As we have been learning in the past several weeks, there are several good and helpful prayer methods. These can help you as you learn to pray more effectively and more extensively. The frequency, length and satisfaction of our prayers can all be improved by using a pattern, or a system, to give our prayers consistency. One of these methods is based on the Lord's Prayer.
Developed about 20 years ago, this pattern will take that familiar prayer and help you use it for your spiritual growth and consistency in prayer. The Lord's Prayer is broken into an outline that gives guidance for prayer. Try praying in each of the following areas:
- Our Father in heaven hallowed be thy name. The basic idea behind this prayer element is praise and worship, but we can also emphasize the name of God. There are several names given to God in the Old Testament. You can do a study of those Hebrew names and their meanings to get a deeper understanding of how you might praise God.
- Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. This is not a mark of resignation, but rather a faithfulness to the will of God. We should understand that God's kingdom is the most important thing and pray for his will in our lives and the lives of those that we know and love.
- Give us our daily bread. We all need to be reminded that all we have comes from God. He is the one who sustains us in everything. We need to ask him to meet our needs and the needs of others. This also implies a dependent relationship. Christians, and others, too often try to live life on their own. We need to realize that we need God.
- Forgive us as we forgive others. An important and significant part of all these prayer models is repentance. Jesus reminds us to repent and turn from our sin. But he also charges us to forgive others as well. Notice that he does not say anything about whether are not they repent to us...
- Lead us not into temptation. There are many Christians who stumble every day simply because they were not prepared when temptation came. Ephesians 6 discusses the Whole Armor of God and how important it is to protect yourself from attacks from the enemy. Pray that you will be protected from all sorts of temptation in every form that comes along.
- Thine is the Kingdom... Jesus model prayer ends where it began, with praise to God. Tell God how great he is and remind yourself of how valuable he is for your life. Worship him with your whole heart.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Strengthen me this day that I may faithfully serve you. Cleanse me that I may be a blessing to the world. Anoint me that others may see you through me. Amen.