In Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer, one of the disciples asked Jesus, “Teach us to pray.” In response, Jesus provided a model of how to draw close to God in worship and make requests in humble dependence. Like the disciples, we’re asking God to teach us to pray. Through this Night of Prayer specific series, we’ll ask Jesus to instill in our hearts that same humility as we come to him with our praises and burdens.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." These two phrases are complementary, best understood when paired together. Trials and temptations will come. While we can’t avoid temptation, we can resist the allure of evil. We ask God for victory over evil in our lives, while also longing for victory over evil when Jesus returns. In doing so, we follow this prayer’s model of welcoming God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” And our good and present God has power to satisfy us more than sin and deliver us from both the wickedness in the world and in our own hearts. To pray this prayer alongside Jesus is to join him imaginatively in the Garden of Gethsemane where he resolves to defeat sin, death, and evil on the cross. Join Jesus in his prayer as he works and waits for the Father's final healing of creation.
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name
Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
Pray through the Psalms by reading one verse at a time and then reading it again a few phrases at a time. Pause to think about what the words mean, and then voice your thoughts to God—doubts, fears, confusion, hope, praise, or discouragement.
Keep a Google doc or hard copy prayer journal. If your mind wanders when you attempt silent prayer, writing or typing your prayers keeps your hands moving in such a way that your mind can get absorbed in actually talking to God.
Take index cards and fill out specific prayer requests for each person in your household.
Download a prayer app or a habits app for your smartphone that will help create a rhythm of prayer in your daily life.
Pair a specific physical activity with prayer. Walk or run a certain route in your neighborhood.
Choose a particular place and time each week where focus on prayer will be undistracted. For example: “On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6-6:30, I will walk the neighborhood and pray out loud after listening to an audio of a Psalm from my YouVersion Bible App.”
Schedule a regularly occurring meeting to pray one-on-one or with a couple weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Teach your kids to pray by using repetition or “share prayers” where they simply repeat after you as you pray short phrases before dinner. You can also pray the Lord’s Prayer once a week at the dinner table as a “share prayer” and let one of the kids lead that prayer.
Craft a one-sentence “breath prayer” that can be said with one or two breaths—“Jesus, have mercy on me,” or “Father, Son, and Spirit: You are love.” Use these to focus your heart, center your attention on God, and crowd out other distractions. If you are anxious or simply don’t know what to pray, fall back on these “breath prayers” until God gives you more words. You could also select a phrase or sentence from your readings of the Psalms and make it your “breath prayer” for that week.
Create a format or shared document for recording prayer requests in your biblical community group. Make sure that this can remain confidential to the group for more personal topics, but create a welcoming context to promote community. Remember, it is “Our” Father, and “our” debts, and that “we” forgive others (Matthew 6:9–13).