Haven’t got the time to find out the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer?
No need for hours of studying, just pick up and use this Lord’s prayer teacher guide.
Here is the Lord’s Prayer lesson plan to teach in one easy session!
There is no real school curriculum for the Lord’s Prayer, but this kid’s lesson plan will fully comply with the requirements for teaching the Lord’s Prayer from the Bible.
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This teacher’s copy of the Lord’s Prayer lesson plan is printer-friendly.
1. Resources for the Lord’s Prayer:
- A key to a cupboard
- or a rubber (eraser)
- or a pencil sharpener, for a pupil to keep borrowing: to be used in a sketch.
(Teachers interest: See: Jesus The Prayer Warrior opens in a new tab)
2. Starter for the Lord’s Prayer lesson plan:
Q. Have you ever prayed to win when playing a game?
Perhaps it is an important game of football, or netball, or something, and you get an opportunity to score, so you pray in your mind for success.
Or what about if you have found yourself in a dangerous situation, for example, the car that you’re in is skidding on the road and so you pray for safety?
Or you get surrounded by some bullies so you pray for help.
Or you are at the fairground and you pray to win.
Q. Have you ever prayed?
What prayer is:
Put simply, praying is talking to God.
It can include sharing things with God, and it can be thanking Him, and it can be asking for things.
Q. But would this prayer be answered: ‘Make me win the Lottery!’?
Q. Why is praying to win the Lottery wrong?
a) He will answer prayers in a way which is best for that person.
Lots of money doesn’t always give happiness, in fact, there have been many examples of people who have won huge amounts who have been unsatisfied and not happy, because:
- They have ended up not trusting anyone, just because those other people might be after the money.
- They miss their simple, yet strangely, satisfying old lifestyle.
- They become worried about where they should invest their money and it becomes a burden.
- They can feel guilty because they’ve spent so much money on themselves.
- They find that the more money they have, the more responsibilities it brings which creates more worry.
b) God is more concerned about training someone
Christians believe that God wants to make people’s character better, rather than to give them a rich life where they indulge themselves.
(Teacher’s interest: If you are in a difficult situation, God is often not interested in a quick fix, see: Jesus The Prayer Warrior opens in a new tab)
In the Bible James tells us:
And even when you do ask (in prayer) you don’t get it because your whole aim is wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.”James 4:3 (Living Bible)
3. Main teaching for the Lord’s Prayer lesson plan:
Q. So what sort of things should we pray about?
The people who followed Jesus didn’t know how to pray.
So Matthew in the Bible records what Jesus taught about this.
a) Jesus first teaches how not to pray:
“Whenever you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites (those who pretend to be religious) who love to stand in the synagogues (which are Jewish Churches) and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their full reward!”Matthew 6:5 NIV
Q. So what does Jesus say not to do when praying?
Don’t put on a show or an act, don’t pretend, – be real!
b) Jesus then teaches how to pray:
But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father (God) who is in secret. And your Father (God) who sees in secret will reward you.”Matthew 6:6 NIV
Q. So what is Jesus saying about praying in secret?
Jesus is not saying that praying with others is wrong, but you need to be able to pray on your own before praying with others.
He is really talking about having faith that God is listening and that He will answer the prayers.
c) Jesus gives more advice on how to pray:
When you’re praying, don’t say meaningless words like the Gentiles (unbelievers) do, for they think they’ll be heard because of their wordiness. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him”Matthew 6:7-8 NIV
Q. So why pray to God for things, if he knows what you want anyway?
A parent of a child will sometimes know what their son or daughter needs, but they will get that child to actually ask nicely for it first.
So by asking God for things in prayer, it teaches them to respect God and to see him as their Heavenly Father.
Praying is talking to God, so when someone prays they deepen their relationship with God.
d) Jesus now gives an example of prayer by putting God in a high place:
This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, let your name be kept holy.”Matthew 6:9 God’s Word translation
Other translations say: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”
Q. What does ‘let your name be kept holy’ mean?
It is agreeing that God is your Heavenly Father.
It is saying that He is high up in heaven itself, whereas we are here on Earth.
God’s name stands for all that is God, so His name being kept holy means that He should be honoured and respected, and be admired for who He is.
Children are expected to show respect to teachers and adults.
You say “Good morning Mr/s…”
So God expects to be shown respect because he created the world and keeps it going.
e) Jesus prays for what God wants.
He says: “May your kingdom come. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Asking for His kingdom, and for His will to be done is really surrendering to God because His rule and His plans are the best thing for your life.
In heaven, everyone submits to God – that is why it is heaven because there is no
selfishness, no cruelty, no lies, but there is plenty of happiness and peace, etc.
f) Jesus prays for his own needs.
Give us today our daily bread.”Matthew 6:11 NIV
Q. What does daily bread mean?
It doesn’t mean give us a loaf of Hovis wholemeal bread.
Daily bread can symbolise everything that we need for our everyday life – that day.
Because we get our food from a shop or supermarket, we can take all the food for granted.
But it is very valuable and if the world started to suffer from many bad droughts, then we could find that the food in our shops became difficult to find.
We mustn’t take all this for granted.
To show this I need one volunteer.
(Teachers note: You need something which this volunteer can originally ask to borrow; ie key to a cupboard, a rubber (eraser), or a pencil sharpener, but from then on, they just take this item every time they walk by. It soon becomes ‘theirs’ and the teacher has a job to ‘own’ it.)
……………………………. (pupil) now takes this ……………………….. (item) for granted.
But instead, if this had happened:
(Teachers note: Volunteer has to ask each time to borrow the item).
Q. Has ownership of this item changed?
……………………………. (pupil) now doesn’t take this …………………….. (item) for granted.
It belongs to me, so if anybody wants to use it then they have to ask me!
By praying “Give us today our daily bread,” it is not taking the supply of food for granted.
It is not demanding that God should give you food, but it is agreeing that God is the One who gives us our life and sustains us.
g) Jesus prays to forgive others:
Then Jesus teaches that prayer involves asking God to forgive all those wrong things that we do.
That means saying sorry to God and really meaning it.
Jesus said: “and forgive us our sins,”
I want you to imagine that you are not very honest and that you walk into this classroom and you notice some money on my desk.
You think that I’m not here so you take the money, but what you don’t realise is that I saw it all because I was behind ……………………
Now, because you’re not very honest, you think that you will get away with it because no one saw you!
But when I suddenly tell you that I was there all of the time, and I describe every last detail of what you just did, then it would be very foolish to try and deny it!
The Bible says that God is everywhere, all of the time, so everything that you do is seen by Him. It’s no good thinking that you can get away with it because God could describe every last detail.
So Jesus’ teaching on prayer involves asking God to forgive you your sins;
that is all the wrong things that you have done – which includes your actions, your thoughts and what you have said.
You have got to be sincere in saying sorry to God, but there is something that you have got to do:
Jesus said: “And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”
Q. What else do you need to do?
(as we have forgiven….)
Another way of putting it is;
“Forgive me in the same way as I have forgiven other people who have hurt me!”
If you haven’t forgiven others, Jesus says that you won’t be forgiven.
So it is pointless to pray because God says He won’t listen!
h) Jesus prays for God’s protection:
So that we would be able to stand against all the bad influences in the world:
And never bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”Matthew 6:5-15 ISV
So that was the teaching that Jesus gave on the subject of ‘prayer’.
Q. Has any of that made you rethink prayer?
What about praying to score a goal?
Q. What Christian values are shown in this teaching on prayer?
- Not being a hypocrite, not showing off, but being real in your prayers.
- Not being selfish, but wanting what God wants first.
- Owning up to things that you do wrong.
- Forgiving others who hurt and do wrong to you.
- Admitting that you can be tempted into wrong things, so planning (and praying) to avoid them.
- Realise that there is evil in the world, so again, planning (and praying) to stand up to it.
4. Plenary for the Lord’s Prayer lesson plan
Q. Is there anybody we can share our hopes, worries and emotions with?
It is good to share things with a suitable person.
Q. What makes somebody not suitable to share things with?
Q. Have you considered sharing your hopes, worries and emotions with God?
Either take a short time to discuss these questions, or leave it with them.
This completes The Lord’s Prayer lesson plan.
5. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Where in the Bible is the Lord’s prayer?
There is an account in Matthew 6:9–13 which is the longer version.
Then another account is from Luke 11:2–4 which is a shorter version.
It is best to look them up in a newish version like the New International Version (NIV).
How do you teach kids about the Lord’s prayer?
Jesus prayed “Our Father in heaven” so this prayer is all about having a friendship with God the Father.
He then prays “Hallowed be your name” which basically means ‘stop using God’s name as a swear word because it is precious’.
Then “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” which acknowledges that in heaven God rules and there are no tears, pain or sin, but here there is rebellion from God.
Each section of the Lord’s prayer teaches us something. To know more see The Lord’s Prayer lesson plan
Why are there 2 versions of the Lord’s Prayer?
Jesus probably taught the crowds how to pray several times, but the two written accounts do seem to be describing the same situation with Jesus teaching his disciples. Therefore, he implies ‘pray something like this’ (and not word for word), although there is nothing wrong in memorising it.
Here are the two prayers so you can compare them:
Matthew 6:9–13 NIV the longer version:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Luke 11:2–4 NIV shorter version:
“Father, [some manuscripts have: Our Father in heaven]
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. [Some manuscripts: May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.]
Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation [some manuscripts have: but deliver us from the evil one]”
What lesson do we learn from the Lord’s prayer?
The main point is that Jesus prayed “Our Father in heaven.” The prayer is all about having a relationship with God as our Father.
Another point is that we should pray for God to have his way “on earth as it is in heaven”.
Also, we can see that God is interested in every part of our lives: “Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us…”
How to teach the Lord’s prayer in Sunday school?
Every phrase is a gold mine of truth and it can be broken down into each of its elements.
It starts with “Our Father in heaven.” meaning that we are his children and that he is interested in every part of our lives.
For a full lesson see: The Lord’s Prayer lesson plan