Today's podcast is based on Becky's book Our Father: A Study on the Lord's Prayer. Order here!
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Thanks. Welcome to the Connected Mom Podcast, where we have real conversations helping you to connect more deeply with God, more empathically with your fellow moms, and more intentionally with your child. I'm Becky Harling, your host. And today I have our amazing co host, Sarah Wildman. Hey, Sarah.
Hey, Becky. And it's just us today. It's going to be a great conversation. Yeah, we're so excited. We're just going to have a friend to friend talk. We're excited that listeners are along with us. And I'm really excited because I know that you've spent a lot of time studying and writing about the Lord's Prayer. And today we're going to kind of do a, uh, twist, from what I understand, and talk about how we can teach our children to pray the Lord's Prayer and about all of the awesome principles in it. Is that kind of where we're going today?
Yeah, that's where we're going today. So I have a new Bible study releasing yes, tell us. And April 4, which yeah, and it's on the Lord's Prayer. And it was actually, Sarah, when I was with you and your husband at, uh, the prayer breakfast several years ago, and I ended my message by having all these political leaders and community leaders and religious leaders stand and recite the Lord's Prayer. And I felt like in that moment, the Lord showed me, hey, everybody knows the Lord's Prayer, but they don't necessarily understand the invitations tucked within. And so I felt like the Lord called me out of that to write this Bible study on the Lord's Prayer. So it's called Our Father. But today we're going to talk about why you should teach your kids the Lord's Prayer, which may not have been on any mama's radar.
Yeah, I love that. When that came across my desk, I was like, oh my gosh, that's awesome. Because I think the other cool thing is when we're teaching someone else, it also helps us plant those trees deep down. Right. Like, I'm sure for you, you probably see the Lord's Prayer even in a richer way now that you've done so much study and teaching it. Is that correct?
Oh, it's so correct. Anybody that's grown up in the church has recited the Lord's Prayer, and I think, um, for a few years, a lot of evangelical churches got away from that. I do think it's making a resurgence, which is great for our kids because they need to know the Lord's Prayer.
Mhm so let's talk about that. Why do you think it is so important for the kids to know it?
Well, that's a great question. I think, first of all, kids have the ability to memorize scripture more effectively even than us adults. So we want to capture their ability to memorize Scripture while they're young because it will last a lifetime for them. I remember as a kid learning scriptures in VBS or in Sunday school or at camp, and I still know those scriptures. Now, I still try to memorize, but it does take a little bit more as an adult than it did as a kid. And so I think for kids, first of all, we want to capitalize on, um, their ability to memorize scripture. And the Lord's Prayer is such an important part of what Jesus was teaching us. And tucked within it are these six invitations. And your kids need to know these invitations because they're foundational for their discipleship as they move into their teen years and as they move into their adult years.
I m love that. I have to be honest, of the times I've heard teaching on the Lord's Prayer, I've never heard it broken down into six invitations. So that's something that we want to talk about today because I'm going to be learning along with our listeners as you teach us. So let's go ahead and go through those six invitations. Maybe just tell us what they are initially and then we can break each one down.
Yeah, as I started studying this prayer, I'm like, okay, wait a minute, hold up the show. This is so much more than just teaching us a pattern for prayer. Jesus is inviting us into deep discipleship and theological truths that if we receive his invitations, it's really going to transform our lives. So the six invitations are, uh, the first one is to know God as Father, which that was radical. We'll talk about that. The second invitation is to worship God and to make worship a part of your lifestyle. The third invitation is the invitation to surrender, to know, to invite his kingdom to come and his will to be done. The fourth invitation is to ask audaciously for what we need. The fifth invitation is to find freedom through forgiveness. And the 6th invitation is to live victoriously over temptation. And as you can see, each of those invitations are foundational to our discipleship. They're an important part of our transformation.
And then is the Lord's Prayer. I should know this, but is it mentioned once in the Gospels? Is it Matthew where it's found? So mama know where to go if they want to look?
