Which do you like more: talking or listening? How do you feel when no one talks to you? Or when no one listens to you? Last month we answered a few questions about prayer. Prayer is talking and listening to God, asking him questions, or thanking him. Today, let’s learn some more about praying.
Sometimes Jesus went away by himself to pray. He wanted to “hang out” with his Father God. One day his friends said to him, “Teach us to pray.” Here is the prayer that Jesus taught them:
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.
This is called The Lord’s Prayer, and many people still say this same prayer. You can learn it “by heart,” so you can pray it along with the grownups in church, but let’s see what some of these old-fashioned words mean.
God is our father (our Daddy) and he lives in heaven. His name is very special (or holy). We’re asking God to help us do good things while we are living here. We ask him to give us what we need each day, and we remember to thank him, too. We ask God to forgive us when we sin (when we do wrong or bad things). Forgiving is like erasing it or throwing it into the deepest ocean. He doesn’t remember the bad thing you did. In the same way, we should forgive other people when they do wrong things to us. (That’s not so easy, is it?) When we feel like doing wrong, we ask God to keep us on the right path.
Can you fill in the blanks? Prayer is ________ to God and ________ to God. You can even whine and cry with God! He understands you. Prayer can be silent (in your head) or out loud. Tell him about your day. You don’t need to use grownup words. Talk to God like you talk to your best friend, and try to listen, too.
When people are done praying, they usually say “Amen.” Amen means, “so be it!” or “yes, I mean it!”
Lord, teach us to pray. Amen.