Thursday, July 21, 2011

    GREAT YOUTH MINISTRY IDEAS: The Lord's Prayer Revisited

    A colleague of mine, Brian Brandsmeier, has crafted what he calls "The Mindfulness Version of the Lord's Prayer" and has graciously permitted us to share it.  For a prayer that many of us say at least once a week, sometimes the words can cease to have much meaning as we slip into rote recitation.  Often during Lent our church will use a different version of the Lord's Prayer each week just to tune our ears once again to its message.  We'll definitely be adding Brian's version to our list and I'd encourage you to see how this prayer might resonate with your youth:

    Holy Presence, your name is truly sacred. May your vision for the world be realized, and may your will be done in our lives as it is in heaven. Provide us with the goodness of food and remind us to enjoy it mindfully. Forgive us for the times that we have rushed through life, not noticing the small miracles around us. And please forgive those who haven’t had enough time to notice us. Lead us all into abundant life in the here-and-now of our lives, and lead us away from the busyness that makes us live too far in the past or future. For the here-and-now Kin-dom, here-and-now power, and here-and-now glory are yours this moment and forever. Amen!

    Brian and his wife Sara describe themselves as "two mystics on a journey of faith and discovery" and regularly post thoughtful liturgy and original music on their blog. I encourage you to check it out.


    Christopher Wesley said...

    I always like the idea of reflecting on a prayer or scripture verse with a different perspective. One thing we've done with students that's been very popular is Lectio Divina. They like the meditative exercise of going deeper into something they take for granted.

    Brian Kirk said...

    I agree. Lectio Divina might be something youth leaders would shy away from for fear it could bore teens but I've found it is very effective and challenges youth to see things in scripture that might have missed otherwise.

    dew said...

    This year I had my 7/8 group 'rewrite' both the Our Father and the Hail Mary in their own words. They struggled to get it done. It was interesting that a prayer they knew so well, in some ways, was words not ideas — they could not get past the words to express the amazing meaning of the prayers.

    On a high note, one group did a rap version of the Hail Mary that was amazing though I do think our very conservative Priest might have been a little freaked out!

    It was also a great way to illustrate which concepts they didn't truly grasp.

    Brian Kirk said...

    Dew, thanks for sharing. I tried that rewriting the Lord's prayer activity recently with youth. Some did really well at finding new words but at least one group really couldn't get past the traditional language. Maybe they've heard it so many times they just can't see past the same old words.