Yeah, I based the book on the version that is found in Matthew six. Now, there is a version of it in the Gospel of Luke as well. And when we say it in church, we say, our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our, uh, trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Never. Uh, amen. Now.
If you read through the Lord's Prayer in the new International version, or the ESV or the new American Standard version, the language is going to be slightly different. I would recommend that you teach your kids the prayer in the old fashioned language where we've made that a part of our worship services so that they know the prayer when they're attending a worship service where that's happening and we'll talk about this. But interestingly enough, in the newer versions of the Bible, the NIV, um, the NASV, the ESV, the Benediction is not included. It was included in the King's James version, but it is based on a passage in two Chronicles. So it's still biblical and it's still truth. So we still should pray it great.
So let's dive into them one at a time. So number one is to know God as Father. Let's talk about that a little bit.
I think that is so important for our kids to know. Um, I think of the single moms out there who perhaps are raising their kiddos without dad in the picture. And those kids certainly need to know God as father. But all kids need to know God as father, whether or not they have issues with their own earthly dad. Because here's the thing about God as our Father. He's the perfect father. He is the all loving, all forgiving all, uh, grace giving father. And I guarantee your kids need to know that as they progress into their teen years, young adult years and adult life because they're going to make mistakes and they need to know that they have a loving, perfect father. Now, for those of us who grew up with abusive fathers or distant fathers, this is important theology for us as mamas too, because we've got to change the image in our heads and we've got to shift our thought process about God from our earthly Father. He may have been like this, but our Heavenly Father is like this. And the Lord's Prayer invites us to know God intimately as our Father. When I grew up in, um, church, Sarah, I thought of God as God the Father anyway, as rather distant. I had a good relationship with Jesus, and I will be forever thankful for that. But God the Father seemed kind of distant to me. And it wasn't until much later in my life that I was able to separate God the Father from my earthly father. And I was able to see, hey, Jesus came m to show me the perfect picture of God the Father, which means God the Father is like Jesus. He loves us, he accepts us, he offers us compassion and grace, and he's not a harsh or a distant father. And your kids need to know that.
So good. And I think not that we're trying to make proofs for the Trinity, but it's so beautiful that Jesus, when he says, I'm going to teach you how to pray, the very first thing he says is, it's that familial relationship with Him, right? Like, we know that, uh, that's saying that he's Jesus's son, which is a pretty big deal, right?
The fact that he was God's son, you're like, okay, but then how we can also look to God as our father. It's such a beautiful picture. And you're right. I think we have to be careful about what kind of comes to mind, whether we had a good or a poor relationship with our earthly father. Right. And that can bring up pain, but it can also show us, um, I think the comfort and the closeness that God offers us because of that relationship. Right?
Yeah. We need to understand that God is inviting us into this intimate relationship with Him. It was never meant to be a distant relationship.
That's right. That kind of goes with our theme, Becky, of connecting, being connected to God, right?
Yes. I love it. God the father. Yes, I love that, too. We're connected desire.
Absolutely. Okay, so then, number two, the invitation. I always think of you as the praise lady. I mean, you've taught us how to praise right, in a lot of circumstances. So this one did not surprise me, Becky. When you pulled out this invitation, I was like, of course, Becky, she's going to talk about worship and praise. So let's talk more about that invitation and the Lord's Prayer, how it teaches us to worship.
