You are in good company! Jesus’s disciples didn’t know how to pray. They were hanging around Jesus day and night for years and I’m sure that was a bit intimidating. Can you imagine praying with Jesus? I mean, really.
Jesus starts the prayer. The Holy Spirit falls. Incredible things happen. “Okay, Peter. Your turn.” (insert cricket chirping.)
Actually, the disciples REALLY wanted Jesus to teach them to pray. They figured there was a secret to it and they wanted to know first hand from the man who could raise the dead.
Jesus introduced them to The Lord’s Prayer. This is more of a basic outline which shows us how to pray and how to approach God’s throne. This can be recited and memorized, but it is more meant to be a model of how to talk to God.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.”
(Here we just acknowledge that God is our Father and that he is in heaven. We lift up his holy name. When you pray, lifting up the name of The Lord is very powerful. His name, the name of Jesus, is above all other names. It moves mountains. It is the very reason we can go into God’s throne room in prayer. In fact, Jesus even says in his last prayer in the garden, ‘Keep them safe by the name that you have given me.’ Jesus even prays in the power of his own name. So, if he does it, then we should pray in the name of Jesus, too! At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess! Jesus told his disciples to “Pray to the Father in my name.” )
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
(It’s totally legit to pray this with passion. You can even add in people’s names to this. “God, your kingdom come in my life! Let your kingdom be built in my family and in my town. God, build your kingdom in our nation. Jesus came to establish his Father’s kingdom. This is his heart’s cry. Agree with it! Ask and you will receive. Is there a marriage that is rocky? “God, build your kingdom in my marriage. Let your will be done in my marriage as it is in heaven.” OR “God, have your will in my heart. Take control of my heart and my life. Your will be done in my life and in my family as it is in heaven!”)
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
(This is a place where so many people do not understand that God is a God of provision. We fret and worry over the things we need. Women fret over wedding plans and if they will have enough food for the guests. Jesus was at a wedding and when they ran out of wine, he made more out of water. God is in the business of providing for his family. Frequently, I will pray at dinner time for God to provide for the needs of the persecuted church or the poor around the world. When we pray give us this day our daily bread, we are reaching into God’s heart and asking our daddy to take care of us. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, God says that if a child asks his father for bread, will he give him a stone? If he asks him for fish, will he give him a snake? No! If we who are evil give good gifts to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts and the Holy Spirit to those who ask?!” Pray for God’s provision!)
“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
(Here is a pivotal place in the prayer. Asking forgiveness for sin. Many people in Christendom just kick themselves when they sin. They think, “I’ll do better next time!” But, Jesus teaches us to ask forgiveness for our sins. Be sure when you sin that you are going to the throne of grace immediately! Oh, and BTW…when you get there, be sure to give up your unforgiveness to God. This is also an act of obedience. We don’t wait to forgive for when we feel like it, we forgive out of obedience, in the name of Jesus! Jesus makes repentance and forgiveness a regular part of regular everyday prayers. Repentance and forgivness should not rest on our feelings or a whim.)
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
(“God, please help me! I am so tempted by such and such sin. It has such a grip on me. I need you to lead me not to this sin, but to help me to overcome. Also, deliver me from Satan, Lord God.” This is even a good time to stand against Satan, in the name of Jesus. If you are struggling with habitual sin or a temptation you can’t shake, like the temptation to be bitter, or to lust or to lie, be sure to take on the enemy in spiritual warfare! Satan, be gone, in Jesus name!)
“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, amen!”
Be sure to end your prayer time acknowledging God’s power and how finite we are. Give God the glory!
These are a few passages. This is a guideline Jesus gave the disciples. Learn to pray! There is power in prayer! Share with a friend who needs encouragement in their prayer life.