Lesson Plan on Prayer Appreciation (B9-L1)

Opening activity

Have the students write down the list of fears / concerns that go through our minds when we are asked to pray.  Have them share and discuss where these fears come from:

  • Who is to be glorified?
  • Where is our focus in those thoughts?


Discussion 1: Free-form vs Liturgical Prayer

Split the class in groups and have them come up with pros and cons of Free-Form and Liturgical/Pre-scribed prayers.  The goal is to help appreciate liturgical prayer.

Some possible ideas:

Liturgical Free-Form
Theology Sound Can veer from sound theology
Focus on God/Scripture Focus often shifts to “Me” / “Need”
Sometimes Repetitive Can start to babble
Hard to relate sometimes Applies to immediate need
Its about us changing “Vending machine” heresy

*Vending Machine… God isn’t a vending machine that takes prayer coins and outputs what you want 🙂   Prayer is not necessarily trying to get God to do your will… rather us changing to be more like Him and do His will.

Discussion 2: Appreciating prayer

Turn to page 7 in the Sunday School book “Hymn of St. Ephraim.”  Ask them to give a summary of what they think this prayer is asking for – ie. what is it about, what occasion.

  •  It is a prayer before going to sleep.
  • Many of the stanzas are about sleeping and guarding through the night.
    • Example Stanza 3 – “If I err in my sleep”
      • Tie – back to discussion 1 – if we were to pray from our own mind…would we think to pray like this?
    • many other example of sleep related
  • Stanza 7+8 – “Christ Thy life-abiding” .. “While I sleep this night”
    • What is the author of the Hymn looking for protection?
      • Holy Body & Blood –> Qurbana

Discussion 3: Trisagion

Trisagion mean “Thrice Holy.”  It is the part of the prayer “Holy art Thou O God…” Who is the Trisagion address to?  (Trinity? Christ?)

  • According to our church (oriental churches), it is address to “God the Son” – These are characteristics of Christ.  Christ is God, Christ is Almighty, Christ is Immortal.
  • “Crucified for us” – was added by Patriach Peter Fuller.
  • FYI – in the Eastern Orthodox tradition it is take as addressed to Holy Trinity. They also don’t have “crucified for us


  • In use before the council of Chalcedon (AD 451)
  • Tradition is this is what Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea heard the angels say when they were taking Jesus’s body.


You may have heard “Qaadishat Aloho, Qaadishat hylsono, Qaadishat lomoyooso, Desthlebdh halophain esrahamelain”:

Associated Homework: here

Leave a Reply