Yeah, absolutely. And so the second phrase of the Lord's Prayer is, Hallowed be thy name. And as I, um, was thinking about this when I grew up, uh, in evangelical circles, you were to never use the Lord's name in vain. And certainly that's true. We need to be careful with God's name because it's holy, it's hallowed, it's precious. But this really goes deeper than that. It's an invitation to worship God. And we always have to ask ourselves, why did God invite us to worship Him? Is he just like some egotistical, insecure being who needs a great vata boy every now and then? No. He invites us to worship Him because we become like what we worship. So here's the truth. Your kids were designed by God with a need to worship something, and they probably won't even understand that until they're a lot bigger, but they were designed with a need to worship something. And so what or who we worship is going to shape the whole rest of our life. So for moms, if you worship your kids and you center your whole life around them, those kids are eventually going to move out. Right. And so you've got to center your life on something different, and you have to center your life on Jesus Christ. And as you spend time intentionally worshiping and praising Him, the Holy Spirit changes you and you become more like Him. So let's bring this down to a practical application for moms with kids. How do you do this in your home? First of all, make sure your kids are in church, okay? That's a big part of it. But beyond that, bring worship into your home. Now, we have fabulous tools like YouTube, and you could turn on worship music in the morning or when everything's falling apart before supper, you could turn on a worship song and say, hey, guys, let's just pause for a moment and let's think about who God is. And you could teach your kids to praise God at the dinner table instead of just offering a prayer like, god, thanks for the food. Amen. You could teach them, hey, let's call out a few things that we love about God. He's good, he's holy, he loves us, he's fair, he's kind, he's compassionate. But you're teaching your kids that as they worship God, they're going to become more like God. So as they worship Him for his kindness, they're going to become kinder. As they worship Him for his love, they're going to become more loving. And so it's really an important principle to teach your kids from the time they're little.
Yeah, that's right. Now, hallowed, that can be kind of like, um, an old school word. Can we replace that in our head as worship or holy? How would you best what's the definition of hallowed?
Yeah, it's just honored is your name and that's an easy way to say it. Honored is your name and we want to give God the honor he is due. So it's pretty easy to explain that to your kids.
Love it. Like I said, as we teach our kids, it helps us understand it, too. Um, yeah. Beautiful. Okay, so number three, the invitation to surrender, praying your kingdom come, your will be done. How do we help our kids understand a big concept like that?
Yeah, I think this is probably one of the more challenging ones to explain to your kids because first of all, so many people who are believers don't really understand the kingdom, so they might think, okay, the kingdom is just when Jesus is going to reign, literally on Earth. And the kingdom is when Jesus is going to reign, literally on Earth. However, the kingdom is also wherever the king rules and reigns. So Jesus said, uh, my kingdom is like a mustard seed. What in the world he meant? That his kingdom, um, where he rules and reigns, it's going to take root in people's hearts and it's just going to grow like wildfire. So the thing for your kids to know is that when we surrender, we say, yes, Lord Jesus, I'm going to obey you. That's the easiest way to explain it to your kids, because I think when we talk about surrender for a child, that can feel kind of scary. They can think, okay, if they're playing a game of knights or whatever or army and they're surrendering, they're throwing their hands up. Um, and they're giving in to the enemy. Well, God is not our enemy.
But we surrender to Him because we want to obey Him. And in order for your kids to get this. They really need to understand the love of God. And so you need to tell them stories to help them understand this. I was thinking, how do you help a five or a six year old surrender to God? You can remind them, okay, remember when you were a toddler and Mommy would say, okay, you need to hold my hand when you cross the street. Why did I say that to you? And let them think and answer that. Um, you said that as a parent because you didn't want them to get hurt. Right. You didn't want them to run across the street and get hit by a car. And so that's why obedience is important. I recommend to parents, you don't bring it down to this power struggle. I'm the mom, you're the kid. That's why you have to obey. I mean, that's not going to help you. Right. You want them to understand that they need to obey because you love them so much. And the same is true of God. So when God gives us rules in Scripture, they're because he loves us. When God sets a boundary around the sexual relationship as your kids get into their teen years and you're discussing that it's not because he's trying to be hard on us, it's because he's trying to protect us, because he loves us. And so helping your child understand, when we pray your kingdom come, your will be done, we're saying, Lord, I want to obey you and I want to live in accordance with Your love for me.
That's really good. Okay. I'm thinking put you on the spot. One other. Is there a way that a parent could model what surrender means, maybe in how we talk about how we say yes to God? Do you have any ideas on that? Because I think it's such a big topic. Maybe them seeing us do that too, would help, right?
