Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day 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 evil.
A Pattern for Prayer
The pattern for prayer that Jesus has given to you and to me exists so that we may discover peace and contentment, hope and forgiveness, truth and assurance that comes from God alone through prayer.
How simple yet deeply profound the Lord’s Prayer is, as we can see even in brief outline:
- The fatherhood of God (and his loving care for his children)
- The holiness of God (and his holy sacrifice for us)
- The kingdom of God (and his reign over all of life)
- The will of God (and his perfect plan for us)
- The provision of God (day by day for all our needs)
- The forgiveness of God (for all sins and the sins of others)
- The protection of God (from temptation and from Satan’s power)
- The reality of his kingdom, his power, and his glory forever
This prayer, by God’s grace, holds the promise of changing your life and my life—to help us live day by day and moment by moment in loving dependence on God. Think, for example, of the dramatic part the Lord’s Prayer played in overcoming evil during the tragic events of September 11, 2001—how after Todd Beamer prayed the Lord’s Prayer, “God enabled Todd and his fellow passengers on Flight 93,” as Todd’s widow Lisa Beamer writes, “to take courageous actions that undoubtedly saved many lives.”
This prayer, by God’s grace, holds the promise of changing your life and my life—to help us live day by day and moment by moment in loving dependence on God.
May we indeed be challenged and encouraged always to pray, as Lisa writes further:
On September 11, Todd’s mission on earth was completed, and he ended daring greatly. . . . Our challenge in the time remaining for us is to each day dare greatly for God, leaving lukewarm faith behind.
I covet your prayers now and in the future as my children and I face the challenges of life each day without Todd. I thank you in advance for the blessings these will bring for us.
I pray, too, as you face the challenges of each day that you will know that you are never without hope, through faith that is founded in the sovereign, loving God.1
May the greatest prayer of the Bible bring you deeper understanding of the living God, and of his power and his presence and his peace, so that you may “dare greatly for God, leaving lukewarm faith behind.” For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
1. Quoted from Lisa Beamer’s Foreword in A Reason for Hope (Wheaton, IL.: Crossway Books, 2001), pp. 10, 11
This article is adapted from the foreword to The Prayer of Our Lord by Philip Graham Ryken.
- How to Pray in Spiritual Warfare (Iain M. Duguid)
- How to Pray When You’re Feeling Apathetic about Your Faith (Michael S. Lundy)
- 4 Prayers to Pray for the Sick