If you’ve ever been to a real traditional church, you most likely have stood and repeated the Lord’s Prayer. Even contemporary churches will do this on occasion. But did Jesus actually intend for us to use His words or just follow His template?
The problem with simply using His words is very much like the problem with plagiarism. There may be truth in the words you say. You may have taken time to research and find just the right words to use… but they’re still not your words. When you take the time to research ideas and then convert them into your own words, you first have to internalize the meaning and analyze the application in order to create your own words to mean the same thing.
Jesus did not intend for us to simply recite His words, He simply provided a model, a template, for us to follow. If we take the ideas behind the Lord’s Prayer but use our own words, it has so much more meaning.
Jesus’ instruction about how to pray was not about the words to use, but the method to pray. ““And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:” (Matt 6:7-9) Then His prayer actually says nothing about what you are ‘asking for’ since as He said, ‘your Father knows what you need before you ask’. Instead, the “Lord’s Prayer” is all about the condition of your heart and not the words that you say.
So when you pray, focus more on the condition of your heart than your petition itself.
Lord, thank you so much for adopting me. Thank you for dying on the cross for me and always providing for everything I need. I know sometimes I forget that you will always provide but I know in my heart you always will. You have forgiven me of so much and I work hard to forgive others in the same way. Help me to remember your endless grace and return that grace to others.
Thank you for protecting me from the enemy and his scheming ways. Your Word is my shield. My thoughts and needs are known to you already and I know you hear my prayers even before I voice them. Amen.
Our prayers should be an extension of our worship and not just coming to Him in petition.
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