This series framed around Lent and Holy Week will provide children and their families an opportunity to build upon the spiritual practice of prayer. Throughout the series, the children will create prayer beads as they learn through the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Each week, a bead will be added that connects prayer to the weekly message. This is especially important as we continue to face difficult days ahead with COVID-19. Families can create prayer times in their homes using the prayer beads. Thanks to Rev. Dr. Leanne Hadley for providing the instructions of how to make prayer beads for the children.
DOWNLOAD Prayer Bead PDF with Instructions and Illustrations
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, NIRV
15The tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were whispering among themselves. They said, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3Then Jesus told them a story.
11Jesus continued, “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger son spoke to his father. He said, ‘Father, give me my share of the family property.’ So the father divided his property between his two sons.
13“Not long after that, the younger son packed up all he had. Then he left for a country far away. There he wasted his money on wild living. 14He spent everything he had. Then the whole country ran low on food. So, the son didn’t have what he needed. 15He went to work for someone who lived in that country. That person sent the son to the fields to feed the pigs. 16The son wanted to fill his stomach with the food the pigs were eating. But no one gave him anything.
17“Then he began to think clearly again. He said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough food! But here I am dying from hunger! 18I will get up and go back to my father. I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven. And I have sinned against you. 19I am no longer fit to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ 20So he got up and went to his father.
“While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him. He was filled with tender love for his son. He ran to him. He threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattest calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24This son of mine was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’ So, they began to celebrate.
25“The older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants. He asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come home,’ the servant replied. ‘Your father has killed the fattest calf. He has done this because your brother is back safe and sound.’
28“The older brother became angry. He refused to go in. So, his father went out and begged him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve worked like a slave for you. I have always obeyed your orders. You never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But this son of yours wasted your money with some prostitutes. Now he comes home. And for him you kill the fattest calf!’
31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me. Everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad. This brother of yours was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’”
New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Thin ribbon
- Charm in shape of cross.
As I take out my prayer beads, lets reflect what we have learned so far in the prayer that Jesus taught us to use when we pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven. This part of the prayer continues to remind us that, as followers of Jesus, we should live a life that honors God.
Today’s Bible story is the story of a father with two sons. One of the sons wanted to get his share of the family’s money and leave home. So, the father gave him his money, and the son went far away.
The son quickly spent all his money and had nothing to eat. So, he decided to go home again. He knew he didn’t deserve to be forgiven for wasting all that money. But he thought perhaps his father would take him back as a servant instead of as a son.
So, the son began to walk home.
The son didn’t know it, but each day his father stood in the road and watched for his son to come home. One day, the father’s waiting ended. He saw his son coming and ran to meet him. Instantly, he forgave his son for taking the money and going away. He didn’t care about the money. He knew only that he loved his son and had him back again.
Jesus tells this story to make sure his followers knew how much he loved them and would forgive them. Jesus loves you too! And he wants to forgive you whenever you do something wrong. God is waiting for you, just like the father in the story, to love and forgive you on this earth as it is in heaven. Another part of bringing heaven to earth is celebrating what God is doing in the world. This is what the father is inviting the older brother to celebrate.
Let’s add a bead to our prayer beads to remind us of this week’s portion of the prayer. (Add bead while stating) “On earth as it is in heaven.”
(Each week during the prayer, affix the bead to the ribbon when you begin the prayer.) God of forgiveness: Just like the father in the story, you are waiting for us to offer us your love and your forgiveness. Remind us, when we pray that your will is for this world to be just like heaven. On earth as it is in heaven. Amen.