– by Jan Napa
SUMMARY OF LESSON ACTIVITY: Learn about the four parts of prayer ACTS. Take colored ribbons to represent each of the four letters in ACTS and wave which ribbon they think each line of the Lord Prayer represents. Make prayer bread – roll dough into the four letters ACTS and bake. Select one color of ribbon, write or draw a prayer on it and hang on prayer tree.
Scripture: Matthew 6:5-15
Ask: What do you know about The Lord’s Prayer? allow all answers Why do you think it’s called the LORD’s prayer?
Call their attention to the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ poster. Read it all together as a group. Say: This prayer that Jesus taught his followers had all the ingredients of a great prayer. Speaking of ingredients …. We’re going to be making “Prayer Bread”. What do you think Prayer Bread looks like? What do you think it tastes like? There are 4 kinds of prayers and you’ll each make 4 pieces to our “prayer bread”. Can you name one kind of prayer? The 4 kinds of prayer can be remembered with the word ACTS. They are:
Adoration – telling God how great He is and how much we adore and love Him Confession – telling God we’re sorry for things we’ve done wrong or things we should’ve done but didn’t. Thanksgiving – telling God thank you for things Supplication – which is a big word we use when we want to ask God to help us or someone else
Activity – Prayer Ribbons
Say: The Lord’s Prayer has all 4 of these ingredients. I’ve matched a color to each of the types of prayer. Turn over the poster of the Lord’s prayer and show the colors and the types of prayer.
Adoration – yellow; Confession – purple; Thanksgiving – green; Supplication (asking) – blue
Have kids each choose one colored ribbon. Say: After I read each line of the Lord’s Prayer, I’ll pause. You decide which type of prayer that line is and wave the matching color ribbon if you have it. Read each line of the Lord’s Prayer as follows, pausing after each line. The corresponding color is shown and if they hesitate, you can read the explanation which follows in italics.
Our father who art in heaven (yellow and green) We adore God because He is our heavenly father, creator of all Hallowed be thy name (yellow) God’s is holy and even God’s name is special Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (blue) Help people on earth act like followers of Jesus, like it is perfectly in heaven Give us this day our daily bread (blue and green) God please give us what we need to do your work And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (purple) God please forgive us for the things we’ve done wrong And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (blue) Help us not follow what tempts us to do wrong For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory now and forever. (yellow and green) God you are powerful and deserve praise
(Collect the ribbons for use later.)
Activity – Prayer Bread
Have kids wash their hands Assemble the kids around the 2 tables (standing – don’t use chairs). Put a plastic tablecloth on each table. Open a roll of 10-count canned biscuits. Give each child one biscuit and a plastic knife. Tell them to cut their biscuit into 4 pieces – one cut across and one down. Tell them that these 4 pieces represent the 4 types of prayer. There will be a sugar and cinnamon mixture that you will pour into a small bowl to be shared between 2-3 kids. Say: Gently roll one of biscuits piece into a ball. This represents A, Adoration, prayers of praise to God. Roll it in the bowl of sugar and cinnamon to completely coat it. As you roll it around, say a silent prayer to God of Adoration.
As they do this, lightly spray a round pan with ‘Pam’. Place on the table. When the kids have finished their Adoration prayer, have them place their little rolled biscuit in the pan. Say: Now take your second biscuit piece and do the same thing, but this one represents C – Confession. Gently roll it into a ball, then roll it in the sugar/cinnamon and pray a silent prayer of confession for something you’ve done that you need to ask God for forgiveness for. Remember that if it’s something you’ve hurt not only God by doing, but also someone else, then you also need to ask that person for forgiveness, too. Also if someone is sincere and asks for your forgiveness for something they’ve done to you, we should forgive. That’s what the line of the Lord’s prayer means that says: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. They will place this ball in the pan also. They’ll make one layer, then if/when the bottom of the pan is covered, they’ll start a second layer. Third ball: repeat the process asking what the next letter is – T – and what it stands for – Thanksgiving. Silently pray a prayer of thanks. Fourth ball: repeat with S – Supplication – “God, please help _____ with _____.” When their last biscuit ball is in the pan, have the kids wash up while you pour a stick of melted margarine over the biscuits. Then sprinkle some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture over it. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch closely. While bread is baking: After kids have washed up, have them sit in a half circle.
Activity – Prayer Ribbons. . .con’t
Ask: So what exactly is ‘prayer’? Prayer is talking to God. But when we pray we’re not supposed to be looking out for our own wants and needs, we’re supposed to be praying with God’s Eyes — any guesses what that might mean? We want our world to be like God wants it to be. We want ourselves to behave like God wants us to behave. We want to be like Jesus because that’s who God wants us to be like! Prayer is asking and working for God’s kingdom and God’s rules to come and happen now. Explain: The hanging of prayer ribbons on trees is known in many cultures and has been adopted by many churches. What does the American tradition of hanging a red, white & blue ribbon mean? (That we’re proud of our country) What does hanging a yellow ribbon mean? (That we have hope for someone to return home, whether it’s someone who has gone off to fight in a war or someone who is lost). Say: We’re going to each choose one color of ribbon, based on the ACTS prayer (show poster with ACTS and colors) of a prayer that we want to pray and then write (or for youngest kids – draw a picture) that prayer. Using ink pens have them write their prayer on their ribbon. Then help them tie it to the “prayer tree. Let the kids know that others in the congregation will be encouraged to add to the prayer tree, too, and then should tell their parents to add to it. Don’t let brothers or sisters who are part of the LIGHT know yet though because they’ll be doing it with their group another Sunday. When everyone’s ribbon is on the tree, have the group stand around by the prayer tree and pray this prayer or another like it: God, thank you for being someone we can talk to. You know what makes us happy and what makes us sad. You know what each person in this class has put on our prayer tree. Please answer these prayers in a way that will help us. And all God’s kids said, Amen!
After the bread has baked, you’ll flop it out of the pan onto a plate. Then after it cools a bit have the kids break off pieces to eat and enjoy. While they eat, let their ‘shepherd’ have some time to do wrap up/reflection with them. This cooking lesson worked very well for all ages from preschool through 5th grade.