean? It is an old way of saying “is,” so we are saying, “Our Father, who is in heaven.”
Where is heaven? Some people think of heaven as up in the sky or up among the stars. That's one way to think of heaven; as a place. You can also think of heaven as being with God. We are with God when we love each other and do the kind things God wants us to do.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME
What does “hallowed” mean? Hallowed means holy or sacred or saintly.
What does “thy” mean? This is an old way of saying “your.” So we are saying, “God, your name is holy.” We respect God's name and say it with reverence. We do not use God's name in anger.

THY KINGDOM COME
We are talking about God's kingdom. What would be different about our world if it were truly God's kingdom? No one would be hungry. No one would be poor. Everyone would take care of each other. No one would be excluded. Everyone would be included. There would be no fighting and no wars. There would be peace, and everyone would love each other. The world would be a beautiful place.

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
“Thy will be done,” means we live like God wants us to live. Can you think of what God gave us that would help us to do what God wants to be done? The Ten Commandments and his son, Jesus, who came to explain to us how we should live. Jesus said to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we obey the Ten Commandments and do what Jesus told us to do, then God's will be done on earth as it always is in heaven.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
What does this mean? We are asking God to provide for us and make sure we are fed. God, in turn, wants us to care for each other and make sure the poor are fed. We are God's hands on earth.

AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES
Have you ever seen a sign “No Trespassing”? What does this mean? This means to stay off someone else's property, because you might harm or hurt it.

Here God is not talking about property; he is talking about trespasses to other people. What do you think this means? God doesn't want us to harm or hurt people. We can hurt people by saying mean things or by physically hurting them. We can also hurt people by not taking care of them, by not feeding them or giving them clothes or shelter. When we hurt someone, we ask God to forgive us.

AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US
How do you feel when someone hurts your feelings or hits you? Angry.

What does God want us to do? God wants us to forgive that person and try to make peace.

In the Our Father, we ask God to forgive us—“AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES”—now God asks us to forgive people who hurt us.

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
What is temptation? Temptation is wanting to do something that you know is wrong. Here is an example. Your mom asks you if your homework is done. It's not done, but you want to go out and play. You are tempted to lie to your mom. You want to lie because you want to play, but you know it is wrong to lie. That's the way temptation is. You have a good choice to make and a bad choice to make, and you want to make the bad choice.

We are asking God to help us make good choices and to keep us away from temptation.

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Can you name some things that are evil? Killing, stealing, lying, cheating, hurting people. Take one of the children's examples and ask, for instance, could the person who cheated have made a better choice?

God wants us to make good choices. We are praying to God to “deliver us from evil.” We want God to protect us from evil and keep us safe.