Worship Notes On the Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer is spoken at important times in the Christian's life - at baptism, confirmation, holy communion, wedding, funeral and on other special occasions. Many use it as a part of their daily prayer life.

These devotions will help participants reflect on Jesus' prayer.

During summer camp, you may choose to use one of these devotions every day. On a weekend campout, you might use one at each mealtime and one at the evening campfire.

Use one or more of the following options to vary the speaking of the Lord's Prayer:

say the prayer as a group after the devotion;

- whisper the prayer;

speak the petitions softly and the words "for thine is the kingdom, etc..." loudly;

pray the petitions as a group at the campfire and have two campers in the distance respond by shouting "for thine is the kingdom ... forever" and all joining in a triple "Amen".

While scouts are seated around the campfire, ask them to share times in their lives when praying the Lord's Prayer had special meaning for them. Then, pray it together.

 Meditations on the Lord's Prayer


Read Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11: 1-4

Think back. Can you remember from whom you learned how to pray? How old were you? Perhaps that learning happened when you were so young, you don't even remember it. Jesus' disciples were already grown when they asked Him to teach them to pray. They were asking not just how to pray, but what was the best way to pray. Jesus heard their question and taught them the best prayer. His prayer, the Lord's Prayer. 

Jesus began His prayer with the word "Our." Since it was His prayer, He could have said, "My Father," but Jesus recognized that God the Father belongs to all of us and that we belong to the Father. God is twice our Father. Not only did He create us make us into what He wanted us to be - but He also remade us. In Baptism. He made us one - made us new when He washed away our sin. To make us His own, He sent His Son, Jesus, to be born as a human being in Bethlehem's manger, to live a perfect life for us, to die for our sin, to reclaim us from the devil, and make us new for life here on earth now and life in heaven.

When we pray the "Our Father", we say to one another that we are God's children because He made us and because He remade us in Christ's death and resurrection. When we say "Our Father," we claim all those who believe in Christ as Lord and Savior as our brothers and sisters.

The "Our Father" is a family prayer. Even when we pray it alone, we join with Christians all over the world who, aloud or silently, pray it with us.

We belong to a great family, the holy Christian Church, and God is our Father.

Let us pray, "Our Father ... Amen."

Who Is In Heaven

Read Matthew 6:9

Suppose you worked on a science fair project with a classmate named Stan. When you turned in your project, Stan told everyone he had done the whole thing himself. What would you do? Who might you appeal to to get justice? Often, when we feel that someone has been unfair to us, we appeal to a higher authority. That authority might be a parent, a teacher or the scoutmaster. We want the one with the authority to make things right.

When we pray, "Our Father who is in heaven," we are appealing to one who has all authority and power. Best of all, He is ready to listen and to help because He loves us more than anybody else.

God the Father is not one who lives only in a far away heaven. He is as near to us as our elbow. He is a down-to-earth kind of God. He is near and ready to hear when we call to Him for help. But God does more than make things right. A teacher might make things right by giving us credit for our work or punishing a student who tries to take credit for work he did not do. But God goes beyond credit and punishment. Instead of giving us what we deserve for the wrong we have done, God acts in love and mercy. God forgives us. He sent his Son, Jesus to die on the cross for the unfair things we have done against others and that others have done against us.

When we pray to Him, we know that He loves us very much. We know He will deal with us not in fairness but in mercy and forgiveness.

So pray and pray often to our Father who is in heaven.

We pray: "Our Father ... Amen."

Hallowed Be Your Name

Read Matthew 6:9

Suppose that, when you became a Christian, you actually were named with Jesus' name. From then on, your name would be "Tom Jesus' child" or "Rob Jesus' child". What would happen at home or in school if that was your name?

Of course, some would not understand what it meant to be named with Jesus' name. Some might even make fun. Butthose of us named with that name would know that, in a special way, we were holy.

The word "holy" means "set aside for a special purpose." Our heavenly Father names us and sets us apart as His children in Holy Baptism. Through the water and His Word, God gives us His name. St. Paul tells the people in His day for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ." (Galatians 3:27 NIV)

Some sons are called "junior" because they have been given their father's name. Martin Luther calls us "little Christs." In this petition, we ask that God's name might be very special in our lives. We pray that we might treat all who bear His name as God's special people because God, in His mercy, has made us holy persons.

We pray: Our Father in heaven, let no one look down on us or the gift that we are to Your Church and Your world. Help us to respect Your name and what it stands for in our lives and help us to respect and love all who call on Your name. Amen.

