This free Bible lesson is part 5 of 10 in our Lord’s Prayer study. Children will learn to pray for God’s Kingdom to spread here on Earth.
Click here to browse all the lessons in this teaching series. You can share your teaching tips and suggestions for other readers by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.
Main idea: God’s kingdom is where we go if we love God and follow him.
- Read Scripture references, Matthew 13, and Revelation 21.
- Gather: Bible, construction paper or cardstock (or generic “you’re invited!” cards, envelopes for the cards, markers or crayons, stickers, , dry erase markers or chart paper and markers.
- Write “May your kingdom come soon.” (Matthew 6:10a, NLT) on a regular sheet of paper. Make sure it takes up the whole page, so it can easily be read. Fold it up and place it in an envelope.
- Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Have you ever taken the time to really think about what heaven is going to be like? The Bible doesn’t give away too much, but Revelation does paint a few word pictures. In short, it comes down to this: heaven is going to be better than anyone can imagine! Sometimes I get so caught up in all the little details of my life, that I forget to remember that Jesus is my king, and endless joy awaits me in heaven.
- Psalm 145:13a
- John 18:28-37
- Revelation 21:3-4
- Revelation 22:17, 20
- Romans 10:9-10
What Time is it, Mr. Wolf? This game is meant to build anticipation and excitement in the class. One student starts as the wolf, and stands at one end of the playing area. All the other kids stand shoulder to shoulder at the other end of the playing area. The wolf has their back to the kids. All the kids shout out, “what time is it, Mr. Wolf?” The wolf, with his/her back to the kids, calls out a time, like 1:00, 2:00, 12:00. The kids all take that many steps forward. They then ask again, “what time is it, Mr. Wolf?” The wolf answers, and the kids take that many steps. At any time, the wolf answer, “dinnertime!” The wolf then turns around and chases after the players. The players try to run back to where they started. Anyone who is tagged becomes a wolf and starts chasing others. The last kid to not become a wolf wins. If more than one kid is untagged, play a second round, where all the kids who were tagged become wolves with their backs turned, and take turns calling out times.
Open in prayer, then say,
Over the past few weeks we have been learning about how important prayer is, and about a prayer Jesus taught his disciples. Who remembers what that prayer is called? That’s right, it’s the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is a good example prayer, full of many things we should be praying for. That’s why we are working to memorize it bit by bit. So far we have memorized “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” Today we will add on a little piece of the prayer, and have it memorized by next week. Today’s special message from God is right here in this envelope. (Have a child open and read it, or do so yourself.) The next part of the Lord’s Prayer we will memorize is “May your kingdom come soon. We will spend the rest of our lesson discussing what “May your kingdom come soon” means. We will talk about what God’s kingdom is like, and why we want it to come soon. Then we will talk about how we become citizens of God’s kingdom. (On the board or chart paper, write the following column headings: God’s kingdom, coming soon, and how to.)
The Bible has quite a bit to say about God’s kingdom. Psalm 145:13 (part a) says, “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.” What does everlasting mean? Everlasting means it will last forever. When you study ancient history, you will find that many kingdoms have come and gone. There was a time when the Roman Empire ruled the known world, and today Rome is just a city in Italy. Remember the story of Daniel, the guy who got thrown into a lion’s den because he would not stop praying to God? He lived in a place called Babylon. Babylon used to be the biggest city in the world, and now you can’t find it on any modern day maps. Over time, every kingdom, or country, comes and goes, eventually just becoming a story in a history book. But God’s kingdom isn’t like that. It has no beginning or end. Heaven will never become just a story in a history book. Heaven will last forever! (Under the heading “God’s kingdom,” write “forever.”)
Before Jesus was crucified, he was arrested and put on trial before a man named Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus if Jesus was the king of the Jews, because some religious leaders of the time were saying Jesus was trying to make himself a king when he shouldn’t be a king. Jesus answered in John 18:36, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” You see, when Jesus was on earth serving others, many people thought he had come to overthrow the unjust Roman empire and set up a Jewish kingdom. But when Jesus came the first time, he came to save us from our sins. Jesus will come back again someday, and that time, he will set up his kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the king of heaven, and when we go to heaven, we will worship him there forever! (Under the heading “God’s kingdom,” write “Jesus is heaven’s king.”)
Heaven is going to be an exciting place, where all the people who have ever loved Jesus will live together and worship him forever. Revelation 21:3-4 says, “I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’” Someday we will get to see God face to face. There will be no more pain or bad things, because God will rule heaven! (Under the heading “God’s kingdom,” write “see God face to face,” and “no more pain or sadness.” Add “no more pain or sadness” under the heading “coming soon” as well.)
The kingdom of heaven is all about Jesus. I can’t wait to spend all of forever with him! The very last book of the Bible, Revelation, ends by inviting people to come to Jesus. It says in Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” This means anyone can come and worship Jesus in heaven. A few verses later, in verse 20, it says, “ He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” Jesus says in this verse that he will come back someday and welcome everyone who believes in him into his kingdom. As Christians, that’s exactly what we want! We want the kingdom of Jesus to come soon so we can live forever worshiping him. That’s why we say, in the Lord’s prayer, “May your kingdom come soon.” (Under the heading “coming soon,” write, “We will live with Jesus forever.”)
The last thing we will cover today is HOW do we get to go to heaven? Does everyone get to go to heaven? I mean God loves everyone, so doesn’t everyone deserve heaven? It is true that God loves everyone, but this does NOT mean everyone gets to go to heaven. If you go to church every week and never miss Sunday school, will you go to heaven? Not necessarily. We don’t get to go to heaven because we have perfect attendance at church. What if I’m really good all the time, and I never say mean things, and I clean my room when my parents ask, and I share my toys with my little brother? Is that how I get to heaven? Nope. We don’t get to heaven by doing good things. We are still sinners. Even if we do our best to do everything perfectly, we will always slip up and sin somewhere. Even if we sin one time, that is enough to hurt our relationship with God. There is only one way to get to heaven: through Jesus. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” The only way to go to heaven is to believe that Jesus came to earth to die in our place, for our sins, and that God raised him from the dead. We have to confess that we are sinners saved by Jesus, and not be embarrassed by that, to live with him forever in his kingdom. (Under the column “how to,” write, “believe in Jesus.”)
God’s kingdom is going to be a place full of happiness and love. Think about a birthday party, or Christmas, or Thanksgiving dinner. We get excited for and look forward to these things all year long. These are all good things to look forward to, but we have something even better to look forward to: spending forever with Jesus in heaven! Heaven is going to be like one big celebration. So, God, may your kingdom come soon!
End in prayer.
Invitations. Since heaven is going to be as exciting as one big celebration, we want to communicate that to all of our friends! Today we will make invitations to give to our friends, inviting them to church. Fold the construction paper or cardstock in half. On the front, write “you’re invited!” On the inside, write the name of your church, the address and service time, along with a personal note to a particular friend, inviting them to all the fun times you have in Sunday school! Decorate it however you wish, and then place the invitation in an envelope with your friend’s name on the front.