Our family has been memorizing the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) this summer. Our method is simple. We recite it together each morning at breakfast. Daddy or I say it all the way through once, then we ask all of the children to join us as we say it two or three more times. The first few days we worked on it, their lips mumbled along with us, very unsure of what to say next. However, in no time, they could say it with us.
Within a week or two, we would ask them to begin saying it without us adults. By the end of a month, the older children can easily recite it by themselves. By the end of the summer, I expect that even the younger children will be able to recite it alone.
After reciting, Daddy and I discuss just a few words of the prayer with the kids, being sure that they understand the meaning. In the coming days on this blog, I’ll walk you through each phrase of the prayer, and I welcome your comments and helpful suggestions.
We also discuss ways to word each phrase in our modern English. We do this because this is a model prayer that Jesus gave His disciples to guide them as they prayed. Our goal in this memorization project is not simply to memorize words but to help our children learn how to pray. In our family, we were concerned that our children were just mindlessly saying words at mealtimes and other prayer times, rather than talking to a real God in heaven.
Finally, we close by reciting together the entire prayer one more time. It takes us about 10 minutes to do all of this at the end of our breakfast each morning. Join me again on Wednesday as we discuss the first phrase of the Lord’s Prayer together.