Big Idea: We can leave our prayers in God's hands, and trust Him because He is powerful and always answers.
Parent Prep: This week we are looking at the 'doxology' of the Lord's Prayer – the 'ending' that was often said together at the end of prayers, from the original Greek word doxologia meaning 'praising or glorifying God'. Some translations of the Bible omit this verse, as it was added in later translations of the English Bible. It is a traditional ending – meaning that when believers would pray the Lord's Prayer, they would finish with this ending – entrusting all they had prayed for into the Lord's hands, who alone had power to answer them. It is a similar ending to the doxology we read in Ephesians 3, or in Jude- "Now unto Him…to the only God our saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more."; and similar to the words of David in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13, where he praises God in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel. These doxologies or declarations of praise tend to center around the same theme -that it is God alone who has the power and authority to answer prayer, and that He alone is worthy of praise. This week, as we finish our time studying the Lord's prayer together, we end by focusing on entrusting our desires to God, and praising Him for being strong enough to answer us.
Read: Matthew 6:5-13.
This week, read the entire prayer, and then as you finish, read or say aloud together "For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen." Explain to children that this phrase is called a 'doxology' [dox-ol-o-jee]. It was the part of the prayer that everyone said loudly together to give praise to God. When we say this phrase, we are agreeing that God is in charge because He's the King, that He is strong enough to answer all our prayers, and that He deserves all our praise and hoorays.
Read together, Jeremiah 33:3. "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." God encourages us to pray. Our living God promises to answer our prayers just like He says to Jeremiah. He says "great and unsearchable" things. That means He has wonderful things for us that are so wonderful we couldn't even imagine them if we tried. Read together Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen!" This is Paul, hundreds of years later, saying the same thing! God can give us more than we can ever ask for or even imagine!
Ask children If you could ask God for anything you could imagine for the good of the world and for people – and nothing is too big – what would you ask for? Allow children to dream up incredible things. For young children, consider drawing these elaborate things on some paper. Then hold it up.
Ask children Do you think these things are possible? Why or Why not? Did you know that all things are possible with God? Why don't we pray for these things? Let's pray for them right now.
Pray together for the amazing things that children have come up with, helping them see and believe that God can do incredible things- and even more than we could ever imagine. He is in charge, He is strong, and He is deserving of all our praise and hoorays.
Who's the strongest?
Collect everyday items of various weight from around your home. DVDs, books, spoons, blankets etc. Have children try and hold one item, and then slowly pile on more and more heavy items until it weighs too much for them. Take turns doing this as a family and identify who is the strongest. Then remind children that God is infinitely more strong than even the strongest person in your family, and nothing is ever too much for Him to carry. He can carry all our hurts and wishes and hopes and fears and everything, and it's never ever too much for Him. It's why we place all these things in His hands in prayer, and leave them there. It's why we can give HIm all our praise and hoorays, because He is the only one who is strong enough to help us.