Ethos Education

Antz: The Lord’s Prayer: What to pray

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Assembly Objective: 

  • What can I do when I feel insignificant? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching that God cares about every aspect of our lives.

Film: 

  • Antz (DreamWorks, 1998) certificate PG. Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Respect derives from an underlying belief that everyone is valuable. This assembly enables pupils to explore their view of their own value – and, by extension, the value of everyone.

EXTRA INFORMATION

  • In 2012, Newsround (a BBC children’s news programme) conducted a survey of a thousand children aged 6-12 and a thousand adults aged 46-52. Their findings suggest that children today are twice as likely to say that religion is important to them compared with forty years ago. But, they are now half as likely to know the Lord’s Prayer.
  • In response to the survey, the Archbishop of Canterbury urged schools to introduce children to the Lord’s Prayer, ‘so that they know that it’s there, they know what it means and know why it matters. Then they may make up their minds about whether they use it.’ This assembly series is designed to help schools do just that.
  • You can find out more about this study and the Archbishop’s statement at http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/17561869
  • You could use the Bible passage which the prayer is adapted from: Matthew 6:9-13. Here is the passage in the New International Reader’s Version:
  • ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be honoured. May your kingdom come. May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted. Save us from the evil one.’

OPENING ACTIVITY

Cast your burdens (illustration)

  • Ask for a few volunteers, and give each three beanbags. Ask them to balance a beanbag on each shoulder and one on their head. Then ask them to attempt the following without the beanbags falling off: walk, run, jump, twist around, kneel down and stand up again, sit down, and hop. Once they have accomplished as much as they can, then ask them to hurl their beanbags (in a safe direction) as far as they can. Explain that they just ‘cast’ their beanbags. Ask them if they found it difficult to do things whilst carrying the beanbags. Ask them how it felt to cast the beanbags away.

So-and-so says (game)

  • This is a variation of the game Simon Says, but instead of using the name Simon, the leader uses their own name. Invite a volunteer to the front to be the leader. The leader calls out instructions by using their name. For example, ‘Luke says touch your nose’. Everyone else follows the instruction by touching their nose. If the leader calls out an instruction without saying ‘Luke says’ then everyone should ignore the instruction. Anyone who doesn’t follow a ‘Luke says’ instruction is out. Anyone who follows an instruction that doesn’t have a ‘Luke says’ is also out.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Antz (DreamWorks, 1998) certificate PG
    • Start time: 00:49 (chapter 1 Z says ‘All my life I lived and worked in a big city’)
    • End time: 02:37 (Z says ‘I am?’)
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 48 seconds
  • If you cannot play the clip, then read this description of it instead:
    • Z [pronounced ‘Zee’] is talking to his therapist. He talks about his hopes, his fears and his dreams. He talks about his childhood as the middle child in a family of five million. He talks about his career as a drone, moving dirt from one place to another. Finally, he tells his therapist that the whole system makes him feel insignificant. ‘Excellent,’ his therapist replies. ‘You’ve made a real breakthrough…You are insignificant.’

TALK

Download the Lord’s Prayer 3 Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome everyone. Have you ever tried talking to someone who isn’t listening? Perhaps you were in a noisy place and they couldn’t hear you properly. Or maybe you were speaking about something they just weren’t interested in. Perhaps you were having an argument so they were ignoring you on purpose. Whatever the reason, it can be really frustrating when people don’t listen. It’s like talking to a brick wall!
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • What makes people listen? Think about your best listener – someone who takes an interest in what you’re saying no matter what. Why do you think they do that? [Take suggestions.] What sorts of things do you like to talk to them about? [Take suggestions.]
    • We’re going to watch a film clip in a moment. It’s about an ant, who talks a lot. Let’s find out if anyone is listening. Play the clip from Antz:
      • Start time: 00:49 (chapter 1 Z says ‘All my life I lived and worked in a big city’)
      • End time: 02:37 (Z says ‘I am?’)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 48 seconds
    • Z [pronounced ‘Zee’] is talking to his therapist. He talks about his hopes, his fears and his dreams. He talks about his childhood as the middle child in a family of five million. He talks about his career as a drone, moving dirt from one place to another. Finally, he tells his therapist that the whole system makes him feel insignificant. ‘Excellent,’ his therapist replies. ‘You’ve made a real breakthrough…You are insignificant.’ If you cannot play the clip, then read this description of it instead:
      • Z [pronounced ‘Zee’] is talking to his therapist. He talks about his hopes, his fears and his dreams. He talks about his childhood as the middle child in a family of five million. He talks about his career as a drone, moving dirt from one place to another. Finally, he tells his therapist that the whole system makes him feel insignificant. ‘Excellent,’ his therapist replies. ‘You’ve made a real breakthrough…You are insignificant.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Does anyone know what the word ‘insignificant’ means? [Take suggestions – unimportant; not worth caring about.] The therapist is saying that the colony of ants is so large that one little ant like him is not important. Why should anyone care what he thinks? Why should anyone listen to what he says? How do you think this makes Z feel? [Take suggestions.]

