“The prayer to Our Father is inserted into the mysterious mission of the Son and of the Spirit.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 2766
A quick overview
This retreat focuses on the Lord’s Prayer. The sessions, if done in order, will actually unpack the Our Father, but in reverse.
We begin by focusing on the final petitions of personal temptation and deliverance and work our way back through the prayer until we arrive as one united body beckoning “Our Father.”
Many of the ideas and suggestions within the retreat play into this “reverse” theme. You’ll be asked to do things backwards from time to time. These are suggestions only and can be omitted. The purpose, however, is intentional. Sometimes we need to do things differently to change not only our perspective on things, but also our habitual approach. In other words, one of the most effective ways to “de-program” a teen from merely reciting a prayer like the Lord’s Prayer is to slow down, intentionally look at each piece and begin again (re-program).
The focus of this retreat
The Lord’s Prayer is one of the greatest gifts we were given by Christ. It is the perfect prayer. Our entire lives could be spent meditating on it and we would still not scratch the surface of its divine depths. A more intentional and prayerful approach to the Lord’s Prayer for your teens will pave the way to a far more intimate and robust prayer life in their college and adult years.
This retreat gets back to some of the basics of the Christian life:
- God’s love and mercy
- Our need to rely more on God and to trust Him
- His desire for our lives
- Our struggles living for Him
- His desire for intimacy with us
The teens will encounter Christ’s prayer in new ways and, most likely, have some of their concepts regarding our Heavenly Father shattered in the process. Not only will they be praying the Lord’s Prayer differently by Sunday, they’ll probably never pray it the same way again. When
we pause long enough to focus on the “Our Father,” we allow God to radically change our relationship with Him and one another.
Basis for this retreat
The sessions are based on the new book, The “R” Father (by Life Teen’s Mark Hart). You’ll find the sessions within this retreat cross-referenced with chapters from The “R” Father. These are listed as a suggestion to aid and equip your Core Members in their preparation.
Obviously, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is an invaluable aid in preparing for this retreat, specifically articles 2777-2865. Additionally, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s book Jesus of Nazareth has incredible insight into the Lord’s Prayer (chapter 5, specifically).