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.
John 13:1-17 NIRV
13It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world. It was time for him to go to the Father. Jesus loved his disciples who were in the world. So, he now loved them to the very end.
2They were having their evening meal. The devil had already tempted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. He had urged Judas to hand Jesus over to his enemies. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put everything under his power. He also knew he had come from God and was returning to God. 4So he got up from the meal and took off his outer clothes. He wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a large bowl. Then he began to wash his disciples’ feet. He dried them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6He came to Simon Peter. “Lord,” Peter said to him, “are you going to wash my feet?”
7Jesus replied, “You don’t realize now what I am doing. But later you will understand.”
8“No,” said Peter. “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you can’t share life with me.”
9“Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet! Wash my hands and my head too!”
10Jesus answered, “People who have had a bath need to wash only their feet. The rest of their body is clean. And you are clean. But not all of you are.” 11Jesus knew who was going to hand him over to his enemies. That was why he said not every one was clean.
12When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes. Then he returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. 14I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you. 16What I’m about to tell you is true. A slave is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. 17Now you know these things. So, you will be blessed if you do them.
- Thin ribbon
- Charm in shape of cross.
Let’s review our prayer and prayer beads. Does anyone want to try to say a line of the prayer while I hold a bead? (Allow several children to volunteer.)
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.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
The next portion of the prayer says, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” God does not tempt us to do bad things, but sometimes we are tempted. So, we ask for God’s help to stand strong in his will.
Jesus says when we talk to God about the family, ask God for daily needs, forgiveness, and protection. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” We need to rely on God for protection from evil and to keep us from doing things in life that are wrong.
When we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” we are saying, “God, you have the power to take away and help us avoid the ‘bad moments’ when we stray.” We need to always remember that God is faithful. God will always protect us.
This is not just a prayer, “God, keep us from being naughty girls and boys.” This part of the prayer is to recognize that we will be tempted in our lives. Temptations in life are normal and will happen. Those temptation moments are not sinful by themselves, but they can create actions that can separate us from God and our church families.
When we pray to God that we be delivered from temptation, what we’re really praying is, “God, when I am attracted to things that you don’t want for me or my life, tempted not to honor you, or tempted to treat someone badly, keep me from doing those things.”
I wonder where you feel the need for protection. Where do you need God’s help to not only provide forgiveness but also to protect you?
In today’s scripture passage, Jesus is in the Upper Room observing what we call the Last Supper or the Lord’s Supper with those closest to him. He speaks of betrayal, sin, love, and forgiveness. Jesus wants us to know that those who are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit in life should pray daily for protection.
God may allow troubles to come our way, but God ALWAYS promises to protect us and help us to be faithful to God. All we must do, as this prayer shows, is to ask God for help.
As I add the bead today, always remember that when we are faced with the temptation of evil, never forget that it is God to the rescue! Just like we saw with the parable of the father and two sons, God desires to forgive us and welcome us home.
(Each week during the prayer, affix the bead to the ribbon when you begin the prayer.) Come to our rescue, O God! We know that troubles and temptations will come to us from time to time. Remind us through the words of this prayer that your protection is always there. All we need to do is ask for your help. Now we are asking, O God. Help us each day to become more faithful to you. Amen.