Your Kingdom Come

Read Matthew 6: 10

Suppose your scoutmaster or the mayor of your town wanted to be called king? What do you think people would say? What would you think?

The words "king" and "kingdom" may sound like language that belongs to another age or, at least, to another part of the world.

In Bible times a king ruled over his land and all the people in it. Because a good king protected his subjects from their enemies he expected his subjects to be loyal to him and to make their country a good place in which to live. Those who loved the good king had a special place for him in their hearts. Sometimes kings tried to expand their country. Often they did that by force with a powerful army, navy and air force.

Our Father in heaven rules over the whole world. Even though He rules with great power, He never invades the hearts of His people by force. He wants very much to live and to rule in the hearts of people, but He does so only by invitation.

When God sought to bring more people into His Kingdom, He did not send an army. Instead, He sent one lone soldier, His only Son. That Son came as a servant rather than one who lorded it over people. The people killed Him. The Father raised Him from the dead. The Son had died for the sins of all those who ever had or ever would rebel against the king. The only "force" our Father uses to establish His rule in our hearts is His everlasting love and mercy. He loves us so much that He is willing to risk being rejected by us. That is why our heavenly Father is the greatest king of all.

When we pray, "Your kingdom come," we ask God to cause us to love Him with our whole heart and to love and to forgive each other.

We pray: Our Father, rule in our hearts. Cause us to love and to forgive one another. Amen.

Your Will Be Done On Earth As In Heaven

Read Matthew 6: 10

"I want to do it my way," said Joe when his father wanted to help him with the complicated model car he was working on. Joe did it his way. Only somehow the car ended up with the steering wheel in back and a motor that only ran in reverse. Ever had an experience like that?

It's easy to say, "I have a will of my own." "I know what I want."

But what we want often turns out to hurt not only others but often ourselves as well.

Our Father loves us and wants the best for us. Even more importantly He knows what is best for us. God considers not only how what we want will affect our lives, but how it will affect the lives of those around us. God loves and protects all His children.

Jesus also knew what He wanted. As He faced suffering and death on the cross, He asked the Father for another way. He prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me." (Matthew 26:39 NIV) Because of the suffering He faced, Jesus asked our Father to carry out His plan for saving us in another way.

Years later St. Paul said, that if Jesus had not died, our faith in God would be for nothing. We would still be separated from God by our sin.

Thank God that Jesus added to His prayer the words, "Yet not as I will, but as you will." The rest is history. It is His story of love for you and me. He died with us on earth so that we might live with God on earth and in heaven.

In heaven all the angels do the will of our Father. In this petition we ask that we who through our baptism are God's children and carry His name, might do His will now, today, here on earth. 

We ask our Father to honor us by using us to serve others and to accomplish His will.

We pray: Our Father in heaven, shape our hearts to do here on earth what You will in heaven. Amen.

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

Think of the last time you were hungry. Perhaps that was yesterday or even this morning. What were you hungry for? Something special - ice cream, cake, or some good homemade cookies?

Some people in our world and even in this country are so hungry they dream of nothing more than some bread to eat. Bread may not be fancy, but bread can give life to someone who is starving. When we ask God for our daily bread, we mean all those gifts God gives that keep us alive. Bread includes food, clothes, our home, our school, our family and our friends.

All these things that support our life belong to our Father in heaven. But God gives more than things. He also gives us the intelligence, the health and the opportunity to work for a living. He gives us our after-school jobs and our summer jobs. He makes it possible for us to have schools, teachers and the ability to learn. He provides us with the soil and the seed, the sun and the rain to grow our food. He gives us the appetite to eat. He makes our body function to sustain our life through food and drink. The lumber, the brick and the steel to build our homes are the gift of a good and gracious Father.

Our Father gives these things even to those who do not know Him or love Him. They may not claim Him as Father, but they are still God's children. God continues to give in love because of the most important gift, the gift of God's only Son as our Savior and the forgiveness of sins He offers through His death and resurrection.

In this petition we not only recognize our Father as the giver of all that we receive and thank God for all these gifts. But here we also ask that God would lead us to share our gifts with those who are hungry and homeless.

We pray that God would help us share His love, especially the greatest gift - Jesus the Savior, with those brothers and sisters who do not recognize our Father as the giver of all good gifts.

We pray: Our Father teach us to be thankful for all that we receive from You. Move our hearts to share with others what You have given us for our enjoyment and for sharing with others. Amen.

