CITIZENS LA

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him how they should pray. It is not really an instructional manual as much as it is a portrait of Jesus’ heart. And as uncomplicated as the Lord’s Prayer is, it is so countercultural because every single bit of it challenges our assumptions about who we are and who God is and what the world is like. The prayer as a whole tells us we stand in a very vulnerable place — in the middle of a human world full of crisis, uncertainty, and evil where the way of God is not the normative way of life. To be able to stand with confidence and hope in such a world, we desperately need to remember that we have a father in heaven who is holy, sovereign, and good.

Purpose

  • To provide a simple model for prayer that is easily remembered and practiced.
  • To help us develop certain patterns of thinking, feeling, and believing that allow us to live each day in the gospel.

1.

Put away your phones or any other distractions, and get into a comfortable, but alert position.

2.

Invite the Holy Spirit to come.

3.

Pray through the Lord’s prayer, like this…

“Our Father…”

Take a moment and think about the idea of God as your Father, with good intentions toward you. If you want, imagine God in your mind’s eye. Picture his face. Make eye contact with him.

“In heaven…”

Take a moment to think about the idea that God is all around you. As you breathe in and out, imagine yourself breathing in and out more of the Holy Spirit.

“Hallowed by your name…”

Spend a few minutes just sitting with the Father in joyful, grateful, worship. You might want to sit in silence for a few moments. Or sing a chorus. Or rattle off a list of things you’re grateful for. Or praise God with specific things you love about him.

If you are in a group, encourage people to make their expressions of praise and gratitude out loud, one at a time. (E.g. “Father, thank you for your kindness.” “Father, thank you for loving me.”)

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”

Spend a few minutes asking for God’s will to be done in your city/church/community/life.

Think of specific things to pray for.

One at a time, spend time as group verbally giving to God specific things in your life that you’re wrestling with control over. A simple prayer of, “Your will be done in ______," is a great place to start.

“Give us each day our daily bread…”

Spend a few minutes praying for specific needs and wants in your life or that of your community (this is a great time to pray through your “prayer cards”!).

This is also a great time to pray over specific people in the community who need something: a job, healing, wisdom to make a decision, etc. Get them in the middle of the room and pray over them.

If you are in a group, consider splitting into groups of 2-3 and having each person share one area of need in their life. After each person has shared, pray for one another, asking God to meet that need.

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…”

Spend a few minutes in quiet asking God for forgiveness for specific areas in your life, and releasing others to forgiveness.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Spend a few minutes praying against temptation (the word can also be translated trouble) in your life.

Pray against specific sins….

Pray against any kind of evil - spiritual evil (demonic), human evil, natural evil, etc.

Pray against bad things in your life or community, and for God’s blessing - the divine flow of good things into your your life and community.

4.

Close in a prayer of gratitude to the Father for hearing you.