Recently I had the joy of sharing a lesson on prayer through GraceWorks in Carson City. It’s pretty simple. Many people have heard and even know by heart The Lord’s Prayer. We can even get so used to saying it that we don’t even have to be mindful ... just rote. Kind of like The Pledge of Allegiance, if we’re not careful.
It was Jesus who gave us the prayer model, both in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. This is also what scripture says, “You don’t know how to pray as you should.” “Don’t use vain repetitions.” “Pray without ceasing ... for all men ... everywhere ... at all times.” And the disciples said, “Lord, teach us how to pray.”
I was thinking on all of this because I know I have so many times used vain repetitions, mindless words, or simply didn’t how to pray for someone specifically ... especially if someone asks me to pray for a friend of theirs or family member and I don’t have much information.
It was in talking to the Lord about all this he showed me to “Pray the Lord’s Prayer over them.” I, since this time — just a few months ago — have found this so freeing for me and satisfying I’ve done my best with what I know, and the Lord does the rest.
It’s not rote and I will just give you an example of what I’m talking about. It completely opens up prayer for individuals, situations, nations, you name it. Anyway, it does for me. Hope you are blessed by this. You can be ready in season and out of season.
The Lord is good. Plug in the name or situation as you see fit. I will just use an example of praying for pastors in Carson City:
“Our Father — we have access to your throne as your children and we come together before you — Who art in heaven — you are in the high and lifted up place of ultimate authority and so we invite you to bring your authority into this prayer... Hallowed be thy Name — the pastors in Carson need you to be their teacher, provider, strong tower, comforter, and shepherd (so many wonderful names!) — Thy kingdom come — we welcome you on their behalf to make your kingdom known to them and their congregations — Thy will be done — open their eyes to both correction and your guidance to walk in your will — On earth as it is in heaven...things are not perfect here, Lord, but it is in heaven...so use our pastors to bring your glory down to bless the people and let them walk in light.
“Give us (pastors and their flocks) this day — you say not to worry about tomorrow...our daily bread...but this day we are needy...give these pastors what they are needing as individual sons and daughters to be sustained, body, soul and spirit — and forgive us our trespasses — we all fall short of the glory of God, forgive them as you lead them to repentance by Your Holy Spirit...As we forgive those who trespass against us...and help them to forgive others both in their places of worship and with those they interact with in the community.
“Lead us not into temptation — Lord, you know all the temptations the evil one will use to try to derail your servants. Give them great discernment, and work in them both to will and to do your great pleasure. But deliver us from evil...by your mighty right hand of love and power...For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
I didn’t write that prayer out ahead of time, but just prayed it now as I typed this. See what I mean...it’s such a beautiful framework we get to fill in according to what we know, and what we know the word of God promises us. Go and be a prayer blessing to someone today...and you be blessed as you go.
S. L. Wooding fellowships at Fountainhead Foursquare Church.