I heard a sermon more than ten years ago that explained how the very simple “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13) could serve as an outline for making prayer requests. That teaching has stayed with me to this day, and it has become a guideline for my prayer life. Since I am deep in prayer for some loved ones, I thought I would share how this prayer sustains me in times like this.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name
When we open with this statement, we honor God – and the Bible tells us often that he likes to be praised. I also use this time to praise and thank God for the blessings he has bestowed upon our family – it’s wonderful for my soul to just start with gratitude.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
This is where I put in my request. It’s a great reminder that this is just our temporary home, and that we are striving for our heavenly home. Whatever I ask, I recognize that I am asking what I will; beyond that, I ask God to help me accept his will for what is going to happen in answer to prayer.
Give us this day our daily bread,
This is where I ask God to grant me whatever tools I need to get through this day, and if I am praying for someone else, that they will also be granted whatever resources they need for the day ahead.
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
What a great opportunity to inventory – what sins do I need to let go and allow myself to release the guilt so that I can walk forward in peace? Who do I need to forgive for real or imagined transgressions so that I can walk forward in even more peace?
Lead us not into temptation,
Especially when I am hurting, I pray for release from the temptation to blame God or question his will. I also pray for protection from the temptations of doing things the easy way (i.e., as a mother: yelling is a great temptation – it’s easy! I pray that instead, I will breath first and take stock of a situation before I speak)
and deliver us from evil.
Here I pray for protection for our family and friends – may we be under God and the angels loving care for the whole day.
This part is not in the Bible, but I still say it since it’s part of the Lord’s Prayer song I learned as a child…
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
Back to praise – and a great reminder that we are under his care, and that he does all things for the good of his children, whether we like the answer or not.
My dad also sent me this verse today…sharing it here in case it will lift someone else up:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
– Deuteronomy 31:6-8, NIV