Most of us have heard or prayed the Lord’s Prayer at one time or another. Why do we pray the Lord’s Prayer? What is the significance for Christians and when should we use it?

Why Do We Pray the Lord's Prayer?

What is the Lord’s Prayer?

The Lord’s prayer is a prayer that Jesus used as a way of instructing His followers about how to pray. Read the passage from Matthew 6:

 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 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.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:5-15

I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.

Here is the prayer as it is prayed in churches today:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen

Note that in the Catholic church does not add “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever”, which is often added in other Protestant churches. In many Catholic churches, these words are spoken in the liturgy soon after. For more information on the ending to the Lord’s Prayer, click here.

The Bible is not a book about what God did, but about what God does.What is Prayer?

Simply put, prayer is communication with God. The concept of prayer can feel a bit overwhelming if you haven’t done it in awhile or on a regular basis. That’s okay – any relationship feels a bit awkward as you are getting to know someone, and this is about you getting to know Jesus and communicating with Him on a regular basis.

There’s no right or wrong way to pray, and all methods you use are prayer when you are talking to God. Pray out loud or silently, pray to yourself or with a group, write down your prayers or only speak them, use pre-written prayers or speak from the heart — all of these are acceptable ways to pray.

When should you pray? The answer is, “as often as possible.” Consider this quote, “He who doesn’t pray in regular times and regular places, probably doesn’t pray at all.” All people tend to get distracted by the business of life and forget to pray. Check out 9 Ways to Include Prayer in a Busy Day and also the following list.

Here are some ideas for regular times to pray:

  • Pray in the morning.
  • Pray before meals.
  • Pray before you go to bed.
  • Pray with your children.
  • Pray with your spouse.
  • Pray with your Christian friends.
  • Pray with people who may not be Christians.
  • Use printed prayers.

(Prayer ideas from Getting to Know Jesus, P. Schult, p.96)

Why Pray?

The Bible shares God’s story throughout history, but the story is also important to you individually. Jesus died on the cross for you and God desires to have a personal, important relationship with you. Prayer is an important way to build this relationship.

Prayer is one of the greatest gifts God gives you because it gives you the opportunity to come before the God who created the universe and bring your problems, praises, thanksgiving, and requests.

Don’t be afraid to engage and grow into a deep and meaningful prayer life with God.

How do you stay connected to God through prayer?

Getting to Know Jesus Online Bible Study

As we continue through our study of the book Getting to Know Jesus, we focus in this lesson on the Lord’s Prayer and the prayer life of a Christian.

Much discussion takes place in our Getting to Know Jesus Facebook group. Come and join us there for new discussion weekly. (Bonus: The author joins us in the group, too!)

While you are welcome to join in the discussion no matter what, I encourage you to purchase the book and read along for maximum benefit. You can purchase the book Getting to Know Jesus here in print or Kindle version.

Getting to Know Jesus: Using the Six Core Teachings of the Bible to Grow in a Deeper Relationship with JesusGetting to Know Jesus: Using the Six Core Teachings of the Bible to Grow in a Deeper Relationship with Jesus

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