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Summary: How to explain to children what Our Father means

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St Nick’s Primary School 14- 09-04

The Lord’s Prayer

OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN

Mt 6:9-15

This term I would like to look at the words of the Lord’s Prayer with you.

How does the prayer go?

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and

the glory are yours.

Now and for ever. Amen

And I want to start with the first four words:

Our Father in heaven.

Why does Jesus tell us that God is our father?

Let me explain why.

In Jesus’ day- and still among orthodox Jews today - the family was very important.

In Jesus’ day, the father - unless he had died - lived at home and worked at home.

And the children spent a lot of time with him.

Many Jewish fathers spent a lot of time teaching their children the same trade as they had.

Question: If a farmer would teach his son to be a farmer, and a shepherd would teach his son to be a shepherd what would a carpenter would teach his son to be?

Answer: a carpenter

Question: Do you remember what job Jesus’ earthly father had?

Answer: A carpenter.

Question: From the Christmas story, do you remember his name?

Answer: Joseph.

Joseph: Reading the Bible, I get the feeling that Joseph was a very nice man.

Jesus would have spent a lot of time, like other Jewish boys, with his father.

Sadly, the Jews in Jesus day had a picture of God which was quite different.

For them God was like the head teacher when I was at school. You were only called into the Head Teacher’s office when you did something wrong.

So when Jesus taught the Lord’s prayer he came to tell his fellow Jews that God was different to what they thought.

Question: What do you think that was?

Answer: That God was like a good caring Jewish father.

Question: When we think of a good Jewish father –

who spent time with his children

who loved his children and

who cared for his children

what do you think Jesus was telling us about God?

Answer; Jesus was telling us that God is someone we can make friends with easily.

Question: Can you think of the things that we can do, when we know God as Jesus would have known his jewish father:

Ans.1. We can come and talk to him – we call that prayer.

What can we tell God in prayer?

i) We can tell him of the good things that have happened

ii) We can tell him of our worries

Ans 2. When I was at boarding school, my Dad used to write me letters.

We can read the letters that God has written to us – we call that reading the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of God’s letters to us telling us

how much he loves us and

telling us also how we should live to get the best out of life.

Can we close our assembly this morning with a prayer.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that Jesus came to this world to tell us that you love us. He told us that you are like a good Jewish father was.

May we have time to come and chat with you everyday. Amen


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