Prayer is something all Christians can find challenging. Martin Luther’s suggestion of a simple way to pray is quite interesting and may be helpful for those who need some guidance. Luther recommends to pray through the Lord’s prayer once as described in Matthew, chapter 6, verses 9-13, and then to go back and pray through each verse, and expand upon them.
A simple example for a simple way to pray
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
These words reveal an opportunity to praise God for all that He is doing in the world, and in your life. It’s also an opportunity to just praise God in general. In conversations I have had with people about prayer, some have said that this part is difficult. Perhaps they are not people who are good with words, or perhaps there are no words sufficient enough to describe God’s glory. I find that the book of Psalms is a good inspiration for anybody who struggles in this area.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.
This verse relates to praying for God’s will to be done all over the world, in the lives of your family, friends, the church, and in your own life. Many of Paul’s letters reflect this, and are a good example of what it means to be praying for God’s will to be done.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
One could say, “Thank you Lord for providing for me, and allowing me to have the food and drink I need to survive. Thank you that I have enough, so that I am not tempted to steal from others in order to provide for my daily and necessary needs”.
We should also thank God for forgiving us for our sins, and ask that the Spirit continues to work in us, so that we can forgive others more easily, especially if this is something one finds challenging.
But deliver us from evil.
We struggle with sin on a daily basis and there may even be a particular sin that is causing us to regularly stumble. There could even be people who we struggle to love, or who may even want to do us harm. We should ask God to protect us from whatever evil presence there is in our lives, and ask for the strength and wisdom needed in order to combat it.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen.
In this closing prayer, one could present any final petitions to God and rest on the fact that God is in control of everything as the all-powerful and glorious one, forever. One can acknowledge that while we can do what we can through wisdom and discernment, the end result is up to God, and for this we should praise Him.
Isabelle White is the Vice President Development and Publicity Officer of the ZEST Evangelical Service which operates a mission school, and facilitates the training of pastors in Vinukonda, India. Isabelle is a member of New Life Christian Church in Sydney, Australia and currently works as a French and English teacher. Isabelle was also a local government councillor at Blacktown City Council during 2012-2016.
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