Today we're learning about how God would like us to pray. Even Jesus' closest friends, the disciples wanted to know how to pray. The disciples were with Jesus all the time and were with him when he went to pray and heard his prayers to God as well, yet they still weren't sure how they were supposed to do it.
Before Jesus teaches the prayer he has a few things to say first. He says that we should keep our prayers simple. God listens to us no matter if our prayers are long or short and if you just don't have the right words God knows what we mean (and we don't need to use fancy words either)!
Jesus also mentions that we shouldn't 'show off' when we pray. He said this to the people that used to stand on the street corners praying so that everyone would see how 'great' they were. God doesn't want us to pray so people can see us or to hear how great we can pray. He wants us to pray in a quiet place with our own words our needs, thanks, praise, and what we're sorry for.
This is how Jesus told us we should pray:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
This prayer might be a little tough to understand when you first hear it, but we're going to go through it and try to explain what it means.
Our Father which art in heaven means we're praying to our father who is in heaven. We start the prayer out this way so we know that we're praying to God our father and we're not alone. God likes it when we call him father and he wants us to talk to him like we talk to our own father. God is our loving father and we are his special children.
Hallowed be thy name is next and it means holy is your name. Even though God wants us to call him our father, he is still God. It's sometimes really hard to understand who God is and what he's like. How did he make us? How is he perfect and never makes mistakes? God just wants us to remember that we need to treat him super special because he is God and when we pray to him we need to be respectful.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. If we think about where God lives, we know its pretty great. The Bible says that in heaven there will be no more crying, God will live with us, and there will be no hunger or hurt there.
This part of the prayer says let your kingdom come. Let your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. This means we are praying that people would live in peace and love with one another the way it is in heaven. It reminds us that we should be living the way God wants us to everyday.
Give us this day our daily bread means give us today all that we need. Keep in mind that these are things that we can't live without. We don't need video games and princess dolls those are the things that we want, we need food, water and shelter.
Even though we pray for things we need, that doesn't mean we'll get them. There are still people with no food in many parts of the world but that doesn't mean we stop praying for these things. When we ask God for things that means we trust Him and we'll leave the decision to God.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. This next part of the prayer is asking for forgiveness for our mistakes. Forgiveness means that we are sorry for something we've done and we don't want to do it anymore. But we also need to forgive people who have done wrong to us. Sometimes others hurt us very badly, so we need to ask God to help us forgive them because it's really hard or we don't want to. If we forgive others, God will forgive us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Is it sometimes tempting to do something you're not supposed to? This part of the prayer is really neat because it asks God to help us to know the right thing to do. To protect us against the evil that is in the world and keep us away from it.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. The last part of the prayer is the best part! For yours is the kingdom means that Heaven will last forever and will always be God's. God also has all the power and all the glory FOREVER! It makes me happy knowing that God will never die and he's the strongest and greatest. With God we will always win!
Anyone can read the Lord's prayer, so it's important to think about what you're saying. When you pray "give us this day your daily bread" think about all the things you have to be thankful for and how God has given you everything you need, or things you need to ask for or pray for others. When you pray "forgive us our debts" ask forgiveness for those things you did wrong.
Prayer is our special way of talking to God so remember to pray as many times as you can. God loves you and wants to know everything about you and how you're doing.