Another study on the Lord’s Prayer? Oftentimes the most familiar things in our lives become some of the least appreciated. Millions of people throughout history have memorized the same prayer, praying it over and over again to the point of monotone monotony.
This four week series will help us remember that the person of Jesus actually gave us words to pray! Your group will look at how Jesus taught us not to pray; the intentional and beautiful order of the prayer; and the simple, but often unmentioned, purpose of ending a prayer with the word amen-or not.
Week 1: How Not to Pray to Our Father
In the book of Matthew, before Jesus spoke the familiar words, “This, then, is how you should pray.” he actually spent time teaching how not to pray. This lesson will help begin a conversation on what sorts of prayers Jesus deemed inappropriate, and then transition into focusing on the powerful first line of the familiar prayer, “Our Father in heaven.” and the beautiful reality that God is our Father, for all of us.
Week 2: God, Be God
When Jesus teaches us to pray, he models a posture of reverence. After addressing our Father, Jesus teaches us to pray for God to be set apart as holy and for his kingdom to come and his will to be done. When we pray, we often think about what we desire to ask God for. Jesus teaches that before asking about other desires, we should ask God to come first in our lives.
Week 3: God, Help Us
Petitions (requests for action) can be either self-centered or others-centered. In the second half of the Lord’s Prayer we see that the words “us” and “we” are as integral as the word “your” was in the first half. Jesus teaches that once we recognize God for who He is, it is entirely appropriate for us to bring our own needs and requests to him in prayer. This lesson will explore that idea, as well as give your group an opportunity to write their own prayer, in the way Jesus taught.
Week 4: So Be It
How do most Christians mark the ending of their prayer? By saying “amen.” But what exactly does “amen” even mean? Does it have significance? And while we’re asking questions, why doesn’t Jesus say amen at the end of the Lord’s Prayer in the book of Matthew? All of these questions and more will drive discussion when using this lesson with your group.