Yeah, absolutely. And there's an interesting statistic, Sarah, and I can't tell you I've heard the statistic. I don't know. You'd have to look it up on the Internet to find it. But oftentimes one of the greatest predictors on whether or not your kids are going to walk and follow Jesus in their adult life is how many risks the parents took for Jesus along the way.
So, uh, that's kind of shocking, right? Uh, I think one of the ways parents can model this is let's say you're wrestling with a decision. Don't just go off in your bedroom and wrestle it alone. Wrestle it out with the kids and sit down as a family and say, okay, we're wrestling with this decision. I remember for us now, uh uh, my husband was a pastor, and, uh, there was a season where he was invited to candidate at a church in another part of the United States. And we asked that church to fly all of our kids in because we wanted to discern with them whether or not this was from God. Now, our kids were older. Two were in college, one was, I don't know, high school, and one was junior high. But anyway, we flew all in. The church voted us in. We took our kids back up to the hotel room and prayed about it together and said, okay, kids, what do you think? And they said, you're not supposed to take it, dad. And so that was a huge risk for us because we didn't have another job on the horizon at the time. And the kids two kids said, dad, we don't feel like you're supposed to take this. So we modeled that with them and we said, okay, we feel like the Lord has spoken to us as a family. We're going to surrender to the Lord on this. We're not going to take it even though it means we have no job security, and God provided in other ways and called us to move to Colorado. Now, for you, you might not as you're listening, you might not be in ministry, but maybe you're debating on whether or not to take a risk and do a summer missions trip as a family. And as you pray about it, what do you feel like the Lord is calling you to do? Then explain to your kids that you're going to live in obedience to Christ. Or maybe you're wrestling with a big decision to buy something big for your home, and you're wrestling with, well, the word of God says we're not supposed to take on debt. What does this mean for us? If I'm going to surrender to the Lordship of Christ, maybe it means that I'm not going to get that thing that I really want because I want to live in obedience. But I think parents need to live out their faith in front of their kids. The good, the bad, the ugly, even when they make mistakes. Because your kids are learning about the Christian walk from you, and it's important that they see the times where you do it right, the times where you do it wrong and you apologize and that God's grace sustains you through the whole journey.
It's a good reminder to be more transparent, maybe think, you know, the kids could be in on this big decision. It really helps them see how I'm reliant on Jesus. Thank you. That's super. Okay, so the next one, I think you said might be the easiest one for kids to understand because we often find ourselves praying before meal times. Right, right. Uh, but you gave it a bigger tone even than food. So the invitation to ask audaciously. What an awesome word, audaciously. So give us this day our daily bread. What do you mean by asking audaciously.
For a long time? Sarah, I think when I was younger, I contained my prayer requests to things that seemed quote unquote reasonable. And if God didn't answer right away, I would think okay? He said no, so I gave up. And I think this poses a little bit of a challenge for parents, because sometimes when our kids are persistent, we get annoyed. God doesn't get annoyed with your child's persistence, ever, so there's that. But teach your child they can ask for big things from God. Not just materialistic things, but for healing, for a friend who's sick, for salvation, for a friend, for, uh, a teacher to change their heart or attitude, and sometimes for something they really want. And I think my challenge to parents is every now and then your kid is going to ask for something ridiculous. And I would say, every now and then, give in and get it. Because you can say, this is a picture of how much God loves you. Sarah, I'm thinking of you when you texted me that your son wanted that stuffed toy from Toy Story, and you had already bought all of his birthday gifts and he really wanted it. And so then you went back to the store late at night and got it and wrapped it. But that's such a beautiful picture of how God is with us. I've asked God for some ridiculous things in my life now, and I look back and I think, wow, you answered that. And, uh, that was maybe just a desire I had, or maybe it was a dream I had in my heart. And certainly there's truth to asking according to God's will, but sometimes we're not sure what God's will is. And I would say, ask and God will show you what his will is in that situation.
