The Lord’s Prayer is one of Jesus’ gifts to his disciples. But while it’s helpful to just pray the words he gave us, it’s also important to use them as a guide to teach us how to pray in general. Here is one way to use the Lord’s Prayer as a model for our prayers. It’s a great way to start praying on our own (many of us were never really taught how and it can be difficult to know where to start). It can also serve as a helpful way to organise our daily prayers or as a way of checking to see how much our prayers follow the model that Jesus has given.
Our Father in heaven,
Reflect on the fact that God loves us like a parent and wants to have a relationship with each one of us.
Hallowed be your name,
Take a moment to praise God. You may want to praise God for the created world, for God’s justice and mercy, for the gift of Jesus, or for God’s goodness in your own life.
Your kingdom come,
Pray for God to transform the world, to bring it more fully under his rule. You may want to pray for peace, for justice, for more compassion, for an end to poverty and sickness. You can pray for any global or local situation that you would like God to set right.
Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Pray for people to do God’s will. Start with yourself. Ask for God’s help to understand what he is calling you to do and for the help to do it.
Give us today our daily bread.
Take a moment to pray for your own needs, the needs of your family, friends, as well as those of our church.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
You may want to pray for general sins (ie. not loving God and our neighbours as much as we should) or you may want to offer up specific sins that are on your heart. Ask for God’s help to become more patient and forgiving towards others in general. Take a moment to consider if there is someone you need God’s help to forgive.
Save us from the time of trial
Pray about those things that worry you, things that make your life difficult, things that cause your pain or struggle, and things that test your ability to do the right thing.
And deliver us from evil.
Ask for God’s protection from the evil in the world.Pray that others would receive this same protection.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.
For a printable copy of this post click the link below. I have also included a simplified version that parents can use with their children.