Many people wonder how to pray. Where do I start? How do I know how long to pray? What exactly do I say to God? If you have these questions, you might want to listen to those who have gone before us.
The disciples of Jesus wondered the same thing, asking, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1–4), and to them Jesus responded by giving them what we call the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught them, and us, how to pray using the following words:
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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. (Matt. 6:9–13 KJV)
You can simply pray these words as a whole when you pray to God, or you can use the general ideas presented by each line as a guide to your daily prayer. In this summary prayer, God is revered, and all of our requests are made known to him and all our needs met.
We pray for God’s will to be carried out, for our physical and spiritual provisions, and for protection for ourselves against our greatest foe. We conclude by offering a general doxology (praise) to God.
Jesus gave us this prayer so we would know how to speak to God the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s make full use of it!