This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” — Matthew 6:9-13
For some of you, prayer might be a brand-new thing you are just getting into. Others of you have been praying for years. To put it simply, prayer is a conversation between you and God. Jesus made it possible through His sacrificial death, so you could directly connect to a holy, perfect God.
Prayer is a two-way conversation. You can hear God in your heart, but you can also read the Bible since it is full of God’s words for you.
Just as you learn and grow through conversations with your friends, the same is true of your relationship with God.
The more you talk to Him, the better you get to know Him.
And conversations with Him influence all other conversations.
The good news is that Jesus taught us how to pray. It isn’t complicated. And you get better at it the more you practice. Like gymnastics. (I mean, I was always terrible at gymnastics, but I learned how to do a cartwheel and penny-drop into the foam pit — that counts for something, right?) Just start by praying the words Jesus modeled for us to pray. Then add in areas that are important to you — sick relatives, heartache, questions about what to do, thanking Him for all the good things in your life.
There are tons of great verses in the Bible about prayer — use BibleGateway.com to search “pray,” “prayer,” or “praying.” (Or you can refer to our blog post here on FaithGateway, 20 Bible Verses about Prayer)
TALK TO GOD
Dear God, I want to hear You. I want to talk to You. I want prayer to become more important to me every day. Thank You for being a living God who I can talk to. Teach me how to pray.
Write out the Lord’s Prayer (verses above) in your journal, on your blog, or on note cards to hang in your room. Just put it somewhere and read it over and over. Use this prayer as a guide to get your conversation started.
Everyone has moments where it’s hard to find the right words to pray. The good news? The Lord’s Prayer is not only a great passage to pray directly from the Bible, it can be used as a model that helps you to really connect with God.
I do it a lot to jumpstart my own prayers, either out loud or in my journal. For example:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name,
I think You’re great, God. I worship You. Your Name is holy.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Yeah, there are just some things going on, God, that I’m asking for you to step in — like my friend’s dad being sick. I pray You would heal him, that Your will would be done. I’m also trying to decide about which project to take next — I want to do whatever is best, whatever is Your will. Will you reveal that to me?
Give us today our daily bread.
It’s the end of the month and I’m just not sure I’m going to have enough money, God. But I trust You to provide for me. Please help me to have enough money to get through this last week.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Ugh. This is hard for me today because I’m so mad at Susan and how she was talking bad about Karen. I just don’t want to be nice to her or be around her. Forgive my hard heart. I know You’ve forgiven me — help me to forgive her.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
God, it’s super hard to stay away from temptation when it is ALL AROUND ME. Would You protect me? Show me the way out of tempting situations and how I can run the other direction.
* * *
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name…” (Add your personal part here)
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”
“Give us today our daily bread…”
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…”
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…”
We would love to hear from you about how you use the Lord’s prayer in your conversations with God. Please join the conversation on our blog! ~ Devotionals Daily