and ramblings on everything in between
I grew up attending a traditional church, where the Lord’s prayer was repeated every Sunday. Most of you reading this probably know it by heart as well. It’s a well-known mantra that – honestly – I didn’t give much thought to back then. I said it because we said it.
We just wrapped up a great series on prayer and the Lord’s Prayer served as a focal piece one week. My pastor pointed out that it is “how” we should pray, not “what” we should pray. It’s a model that is meant to be personalized by us. Each line is an example of what we should focus on when we pray. When you get down to the true meaning behind each phrase, it brings a lot more depth to your conversation with God.
The simple breakdown of the prayer was moving and convicting. Weeks later, I’m still thinking about how this prayer should be used in my life.
In hopes that it brings deeper meaning to your prayers as well, here is a simple guide to praying. There are multiple ideas to show you how you can direct your thoughts throughout your prayer time. Make it your own.
Our Father in heaven,
• Acknowledge that God is your heavenly father and you have been adopted into His kingdom.
• Acknowledge the great attributes about God.
• Praise Him for being a loving, caring, and fair father.
Hallowed be your name,
• Hallowed means to be holy or set apart. Acknowledge that God is set apart from everything else in this world and in your life.
• Honor His name and His greatness.
Your kingdom come,
• Ask Him to help you prioritize what He wants you to prioritize.
• Ask for help to obey His guidance out of joy and gratefulness for all He has done.
• Tell Him you want to care about the things He cares about.
• Pray for a deeper yearning for God’s will to overtake every area of your life.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
• Express that you trust God’s plan for your life, for your family, for your community, and for our world.
• Acknowledge that your finite perspective doesn’t understand all of God’s will – but you trust Him anyway.
• Tell Him you want what He wants for your life.
Give us today our daily bread.
• Notice that it says “us” instead of “me.” God wants you to care about and pray for others in addition to yourself.
• Ask God to provide for your spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental needs.
• Pray for God to meet the daily needs of those around you – both loved ones and strangers.
• Pray for your daily needs in your relationships, your finances, your work, your ministries.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
• Ask God to forgive your sins and to help you realize when you are committing them.
• Ask God to show your where you need to grow.
• Ask God to show you which priorities need to change in your life.
• Pray that God will make you more aware of your weaknesses, idols, pride, selfishness, and envy.
• Pray that God will soften your heart to forgive others, just as He continuously forgives you.
• Ask for awareness on who you need to extend forgiveness to.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
• Notice that the prayer does not ask that you won’t be tempted, but that you won’t fall into temptation.
• Ask for strength to withstand temptation.
• Ask for wisdom to recognize when you are being tempted.
• Pray you will overcome the adversity, pain, and heartache in life – that it won’t separate you from God.
• Pray the devil will not pull you away from the life God has planned for you.
• Pray that God’s perfect earth will be restored