Thoughts on The Lord’s Prayer

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

 

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