There have been so many times in my life that I sit down to have my devotional time and have absolutely no direction. It could be the result of a couple of different reasons. I might have just finished up a book of the Bible or a reading plan and don’t know what to read next or I just don’t have the energy to really dig into the Bible that day. All of those things are ok and please don’t get discouraged if you have days that that; we all do! I don’t know if this is actually a “method” or not to study the Bible but I developed this for myself on days where I don’t really want to read the Bible and pray, or days that I don’t know what to pray or what to read. This is called The Lord’s Prayer Method.
The Lord’s Prayer is found in the book of Luke. I think this scripture gets taken a little bit out of context. I grew up in church but I knew this prayer by heart because it was pinned up on relatives refrigerators and I remember people reciting it but I had no clue what it meant. It wasn’t until college that I realized that the Lord’s Prayer was more than something we were supposed to chant. We read in the book of Luke that the disciples and other followers of Jesus were all hanging out and listening to Jesus teach. One of the disciple asked Jesus ““Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” 2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
Jesus told his despises to pray like this. What Jesus did not say was to pray exactly this. People have taken this to mean recite this prayer word for word and you are good. I believe Jesus’ heart behind this prayer was to model a way that we are able to pray.
How I use this as a devotional, is I pray it! I don’t just recite the prayer, but I will take the prayer apart, line by line, and pray through it! This is a really good tool for me for when I don’t know what to pray. Jesus told us to pray like this so it is a really great place to start if you don’t know how to pray.
I am going to explain the prayer, line by line, so we all know what the meaning is, then I am going to go back through and give you an example of how to pray through this. I would recommend using your journal to write this in. It might help to have two different colored pens; one to write the line from the Lord’s Prayer, and the other to write down your prayers!
#1: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
To start your prayer, Jesus is having us recognize who God is in your life. He is our Father God! He wants us to address Him like we would our own dads. “Hallowed” means holy, revered and honored. God is our Father but His name is also holy. To start, take some time to recognize who God is to you and bring honor to Him.
#2: Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we get to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven, or God’s kingdom. But we don’t have to wait around to die to see the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is here on the earth because we have been given the Holy Spirit. We get to experience the kingdom of God now, here on the earth, and later in it’s fullness in heaven. When we pray this section of the prayer, it is aligning yourself with what God wants to do. Pray that you will see God move in your life and have full control in your life just like in heaven.
#3. Give us this day our daily bread.
God wants to provide our needs for us. He will supply us with our physical needs such as food and security, but also our spiritual needs. This is not saying that God will only supply you with what you need, like food, shelter, water, and the Bible. No, God is a loving God and wants us to live an abundant life (Read John 10:10). He wants us to pray for all of our needs, no matter how big or how small!
#4: And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
This is not the time to just write out a list of all the bad that you have done. Jesus is loving and He forgave us for everything we did, past, present, and future (read Isaiah 1:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and 1 John 1:9). Jesus wants us to acknowledge that since we have been forgiven for so much that we are able to forgive so much! Is there any bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart that you need to release? Pray through that and thank the Lord for how much He loves and forgives you!
#5: And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
The evil one is our enemy. God will lead us from temptation and will keep us protected. He wants us to go to Him in prayer that we would not fall into sin when we are tempted and that we would be protected from the enemy’s attacks.
I am now going to show you what my journal would look when I use this method.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Lord thank you for being my heavenly Father. Thank you for being so big to create everything and being so intimate that you are my Father. Lord thank you that you are holy and powerful. Lord I praise your name because it is the name above all names! Lord you are so good and you are so wonderful!
Your kingdom come, your will be done, as earth as it is in heaven.
Lord I pray that your will be done in my life today. Lord I pray that whatever I am trying to do out of my own plans and efforts will just get back into the right direction of following your plans and purposes for my life. Lord I praise you for your kingdom and I pray that you will use me today for kingdom work.
Give us this day our daily bread
Lord thank you that you supply my needs, physically and spiritually. Lord I pray that you will take care of my needs that I can’t see how they will work out but I know they will. Lord I surrender my needs and my wants to you because I know you have what is best for me.
And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
Lord thank you for forgiving my sins and every time I mess up. Lord I pray that I would give myself the same grace that you give me. Lord I pray that you will teach me to give grace to others when they wrong me.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Lord I pray that you will keep me safe form the enemy’s attacks. Lord I pray that when temptation comes that I will keep my eyes fixed on you. Lord thank you that you have won this fight against the enemy and I pray that I will walk in that victory.