Friday, March 21, 2014

Journey to Jesus, Hearer Stage - The Lord's Prayer

This is a continuation of the 'Hearer' Stage, where students are familiarizing themselves with the major beliefs of our community. If you missed the first post on the Hearer stage, read it here. If you're just joining this series, start here.

For the Lord's Prayer, I usually start with a simulated phone call. I ask one of the parents to volunteer (Have I mentioned that we ask that at least one parent be present with each child who is discerning baptism? We believe parents are the primary disciplers of their children and this is one way we try to encourage parents to be walking alongside their children). I 'call' the person and I'm very demanding about what I want / need, without taking any time to listen or ask any questions. I hang up abruptly and then ask the kids if there was anything that bothered them about the call. We get at the idea that I was rude and inconsiderate and didn't give the other person a chance to speak.

In a second simulation, I hem and haw and don't ask for anything directly or confidently. I say things like, "it might be nice if..." or "if it's not too much trouble..." or "I know you're really busy..." or "but only if you want to." I ask the kids how they felt about that call and they point out that I should just ask, without so much hesitation and time wasting.

Then I ask them how these simulated calls might be similar to how we approach prayer. We wonder about why we pray? What happens when we pray? Why is prayer important? How do we pray?

Using 3dm's hexagon, we talk about what the Lord's Prayer teaches us about God: The Father's character, kingdom, provision, forgiveness, guidance and protection. Then we talk about how we could pray through the hexagon (the Lord's prayer) about a particular situation, being confident that we are asking in harmony with God's character, his coming kingdom, his desire to provide what is needed, his willingness to forgive and make us people of forgiveness, his wise guidance, and his fierce protection.

I ask the kids to go home and explain the Lord's Prayer to someone else in their family, or a friend. I also encourage them to practice praying this way with their families in the coming week.

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