So good. I feel like we could do an episode on each of these invitations. I don't want to take up too much time with Mike, but yes. Uh, so good. Okay, so the next one also, um, I remember it more as the old school language, like, and forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors. And I was like, what does that mean? But, oh, my goodness, forgiveness. That is such an awesome concept to talk about. So what did, uh, you learn about in studying this prayer about forgiveness? And how can we show that to our kids?
It's just really interesting that Jesus said, forgive us our debts or forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. I mean, as we forgive others, forgive us. Like, they, uh, seem tied, linked, right?
They sure do.
And I think with your kids, this is incredibly important. Your kids, from the time they're little, are going to get their feelings hurt in school. They're going to have friends who are mean to them. They're going to have people who hurt them in other ways. And they have to learn that when we follow Jesus, we are to live a lifetime of forgiveness. And some of us, as parents, need that reminder, right? I mean, we have to forgive. And that means letting go of our need for vengeance to repay. So, uh, a mom was talking to me a few weeks ago, and, um, her daughter said, well, I don't like this person. And the mom said, Why? And she said, Because they hit me. Well, okay, so we have to forgive them. And it's always good to challenge your child with, well, have you ever hit anybody? And did you need forgiveness? Yeah. So you need to offer that to them. And there's a whole theology of forgiveness that I go to, uh, in the book. Because for us as adults, forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean reconciliation, right. And staying in the relationship, it means I'm going to set that other person free from having to pay me back for what they did to me. However, the irony of it is it really doesn't benefit the person you're forgiving. It benefits you because you're no longer held captive by what that person did to you. Uh, but your kids probably, if they're young, are not going to understand the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Now, if they're teens, they are. So then if your kids are teens, you can say, okay, you need to forgive this person in your heart and agree with God that you're going to forgive them. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to stay close friends. You might need a little M distance in that relationship.
Yeah, that's right. That's healthy. Healthy boundaries, right?
Okay, so final invitation is you've titled it Live Victoriously. So how does that work?
So this was a fun one to study, because Jesus says that we're to pray. Lead us not into temptation. And if you just take that phrase, you kind of pause for a second, wait, does God lead us into temptation? And as you think about that, your first response is to say, no, God doesn't lead us to be tempted. Right? Because God himself doesn't tempt us. However, God led Jesus to the desert to be tempted, right? So there's all of that theology wrapped up in there, but that's too much for your kids. I just wanted to share that with.
You because I yeah, that's awesome.
But your kids are going to feel tempted, right? And I think that this is an opportunity to talk to your kids honestly and openly about what temptations they face. So what are you tempted to do in school when maybe you didn't study for the test and you know, you're sitting right next to somebody who always gets 100? Are you tempted to cheat? What are you tempted to do if you get caught by your teacher doing something wrong? Are you tempted to lie? What are you tempted to do when your younger sibling just annoys you? Are you tempted to just haul off and hit them or push them over? So talking about temptation and letting your kids enter into that discussion and then saying to them, do you know what's interesting, guys? Jesus was tempted, too. Satan tempted him as well. And the way he, um, got victory was he learned to pray and to quote Scripture. And so when you're tempted in school, you can pray and say, lord Jesus, help me to be strong. Help me to remember that it's not right to cheat. And maybe you put a verse in there for your kids about how it's important for them to tell the truth. There are lots of verses on that. I don't have them in front of me, but there are lots of verses about, uh, telling the truth or the next time you're tempted to lie, going back to those truth verses, but helping your child understand, we're all going to be tempted to do wrong things, and even Jesus was tempted. However, victory is possible when we pray and when we ask and when we combat temptation with the word of God. And so that's really an important principle for your kids to understand as they get older now, it doesn't mean they're going to live life perfectly. So whenever we have a conversation about this kind of stuff, temptation and wrong and all of that, you've always got to tie it together as a parent with, okay, but even if you do fail, Jesus always forgives. Jesus never stops loving you. Jesus continues to pursue you. And the way to live a victorious Christian life is to really stay in close contact with Jesus. And so I think those are really important principles for your kids to get as early on as possible.
