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A Framework for Prayer





 
The Lord s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 was given to the disciples and the people in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Today it is often recited word for word, but the prayer also makes a wonderful framework on which to build our own prayers.

Below is the Lord's Prayer, as written in Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV).

"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."

Let s look at it, line by line, with some additional information added.

Our Father in heaven,
We are praying to our Father, because we are His children, not just His creations. Notice it says Our Father . He is the father of many people, not just the one that is praying. We are one body, one family, and one church. We should pray for others, therefore, as well as for ourselves.

hallowed be your name,
Although He is our father, we should not think of Him in a sentimental way. He is holy. We want to treat his name as holy. His name should be considered holy among mankind. As we begin to pray, we should praise Him. Praise can come spontaneously, or be paraphrased from scripture.

your kingdom come,
We are praying for Christ s return and God's perfect rule to begin on Earth. We ask Him for help in our daily lives, but at the same time pray that we do not become distracted by the cares of this world. We must stay mindful that our ultimate goal is to live our lives in such a way that we are part of God s kingdom, when it comes.

your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We are echoing what Jesus said in Luke 22:42. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (NIV) We want God to help us in our lives: in our family, in our work, in our friendships, in the world around us. However, we pray for His will to be done in our lives. We don t want our pride and selfish desires to get in the way of us recognizing and doing the will of God in our corner of the world.

Give us today our daily bread.
Notice again the word us . We are praying not only for ourselves, but for others as well. We are praying for our basic needs to be met, whatever they may be: food, necessities, a home, peace, safety, work, family, friends, etc. We should pray that other people we come in contact with have these things as well.

Forgive us our debts,
We confess our daily sins to God, and ask for forgiveness.

as we also have forgiven our debtors.
In our prayers, as we ask for daily forgiveness, we must also give forgiveness to others who have wronged us in some way that day.

And lead us not into temptation,
We ask God to keep us from failing when we are tested by temptations, and to help us to know the right thing to do. We might be aware of specific challenges that we will be faced with that day, and ask for God s help so that we will be successful in our struggle with sin.

but deliver us from the evil one.
We pray that we do not give in to temptation, but understand that sometimes we will fail. If that happens, we pray that God will protect us, and provide us with a way out of our troubles, and thus protect us from Satan.

We are told: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Cor. 10:13 NIV)

Many Christians finish their prayer with In Jesus name, Amen.

So, in summary, when we pray, we can keep the Lord s Prayer in mind, and use it as a guide and a framework when speaking to God.

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K Reynolds+ (@kreynolds)

  When I was a young girl, my mom would teach a lesson on The Lord's Prayer to children. I was taught that it is, like you said, a framework for prayer and I have used it as such all of my life.

There is one other observation I would like to mention, if I may. I don't think you will mind. :D

The Lord's Prayer opens with recognizing God for who He is and giving praise to Him. By the same token, it ends this way as well. This was something else which made a lasting impression on me and I have made it a practice to begin and end my prayers in like manner. I'm not saying that God does not hear an abrupt cry for help but when possible, I think this helps me get both my mind and my heart in the right place. It reminds me of who I am praying to and shifts my primary focus off of me and my needs and onto God. I think this is important.

Blessings!

K :princess:



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