  • [PowerPoint slide 4]

    • We’re going to have another look at the Lord’s Prayer soon. But first I want us to consider how God sees us. There are seven billion people in the world. Imagine that! Seven billion people, each with their own name, their own hopes, their own fears, their own dreams, their own story and their own struggles. That thought can make us feel insignificant, just like a little ant in an enormous colony.

  • [PowerPoint slide 5]

    • But the Bible says that God does not see us like that. It says that he knows each and every one of us by name and that he knows every little detail about our lives – even the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). It also says that he listens to every word that we say to him; every single prayer is listened to carefully. Why? Because God cares about us.

  • [PowerPoint slide 6]

    • Prayer just means talking to God. Christians pray for all sorts of things. They talk to God about the big things and the little things. That’s what the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to do. Let’s read the last bit of it altogether. Jesus prayed:

    • ‘Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted. Save us from the evil one.’

  • Read Matthew 6:11-13 [PowerPoint slide 7]

    • ‘Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted. Save us from the evil one.’ 

  • [PowerPoint slide 8]

    • Christians pray about the things they need each day: food, friendship, fun and so on.

  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • They pray about the things they’ve done, asking God to forgive them for what they’ve done wrong.

  • [PowerPoint slide 10]

    • They pray about the things they will do too, asking God to help them do the right thing and to keep them safe.

    • Why do Christians talk to God about all of these things? Because God cares. Let’s listen to one last verse from the Bible before we finish.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]

    • ‘Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)). To cast something means to throw or hurl something. If you choose to pray, you can pray about anything. You can throw all of your worries to God because he cares for you.

Headings and Bullets

  • Introduction [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
    • Have you ever tried talking to someone who isn’t listening?
    • It’s like talking to a brick wall!
  • People who care enough to listen [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • What makes people listen?
    • Think about someone who takes an interest in what you’re saying no matter what.
    • Why do you think they do that?
    • What sorts of things do you like to talk to them about?
    • Introduce the film clip:
    • This film clip is about an ant, who talks a lot.
    • Let’s find out if anyone is listening.
    • Play the clip from Antz:
      • Start time: 00:49 (chapter 1 Z says ‘All my life I lived and worked in a big city’)
      • End time: 02:37 (Z says ‘I am?’)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 48 seconds
  • An insignificant ant [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Does anyone know what the word ‘insignificant’ means?
    • The therapist is saying that the colony of ants is so large that one little ant is not important.
    • How do you think this makes Z feel?
  • Insignificant people? [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • There are seven billion people in the world, each with their own name, their own hopes, fears and dreams, their own story and their own struggles.
    • That thought can make us feel insignificant, just like a little ant in an enormous colony.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • But the Bible says that God does not see us like that.
    • It says that he knows each and every one of us, and that he listens to every word that we say to him.
    • Why? Because God cares about us.
  • What to pray [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Prayer just means talking to God.
    • Christians pray for all sorts of things.
    • That’s what the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to do.
  • Read Matthew 6:11-13 [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • A God who cares enough to listen.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Christians pray about the things they need each day.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • They pray about the things they’ve done.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • They pray about the things they will do too.
    • Why do Christians talk to God about all of these things? Because God cares.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • 1 Peter 5:7 – if you choose to pray, you can pray about anything. You can throw all of your worries to God because he cares for you.

Photo Copyright for Lord’s Prayer 3 Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Wikimedia Commons / Slide 2 Dreamworks SKG / Slide 3 Wing-Chi Poon  / Slide 4 Loozrboy / Slide 5 Omid Rostaminia / Slide 6-11 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Pray the Lord’s Prayer with the children, reminding them that nothing is too big or too small to pray about.
  • You could use the Bible passage which the prayer is adapted from: Matthew 6:9-13. Here is the passage in the New International Reader’s Version:
  • Our Father in heaven, may your name be honoured. May your kingdom come. May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted. Save us from the evil one.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Antz (DreamWorks, 1998) certificate PG. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Lord’s Prayer 3 Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. Beanbags (at least three) for the Cast your burdens opening activity.

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