About 10 years ago our church did a summer series on the Lord’s Prayer; selecting a different phrase for our focus each week. The worship planning team prepared a banner with the words of the prayer printed in permanent marker along the top of 25’ of laminated butcher paper and hung it from the stage in front of the worship area.
Each week after the message all ages were were invited to come forward and add something to the banner under the phrase that had been that day’s focus: words of praise written in colored marker under “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” descriptions of the ways and places we see God at work under “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” post-it notes of supplication under “Give us this day our daily bread” and so on. By the end of the summer we’d created a giant visual of all that we’d learned. It was really something.
One service in particular stands out in my memory. On the day we were learning about the phrase “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” and our pastor invited Josephine to come forward and share her story. Josephine and her two boys had come to Canada from Rwanda. During the genocide members of her family had been murdered by people she and her family had known all their lives. Josephine described how those events had impacted her understanding of what it means to forgive and the deep pain she experienced as she lived out of and lived into forgiveness.
I’m reminded of Josephine’s testimony every time I pray the Lord’s Prayer. I imagine anyone who heard her story that day does the same.
Earlier this year, Faith Formation Ministries launched an online resource called the Intergenerational Church toolkit. One of the many wonderful ministry tools inside the kit is this free resource: The Lord’s Prayer: An Intergenerational Event and Worship Experience. Along with instructions for worship stations that connect with each part of the prayer, the resource includes links to songs, sign language, visuals, reproducible pages, a Biblical reflection, ways to include younger children, and more.
Author Ruth VanderHart says, "Our goal [...] is to invite people from our congregations to think into the heart and soul of this prayer, to discover the meaning behind the words Jesus gave us, and to pray them with all their heart.”
Get your free copy of The Lord’s Prayer: An Intergenerational Event and Worship Experience from the Learning and Growing section of the Intergenerational Church toolkit.
We hope that after you use the resource in your church you’ll email us and tell us all about it. Send pictures too! Our Faith Formation Ministries team would love to learn and grow with you.