Forgive Us Our Sins As We Forgive Those Who Sin Against Us

Read Matthew 6:12

Think of the people to whom you are closest. They may be family members, friends, members of your scout troop, others. These special people were given to us by our Father to love us and to be loved by us. We need these people to love us and care for us. We could not survive without them. Yet we know that the very closeness that allows us to love others also brings them close enough that we can hurt them as well. Sometimes we find ourselves putting down the very people who constantly lift us up. Put downs hurt not only that other person, they hurt us as well. Put downs drive us apart and build walls between us. When we hurt others we weaken what we could do together as a family, a scout troop or a team.

When we hurt someone else we sin against that other person. In addition, we sin against our heavenly Father, because that other person is God's loved son or daughter. When we sin against God there is only one right thing to do: ask our Father for forgiveness. Our Father has promised not to let our rebellious hearts come between us and His love. One of the reasons we repeat the stories of Christmas, Good Friday and Easter, is to help us focus our eyes on Jesus as the sure sign of God's love for us.

In this petition we ask our Father to forgive us for all that we have done wrong against Him or any other person. We ask that His forgiveness will be the power in us to forgive all who have wronged us. Through forgiveness our family and friendships are restored and strengthened to help us serve our Lord in His world.

We pray: Our Father in heaven, forgive us all our sins even as we forgive all those who sin against us. Amen.

Save Us from the Time of Trial   

Read Matthew 6:13

A fourteen mile hike, especially one up a steep mountain, or a canoe trip up river can test our endurance. We all know people who try our patience. In school we regularly are subjected to tests of our intelligence. Any of these experiences can push us to our limit and make us feel less than good about ourselves.

Some experience test in another way. They can be so painful that they cause us to question whether God is there, whether he loves us. Sometimes we feel so guilty and so unworthy that we give up on ourselves and we begin to believe that God too has given up on us.

The greatest temptation that faces each of us is to give up our trust in Christ as our Savior and not to believe that His death on the cross was enough to wash away all our sins and to make thing right again between God and us.

Testing, if we reach our goal, can also give us greater confidence. We reach the top of the mountain. We pass the test with flying colors. We finish the project and receive the praise of others. When we trust the promises of God in our spiritual struggles our faith can grow stronger.

In this petition, we ask that through every testing, every trial, our Father would be by our side and help us to grow in our trust in Him and in our relationship with one another as members of His family.

We pray: Our Father in heave, in every testing of our faith stay by our side. Comfort us with the remembrance of our baptism. strengthen us through holy communion. Make us strong to serve in your name. Amen.

Deliver Us From Evil

Read Matthew 6:13

Have your heard people say, "The devil made me do it?" What do people mean when they say that? Ordinarily they are trying the blame the evil one for some wrong that they have done, something like cheating on a test, shoplifting, cursing, hitting someone or disobeying someone in authority.

These actions are serious and are certainly sinful. In Satan's mind, however, these are only skirmishes. Satan is much more interested in having us believe that having lost a series of skirmishes we have lost the war.

For the devil winning the big battle is to cause us to lose our trust in the mercy of our heavenly father. Satan would have us believe that our sins are so great and so many they cannot be forgiven and that even Christ's death cannot make us right with God again.

The devil would have us believe that God is not our Father, that His name cannot make our lives holy, that He chooses not to rules as king in our dirty lives, that His will is never done in our lives, that He is not interested in thanks for daily bread spoken by sinners that our sins are not forgiven, that we have failed God's test and that, therefore we belong to Satan alone.

In this petition we pray that our Father will deliver us from the evil one who tempts us to forsake God's love and His god and gracious will for us.

We pray: Our Father in heaven, deliver us from the evil one. Make us to a force for good in our troop, our school and in our family. Help us to share with those we meet the the good news of you love as we see it demonstrated in Jesus' death on the cross for us. Raise us up to be your caring servants in our community. Amen.

For The Kingdom, Power The Glory Are Yours Now And Forever

In some church services, at the celebration of the Lord's Supper, the pastor prays the Lord's Prayer aloud and the people pray silently. Then after the pastor has said, "Deliver us from evil," the people sing out, "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen."

Through these words we recognize our Father as the all powerful ruler of the world.

Sometimes we would like to believe that we are the ones who can "pull our own strings." We like to think that each of us has the power to make things happen. In that way we want to think that to us belongs the glory.

In these final words we acknowledge that to our Father belongs forever the kingdom, the power and the glory.

We can be certain of God's promises because He is greater than all of us together and far greater than the evil one as well.

