Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Lord's Prayer

Today's Sunday school lesson from Luke 11 and Matthew 6...

Jesus had an interesting way of teaching. Sometimes He didn’t teach people what they expected Him to teach. He would do it by example. Sometimes He told stories to help people to understand a point. Sometimes He used miracles. One of his stories had some surprising news about who we were supposed to love. The Samaritans, who the Jews hated, were supposed to be loved and treated with respect. To teach that, He told a story about how respected Jews didn’t help a wounded man, but a Samaritan did. When Jesus visited His friends Mary and Martha, Martha was surprised when Jesus told her it was better for Mary to be listening and learning than to help Martha prepare the meal.

Jesus made a point of praying all the time. His disciples saw Him doing this, and one day, one of them had a request. “Jesus, can You teach us how to pray? John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray, and it would be really cool if you could teach us that too.”

Jesus thought that was a great idea. So He told them to pray something like this:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Then Jesus told them a parable. Imagine with me that an old friend suddenly showed up at your door one night and needed to spend the night. They’ve been traveling a long way, and they’re really hungry. They didn’t call ahead and tell you they were coming, but they’re such a good friend that you just can’t turn them down! But…oh no! You don’t have any food to feed them, because you didn’t know they were coming! So what do you do? You go to your friendly neighbor’s house and knock on the door to ask if they could share some food. All the stores are closed in the middle of the night, so you can’t exactly go shopping. But it’s midnight, and your neighbor, who is so nice during the daytime, is in bed. People don’t like it when someone knocks on their door asking for food in the middle of the night! So your neighbor says, “Are you kidding? Go ‘way! The door is locked, we’re all in bed, and it’s too late! Who eats a big meal at midnight anyway?” The neighbor might not give you anything because you’re friends, but because you dared to come knocking and ask, and maybe to make sure you still think well of them, the neighbor will get up and give you something to serve your guest. So ask. It will be given to you. Search and you’ll find. Knock, and they’ll open the door.

Now imagine you’re all grown up and you have kids. One day your son asks you, “Can I have a fish?” Would you say, “Naah, I think I’ll give you a snake instead!”? What if he asks for an egg? Would you give him a scorpion? Of course not! Just think…if you know what’s good to give others, how much more does God know what’s good to give you?

The "Steven Paraphrase":
Dad in heaven,
You are holy and so much more awesome
than anything or anyone else.
Rule as King over our lives,
Whatever you want to happen, make it happen,
here on earth just like in heaven.
Give us food to eat today,
and forgive us for our sins,
in the same way that we’ve forgiven
people who have been mean to us.
Don’t let us be tempted,
but save us from evil.
You are our King forever.
Nobody is stronger than You.
You are glorious forever and ever.
I agree.


I found some pictures to illustrate Luke 11:11-12: "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?"

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