Somewhere around 1997 or 1998, after a conversation with my brother David, I began to think in a new way about the Lord’s Prayer – and about prayer in general. I began to see the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern of prayer given by Jesus to his disciples.
Around that same time I began a “Prayer Group” with some college students from the College of William & Mary, who had been coming out to our church. We began to pray through each section of the Lord’s Prayer. I began to write out “Prayer Services”. I collected prayers and Scriptures and listed them where I felt they fit under each section of the prayer. Then we would read theses Scriptures or prayers and a few people (as many as wanted to) would pray extemporaneously. Each service would begin with a few introductory statements on prayer. We would read them aloud – each person in turn around our circle – and then have a time of silent meditation for a minute or so. I offer an early version of the basic outline of our service below…
Praying Through the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in Heaven
- Ask God to give you the grace to pray.
- Thank God, “for our creation, preservation and all the blessings of this life”.
- Thank God for calling us to be His children.
- Thank God for his love and provision for us through Jesus Christ.
- Thank God that he is a perfect Father who always seeks our best.
Hallowed be Your Name
- Pray that God will protect us from treating his name in an unholy way.
- Pray that God would open our understandings to the mystery of holiness.
- Pray that God would make the holiness of his name known at school, in this community, in the world.
- Pray that God would empower and enable us to be a holy people.
- (pray for specific areas of holiness, our speech, self-control, joy, love for others, purity, etc.)
May Your Kingdom Com
- Pray for revival in the local churches.
- Pray for the lost (by name).
- Pray for healing and reconciliation among believers of different races and backgrounds.
- Pray for missionaries and the people they minister to.
- * Pray for the return of Jesus Christ and the renewal of all things.
Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven
- Pray that God will make his will clear to any who are in confusion or who have difficult decisions.
- Pray for the grace to be obedient to God’s clearly revealed will.
- Pray for the grace to love the things God loves.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
- Pray for your own needs or for the needs of others.
- Pray for the poor, the homeless, the orphans and widows, those suffering and starving because of the sin of others or because of a fallen situation.
- Pray for opportunities to be generous.
- Pray that God would lead us into a deeper communion with Christ.
- Pray that God might increase our joy of knowing Christ.
Forgive Us Our Sins as We Forgive Those who have Sinned Against Us
- Confess and ask forgiveness for sin (silently or out loud).
- Confess the sin of the church – of our nation.
- Pray for the grace and power of God to forgive enemies.
- Pray for any who are bitter or angry.
Lead Us Not into Temptation but Deliver Us from the Evil One
- Pray for the power of God to overcome our evil desires and appetites.
- Pray for deliverance for the church from materialism, selfishness, pride, envy, lust, greed, etc.
- Pray for God’s protection on the church – the local churches.
- Pray for God’s Spirit to overcome your school or place of work and for many to be saved, restored or healed.
Our prayer service has continued on a weekly basis through the years. The focus has shifted from students to the congregation of our church. But I have found the experience of praying weekly through the Lord’s pattern of prayer to be life changing.
After some years, I was encouraged to write down my thoughts about the Lord’s Prayer in a book. However, my desire was and is to make these insights available without cost. For that reason, I have decided to put them here on the Peace Hill Sermon Blog. My prayer is that they would be a blessing to the church.
Pete Bauer, 8-29-2012