A session introducing the series and exploring what it means to say ‘Our Father in heaven’
Introduction: Good morning and welcome, today we start a series exploring the Lord’s prayer. Over the next few weeks we’re going to break it up and explore in depth what this famous prayer really means when we pray it.
Ask: Can anyone remember the Lord’s prayer? (this hopefully will be easy for all!)
Ice Breaker: Ask everyone in the group to think of one place they would like to go to on holiday if they could go anywhere in the whole world and why they would go there?
Explain: This morning we’ll be looking at the first line of the Lords prayer which is ‘Our Father in heaven’ (Note: now might be a good time to stick the first part of the Lord’s Prayer to the wall)
Part 1: Our Father
Ask: Get the group to think about characteristics of the ideal Father, do a brain storm and see what they can come up with
After this exercise you may want to explore why the characteristics the group of come up with make someone a good father.
Explain: Part of acknowledging God as Father is us saying that we know God knows the best for us, the same way a human Father is more likely to know best for a young child than the child….take a look at what Jesus says about God as a Father in Luke 11:11-13
Bible: Luke 11:11-13
Explain: So calling God Father acknowledges that he knows best, it also acknowledges that he created us and as our creator he becomes our Father and Jesus tells us to call God Father in Luke 11. The word Jesus often uses to refer to God is the word ‘Abba’ which in english is ‘Daddy’, it’s a really close, personal word to use and for God to want us to call Him Abba illustrates the kind of relationship he wants with us, he wants a close relationship with us. He wants us to know Him so well we’re comfortable calling Him Daddy.
Ask: How close to God do you feel? Would you feel comfortable calling him ‘Daddy’?
Part 2: In Heaven
Explain: Just like at the beginning when we said where we’d like to go and from that we could say that ‘Max in Barbados, Helen in Malta’ the Lord’s prayer begins a bit like that when we say ‘Our Father, in heaven’, so we’ve acknowledged who we’re talking about (or rather to) then we state where He is.
Discuss: As the group why they think we state that God is in heaven? & also What effect God being in heaven has on us?
Bible: The following verse tells us that God is in heaven
Explain: God being in heaven reminds us that he is outside of our world and outside of our time constraints, allowing him to be everywhere, to see everything and giving him the power to answer a prayer we pray today, yesterday!
Ask: How easy do you find that concept to grasp?
(you may need to discuss this and help younger members of the group to understand this!)
Prayer: Close by praying that God would help us have a deeper understanding of Him, asking him to help us deepen our relationships with Him to the point where we can call Him Father. You might like to begin the prayer with ‘Father, In heaven’ to be topical!!!