For many Christians, the Lord’s Prayer is almost a standard part of weekly worship. Many of us never really had to memorize it – it just became part of our memory from sheer repetition. However, as I strive to increase my own prayer life – by adding these words to my personal prayer time I have found a renewed sense of order and spirituality.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
I have been blessed by including this prayer in a variety of ways.
- Because I include it at the beginning of my prayer time, the Lord’s prayer takes me from the happenings of the world around me, the drive into work (I do my devotions in my office), and the messages that await me and focuses me on the task of prayer. Divers know that rapidly surfacing from deep depths causes damage. In much the same way I cannot concentrate on my prayers if I dive in too quickly.
- This prayer reminds me first and last that my conversations with God are about praise. I am reminded – and convicted – that no matter what my circumstances – I must approach the throne of God in praise, in blessings, and humility. My prayer life is not – and cannot – be about me.
- The Lord’s Prayer puts my laundry list in order. “Give me this day my daily bread.” Whatever I need, whatever my family needs, whatever is on my heart about my circle of friends or colleagues – I must trust that God will provide according to His sovereignty and grace. “Thy will be done” – in all things.
- Finally, this prayer reminds me that I am able to lay hold of the promises of the Gospel only because of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. “Forgive me my debts” – and there are many so many that daily choke up my soul. Along with this forgiveness, though, comes a call to also be forgiving. I am reminded that my experience of grace is highly dependent upon the amount of grace that I show others.
If you are wrestling with your prayer life – and finding that things just get muddled as you sit down to prayer – I would encourage you to add this routine to your devotions.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen!