Ideas for Exploring the Lord’s Prayer:
In addition to the ideas mentioned throughout the previous background material, here are a few more suggestions for teaching the Lord’s Prayer:
Read and discuss the entire chapter “Prayer” in Science and Health. This will provide a foundation for understanding how prayer is approached in Christian Science, and how important our motives are when praying. Mrs. Eddy carefully separates traditional beliefs about prayer from the scientific methods of prayer that are based upon an understanding of God.
Point out that the Lord’s Prayer never uses the terms “I,” “me,” or mine.” It is always about “our” God or “our” needs. This is a universal prayer that includes everyone. When you pray this prayer, it will have to be true for all, even our so-called enemies. The Lord’s Prayer helps to remind us that we are all God’s children. We learn to draw those circles that include everyone, rather than drawing circles to keep others out.
There are Internet sources of many translations of the Lord’s Prayer used in various Bible translations and church congregations. Students might find it interesting to compare and discuss these differences.
One debate out there — which you can find on the Internet — is whether or not Jesus prayed the Lord’s Prayer himself, or did he intend it to be for his followers only. Some older students might enjoy doing this research and coming up with their own conclusions.
You might show your older students the “daily duties” in the Church Manual. Point out the Daily Prayer (given below), and discuss the similarities with the Lord’s Prayer. There will also be mention of these “daily duties” within the lessons found in this book.
1.11“Daily Prayer. SECT. 4. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray
each day: ‘Thy kingdom come;’ let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in
me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and
govern them!” (Man. 41:19-25)
I love how one writer in The Interpreter’s Bible described the Lord’s Prayer:
“Above all, it is the prayer of Christ. It is not an excursion into theology: it is rather an adoration from the soul.” (pg. 309)
This is reminiscent of Mrs. Eddy’s statement in the chapter “Prayer,” that “The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of Soul, not of material sense.”
It is my hope that the following lessons, which explore in-depth the individual lines of the Lord’s Prayer, will help young people to understand, love, and adore the Father-Mother God.
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”)