Though there are many versions and interpretations of the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer remains much the same and sets a pattern for our own prayers. Speaking to Father in Heaven should be much like speaking to someone in the room, as he is there in spirit. It should be personal, intimate, and all disclosing of the thoughts in our minds and the feelings in our hearts.
These are the words from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, taken from the King James Bible.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Breaking it down, we can discover the pattern.
After this manner therefore pray ye
Disclosing that this is the pattern or the way we are to pray, not by rote, but following these guidelines.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
We should begin our prayer by acknowledging that God is our Father in heaven and that we honor him. This is an important step in humbling yourself before him and telling him that he is our God and that we trust in his words and wisdom.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
We let him know that we understand he is still in charge, that his kingdom will roll forth and that it is his will and not our own that we are to listen and obey. It is that same authority that was, and is, used to govern his home in heaven. At this point, we should acknowledge all that he has done for us, all the bounteous blessings he has provided for our good, all the trials that he has blessed us with to learn what we need to learn, and every good thing in our lives.
Give us this day our daily bread
We petition him for our needs and the righteous desires of our hearts, not our whims or worldly desires. Our daily bread could include harmony in our homes, patience, more holiness in our speech and actions, the ability to support ourselves and our families, all the things that are daily necessities for our growth and salvation.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
We should lay before him our sins and transgressions asking for forgiveness and for the strength to forgive everyone who has wronged us. This could be financial debts, but includes so much more. This is our opportunity to repent for our weaknesses, our thoughtlessness, and our disobedience.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
We pray to him fervently for guidance in our walk and the power to overcome the evils that impede our paths. We pray that our self-mastery will be enough to conquer the adversary and keep us out of hot water.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen
We close by, once again, acknowledging that this is his kingdom and that he has all power. The glory of what we do belongs to him for all that he provides for us. We should close in the holy name of Jesus Christ, our savior and redeemer, and the only way back to our Father.
We are so blessed to know the goodness of God and the way he has prepared for us to return to him. Prayer is an essential part of that plan. Daily honest communication with our Heavenly Father keeps us in tune to the spirit, forces us to be honest with ourselves about our shortcomings, allows us to repent for them, blesses us with an accounting and acknowledgement of our many blessings which is particularly important on days when we think we have nothing, and bonds us with deity.