We rejoice because He is our Father who calls us all by name and loves us with an everlasting love - a love which He has made sure by sending His Son to be our Savior and to lead us in victory through sin and death to a life with our Father that never ends.

Therefore, to Him be all the glory now and forever. We pray. Our Father in heaven, from us here on earth to You be the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

To close this meditation, ask two scouts to pray the Lord's Prayer aloud. Others join in silently. All scouts join in speaking loudly three times the final words, "For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours now and forever. Amen." On the third time, shout the words.

 Meditations on the Scout Law

Trustworthy and Loyal

"I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever." Psalm 52:8 NIV

He (God) has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 NIV

Whom do you trust? With whom can you share your doubts, your fears, your secret sins?

If you have a friend you can trust, you have a gift from God. Thank God for giving you such a friend. Thank your friend too for being a good friend.

The Apostle John assures us that God can be trusted. He says, "If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins." (I John 19 NIV)

The Prophet Jeremiah quotes God as saying, "I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (Jer. 31:34 NIV) No wonder the Psalmist says, "I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever."

When a friend is loyal, he or she is being God-like. Jesus promised, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20 NIV) Some people will choose to leave US. They may not care for us. Some will leave, but not of their own choosing. Their parents may move far away. A grandparent may die. God has promised to stay with us through everything even through our death. He stays with us until the end of the world when He will raise us from the dead to take us to Himself in heaven.

God can be trusted. He is loyal. Through our baptism He calls us to mirror His style of trustworthiness and loyalty to those around us.

We pray: Lord always stay near me to forgive me, comfort me and strengthen me. Shape me into a trustworthy and loyal friend to others. Amen.

Helpful and Friendly

"My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2 NIV

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 NIV

"Boy, do I need help." "Could I ever use a friend right now!" Think about a time when you had feelings like that. Maybe today is one of those times for you. Or maybe it is your friend who needs your help.

Some would like to help us but they cannot. Others may have become tired of helping us. Even the best of friends and most loving family can get busy with their own lives and let us down.

Jesus is always there to help. He is always our friend. He never gets tired or distracted. He has the power to help and He loves us.

We know that as God's people we are called to be there and be friends to others who need us. But sometimes we cut ourselves off from God and others by building our life around ourselves. "What's in it for me?" is our big question. God and others come second. This kind of selfishness God calls sin.

Yet God cared enough to send His Son to earth to give His life for His friends. Through Christ's death God forgave us our selfishness. Jesus asked, "What's in it for my friends?" The answer: a full life with God now and for ever. He helped us by giving His life for us on the cross. Even today we sing, "What a Friend we have in Jesus!"

Through His death and resurrection Jesus calls us to be helpful and to be friendly to all, but especially to those who need us.

We pray: Lord, even as you are a friend to me in times of my need, help me be a friend to others who need a friend. Amen.

Courteous and Kind

"When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy." Titus 3:4 NIV

"Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as Christ in God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 NIV

A popular picture used often many years ago showed a scout helping an elderly person across a busy street. Of course, we know that scouting is more than being helpful but courtesy and kindness are important parts of what we are and how we treat others.

When we treat someone with courtesy we are saying that we value that person. We count him or her as important to us. That person may be an elderly person, a child or a fellow scout Courtesy is simply a form of kindness.

Showing kindness to someone demonstrates that we care about them. Kindness is an expression of our love.

Sometimes people don't deserve our kindness or our courtesy. Some may not appreciate what we do for them. Others may try to take advantage of us. Still we realize that we are challenged to be kind, not only to people who are nice to us, but to everyone, because God is kind and merciful to us.

St. Paul wrote to his young friend, Titus, "When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared He saved us, not because of righteous things that we had done, but because of His mercy." Jesus was kind to us, not because we were good, but because He is good.

God's kindness, even though we don't deserve it, helps us to be kind and courteous to others. God's forgiveness and love living in our hearts moves us to be kind and forgiving also to those who have wronged us. Being courteous and kind to others is a way to show our thanks to God for all His kindness to us. It may also be the nudge that causes those who accept our kindness, in turn, to be courteous and kind to others.

We pray: Gracious God, may Your kindnesses to me move me to be kind and forgiving to others. Amen.

