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How to Use the Lord's Prayer

So, Jesus taught us to pray, but what does that mean for how we actually pray?

As we wrap up our series on the pray Jesus taught us (commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer), let consider two simple ways to incorporate this prayer into our daily lives.

First, we can pray it verbatim.

If you learned this prayer as a child, you may cringe against this suggestion. It may feel mechanic or forced. But I would encourage you to review where we’ve been and pray through it again. This time, do it slowly. Pause at each line. Meditate on what it means – what your asking and what your committing.

Think through each category.

Consider what it means to come to God as your Father. Pray about areas of your life where you’re not keeping His name holy – where you’re not upholding His reputation. Talk to Him about what it looks like for His kingdom to come in your life and confess where you’ve lived more as a citizen of this world than as a subject to the King. Ask Him to reveal His will to you – through His Word and through His Spirit.

Pray for your daily needs. Recognize that even if you are confident that your next meal has already been provided, it’s God’s provision that has sustained you. Bring Him your mental and emotional and spiritual needs. Confess your sins to Him and ask Him for forgiveness. Take stock of those who you need to forgive and ask Him for the strength to give it. Reflect upon the areas you know you’re prone to temptation and ask Him to give you what you need to resist it. Consider the areas you think you are strong and ask Him to show you where you’ve let your guard down.

Then, recommit to Him. Tell Him that you are totally dependent upon Him and you long to be totally committed to Him.

Pray “Amen” with the authority it deserves.

Second, we can pray it in conjunction with our study of God’s Word.

Choose a passage and ask the following questions.

1. What does this teach me about upholding God’s name and reputation?

2. What does this teach me about living in God’s kingdom?

3. What does this teach me about following God’s will?

4. What does this teach me about my dependence upon God?

5. What does this teach me about my sin and need for forgiveness? What does this teach me about my need to forgive others?

6. What does this teach me about my tendency towards temptation? What does this teach me about my need for rescue from the evil inside and outside of me?

Journal your notes and then use them to personalize the prayer Jesus taught us. Not ever passage you read in the Bible will cover every category. But use it as a guide. Learn to pray through the Bible the way Jesus taught us to pray.

So, one last time, let’s read that pray together.

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT)

And let me include our doxology, one last time.

For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

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