One day, Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). He then taught them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” Yet people today still wonder how to pray, even though the Lord’s Prayer has been recited for centuries. Could we have missed something?
Did Jesus really mean for us to recite this prayer verbatim? After all, Matthew records that He rebuked those who “recite vain repetitions” (6:7). Could He have been teaching them (and us) the points to include when we pray as opposed to something to repeat over and over?
Whether or not Jesus was teaching prayer points or a prayer to recite, it may help us to ponder what each part of the prayer means for us. I teach this in detail in the book Pursuing Prayer,* but let me show you an example here of how we can use The Lord’s Prayer as a guide when we pray. We can do this for any circumstances in our lives, but in the following, I have used each part to show how we can pray The Lord’s Prayer for America.
Pray then like this… Matthew 6:9
- Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name – This is worship. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). Remember all He has done in America and thank Him for this wonderful country. Remember He is our Father, Creator, and He is holy. Pray that His holy name would be known and glorified. Pray that we Americans would love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27) as God intended and as those who risked everything to birth this country did.
- Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – Pray for believers to be lights and to show what His kingdom is like; for love and unity in the church and in this country. Pray His will to be established in our land; for religious freedom; for Israel, Afghanistan, etc.; for the life of the unborn. Pray for awakening and revival to come to this land and spread throughout the world.
- Give us this day our daily bread – Pray for the needs of those who are hurting and in need; that our country would continue to bless other nations and be a shining city on a hill to the rest of the world. Pray for God to provide protection in our land and that no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). Pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- Forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors – Confess that we have fallen far short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). In light of 2 Chronicles 7:14, ask God to show where we might personally need repentance. As you confess and repent of specific sins, ask that He will forgive our sins and cleanse our hearts and our land of unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Thank Him for His mercy and grace, and ask for mercy and grace to extend to others, including those in our government who we may not agree with. Ask for help that no sin or unforgiveness would hinder our prayers (Psalm 66:18).
- Lead us not into temptation – Seek His help to not be tempted to participate in the sins of our land, to not be conformed to the patterns of this world; ask for renewed minds (Romans 12:2) and Godly desires (Romans 13:14). In light of what was confessed and repented of above, pray we would resist the devil so he will flee (James 4:7).
- Deliver us from evil – Pray that He would frustrate the plans of the wicked (Job 5:12), and what our enemies mean for evil God will turn for our good (Genesis 50:20). Pray for justice, that any corruption will be revealed and dealt with, that truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). Pray that the wicked will be caught in the schemes they devise for others (Psalm 10:2); that God will not let the wicked rule over us (Psalm 125:3).
- For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory – The Lord’s Prayer begins and ends with worship. He is able (Ephesians 3:20)! Let’s pray that His kingdom, power and glory would be manifest in our country and in the earth! Show us Your glory, Lord (Exodus 33:18). In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
What would you add to this prayer for America? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
How can you personalize the different parts of the Lord’s Prayer for your own situations?
Let’s continue to pray for America!
Don’t miss my next post where I will have a guest blogger who will tell you how you truly ARE the Proverbs 31 woman! In her book Strength of a Woman, Lauren Crews explains her in a way you’ve never heard it. So be sure not to miss it by signing up here, and when you do you can download my free ebook, Pursuing Prayer Devotion and Coloring Page.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
*Would you like to enrich your prayer life and discover more of the life-changing power of prayer, for such a time as this? Learn about the multi award-winning book Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in A Busy World at pennycookeauthor.com/my-books/. Pursuing Prayer uses an acrostic for PRAYER to teach the parts of the Lord’s Prayer and why they are important to use today in making our prayers more effective.
Purchase Pursuing Prayer here: Amazon
If you would like to consider Pursuing Prayer for your Bible study group, you can get a multiple-copy discount here: newhopepublishers.com