Absolutely. Well, we're almost out of time, Becky, but I actually think that the benediction of the Lord's Prayer might be my favorite. It's just so beautiful. Would you mind talking about that and again reminding us where it comes from? In the Old Testament, I think there's.
Some really beautiful second chronicles, and I didn't write it down when I did this.
It's, um, in 20 911, it looks like.
Oh, thank you. Well, and it says, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen. And it's based on that passage in two chronicles. And I think it's important for your kids to learn that because they learn that Jesus is over all, his kingdom is over all all the messed up things in the world. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, all of it belongs to Jesus. And I think as your kids are exposed to these words, they can process it and they can learn god is the one true God, and all power, all authority, all honor, all praise belongs to Him. It's really interesting, this last Sunday in our church, where my husband and I attend, and our kids and a bunch of our grandkids, we said the Lord's Prayer this last Sunday. And just watching my grandkids read it off the screen, I thought, oh, Lord, help them to get it because it's so beautiful. And. Rich in content.
M so beautiful. That's right. And I think, man, the more we can show the greatness of God to our kids, the better job we've done. Right. All of these invitations kind of play into that. Not play into that, but show us how God's our Father, we're worshipping, we're surrendering, we can ask audaciously, we can find freedom, we can live. Victoria, I mean, all those but it's the greatness of God that encompasses. I just love that it ends that way. And amen I'm with you? As our kids read those words and understand them, I pray that it really sinks in. So, Becky, I'm so excited about this book. Remind us again of the title, when it's coming out and, uh, where we can order it.
So, the title of the book is called Our Father, and it's a six week study of the Lord's Prayer. Comes out april 4. And you can either order it from Moodypublishers.com or you can certainly order it on Amazon and have it delivered. And Sarah, uh, I like to recommend you can definitely do it on your own, but it's also fun to gather a small group and do it together so you can talk about it and process it together. Um, and so I just love it. I love the way Moody put the book together. It's a really pretty book, which I just happen to appreciate, so yeah, well, awesome.
Okay, so we're going to definitely put some links in the show notes so that our listeners can get it for themselves and maybe even start. We're all about connection at the connected mom. So it'd be so cool if maybe a mom and maybe a few friends could do it together, right. And then encourage each other to express what they're learning to their kids. I think that's a super great idea, becky, I think I'm going to take you up on it. So you're going to have to keep me accountable.
Okay? Yeah. If you start a small group Bible study and you do this Bible study, contact us and I'll visit your group via Zoom or some other way.
Oh, that's cool. Let's do it.
We may as well start.
That would be awesome. We would love for that to happen. Well, I think we are out of time, so I can pray and then if you want to close us out, we'll be good. So let's pray. Father, we're just so thankful for this model and this prayer that you've given us. I thank you for the invitations that Becky's talked about that, um, you just have this offer extended to us to connect with you intimately, Lord. And I just pray for the moms listening. I pray that maybe there's something in all of this that they've never thought about, Father, that you would use this prayer, this reminder of one of the most beautiful prayers we can model, of just how much you love her and how much you want to connect with her Father. So I just pray that we would take that invitation. We'd accept it, and that we would truly want to connect with you and help us as we explain these beautiful truths to our children. Father, help us to be models. Help them to see that we love you and you love us, and help them to crave that and want to know more of you. And so I just thank you for this tool that Becky's spent time on, and I pray that it would really, truly bless many and that many would be even better connected with you through this. Study it's in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Amen. Hey, friends. Thanks for joining us today on the Connected Mom podcast, and we're hoping that you're going to join us next week as well, where we can have another real conversation, helping you to connect more deeply with God, more empathically with your fellow moms, and more intentionally with your child. Thanks for joining us today.