Obedient and Brave

"Be strong and brave." 2 Samuel 2:7 NIV. "Through the obedience of one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:19 NIV

Suppose you stood on the edge of a cliff over a pool of water. Your parents had warned you about the danger of jumping into the water from the cliff. "You must not risk hurting yourself by jumping," they had told you. Some "friends" with you on the cliff were daring you to jump. "Are you chicken?" they say. "Aren't you brave enough to jump?" Which would be the brave thing to do - to obey your parents and not jump, or to jump and prove you weren't chicken? Sometimes it takes more strength and bravery to obey and not do something foolish then to listen to others and prove nothing but our own weakness.

When brave fisherman Peter and the apostles were told not to talk to people about Jesus. They answered, "We must obey God rather than man." Peter's obedience to God and his bravery landed him in jail. Peter's witness to Christ's death and resurrection gave comfort, and hope and eternal life to the many who believed his witness to Jesus. His obedience to God served those who needed to hear the good news.

Jesus asked His Father to find a way other than death on the cross to save people from their disobedience. His Father sent an angel to make Him strong. Jesus obeyed the will of His Father. Bravely He went to His death so that for us He might make a way through death to a life with God that never ends. Through His bravery Jesus was obedient and He served and saved us. When we are obedient and brave, our obedience and bravery will serve people and our Lord.

There will be times when our rebellious spirit will cause us to disobey. Because we are weak we might do the foolish thing. Then look to Jesus for forgiveness and strength. Our worth as a human being rests not in our bravery or in our obedience. Our worth is found in Christ who died for us. In our baptism God calls us His own. Now that's a story worth sharing.

We pray: Thank you, Lord, for giving me worth through Christ's act of obedience to your will and His brave death on the cross. Amen.

Cheerful and Thrifty

"God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Cor. 9:7 NIV. Occasionally we read of someone who dies with thousands of dollars stored in shoe boxes in the attic or of someone who leaves a million dollars to a cat. These people were wealthy - at least they had lots of money but were they happy? What do you think? Though they had money, these people never seemed to learn how to use their wealth to bring happiness to others or themselves.

While it may be true that there is happiness in having things, there is double joy in giving to others. When we give we are blessed twice and two people are made joyful. St. Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that "God loves a cheerful giver." All that we "own" really belongs to God. He has put us in charge of taking care of what He gives us. We care for what we have been given when we do not waste or squander God's gifts - being thrifty.

And good care-taking also means cheerfully sharing our gifts with others. Being a cheerful giver. When we share our gifts with people St. Paul says, people "will praise God ... for your generosity in sharing with them..." (2 Corinthians 9:13 NIV) Our cheerful giving to others may be food for the hungry or a favor for a friend.

Our giving to others is an encouragement to these people to thank and praise God for our acts of cheerful generosity. The greatest gift we have to share is the good news of our Savior who gave His life for us. His death and resurrection opened to us a whole new way of living and of giving. We give cheerfully to others, because each day God cheerfully gives so much to us.

We pray: 0 Lord, giver of all good gifts, teach me to receive with thanksgiving and cheerfully to share what has been given to me. Amen.

Clean and Reverent

"Create in me a clean heart, 0 God." Psalm 51:10 (RSV.)

"You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you." John 15:3 NIV.

"For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." Malachi 4:2 NIV.

Jesus told a story once about an important Pharisee and a miserable tax collector. The story went a little bit like this: A wealthy man, nicely showered and shaved, dressed in his finest laundered shirt and dry cleaned suit, stood up in church. "Lord," he said, "I thank you for making me so much better than others."

In the back of the church stood a scruffy, rumpled man, head bowed. He had on yesterday's clothes and had not taken the time to wash or shave. "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner," he said.

Which one was clean'? Which one went away forgiven? All of us -no matter how we look on the outside - have been less than clean inside. We have hurt others, put people down, and done many other things that cover us with the dirt of sin. Still, we are clean! Jesus said, "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." The word He spoke was a word of forgiveness. Jesus is Himself the good word who was lifted up on the cross, so that we might be forgiven for all of our uncleanness inside, where it really counts. He was raised up from the dead and has raised up our name from the dirt of sin and put our name in lights along side his own good name. For making us clean we honor and praise God.

Certainly God deserves to be revered simply because He is all-powerful. But even more important, Jesus "humbled Himself and become obedient to death - even death on the cross." It is the mercy of our loving God that causes us to kick up our heels in rejoicing like young calves who have just been released from the calf pen. We revere God because He holds us in such reverence that in Christ He has promised to raise us reverence for us that causes us to hold all life in reverence.

We pray: Thank You, 0 Holy Spirit, for washing us clean in the blood of the Lamb. As Your servants in the world, give us the wisdom to hold in reverence all life, and always to revere Your holy name. Amen.