“Mom, what does this spell?” Kimmie asked, looking up from her Sunday school lesson. “E-X-A-M-P-L-E.”
Her mother answered, as she continued to fold clothes, “That spells ‘example.’ Do you know what an example is?”
Kimmie answered thoughtfully. “Doesn’t that mean when you show someone how to do something?”
”That’s right. Tell me some things you have learned by example, Kimmie.”
Kimmie thought for a moment. “Let’s see. Well, you showed me how to make a bed because I didn’t know how to get the covers straight.” She thought for a bit longer. “I know! Daddy showed me how to shoot with a bow and arrow.”
Her mother smiled. “Good! Now, how does the word example come into your Sunday school lesson?”
Kimmie looked down at the story sheet in front of her. “Our lesson for next Sunday is on The Lord’s Prayer. It says Jesus gave us this prayer as an example. I guess that must mean He was teaching us how to pray with this prayer.”
“That is exactly right, Kimmie,” her mother agreed. “Think some more about how you learned to make your bed, and shoot with a bow and arrow. Do you think I could have taught you how to make a bed just by telling you? Could Daddy have told you how to hold the bow and fit the arrow onto the string without showing you?”
Kimmie grinned and said, “I don’t think it would have worked very well.”
“Jesus could have just told His disciples they should pray. He could have told them to bow their heads. Or He could have said they should close their eyes when they pray. But then would they have known how to pray?”
Kimmie shook her head. “Not really, because they still wouldn’t have known what to say. Jesus taught them how to pray when He prayed The Lord’s Prayer.”
Her mother finished folding the clothes and laid them in the basket. “That’s right. He gave them an example. And it was a very good one, Kimmie. If you study that prayer carefully, you will see that it mentions everything we need each day. Jesus didn’t leave anything out.”
“Really?” Kimmie asked, “I’ve known The Lord’s Prayer for a long time, but I never thought about that.”
“I’ve got an idea,” her mother said. “Why don’t you make a list of all the things you need each day. Then see if you can find somewhere in the prayer where that need is mentioned.”
“That sounds like fun!” Kimmie said. “I’m going to do it right now!”
Would you like to try it too?
We are beginning a unit on prayer. Your child will learn that prayer is a vital link with Jesus, and is a necessity if he is to grow as a Christian. Our first lesson is based on the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus gave to His disciples as an example of how to pray.
Discuss with your child the many things we learn by example. Make a project of pin-pointing as many of these as possible during the week. Post a list in some obvious place, and add to it as you think of things. Some possibilities to get you started: how to make a bed, how to make hot chocolate, how to tie a shoe.
If your child has not learned the Lord’s Prayer already, this is a good time to begin to help him memorize it. Break it into sections, and help him study one portion each day. He should understand that if Jesus gave us this prayer as an example to teach us how to pray, it must be very important to learn it.
SUNDAY: Matthew 6:9-13
MONDAY: 1 Chronicles 16:10-11
TUESDAY: Philippians 4:6
WEDNESDAY: Hebrews 4:16
THURSDAY: Matthew 7:11
FRIDAY: Luke 11:4
SATURDAY: 2 Peter 2:9