Given January 14, 2016
I use the Lord’s Prayer as my pattern for prayer each morning and have personalized it to pray for several needs in my life and the lives of others. I was listening to a podcast from Jentzen Franklin recently and he had a guest who had written a book about the 21 seconds it takes to pray the Lord’s Prayer. He talked about the meaning of the different sections of the prayer and how they relate to the individual who is praying. Then, in my study Bible this morning, Max Lucado mentioned personalizing the prayer to pray for specific needs. That’s what I do and I think God wants me to share how I personalize His prayer.
My Father – God is my Father, my daddy, and I am His child. He has adopted me into His family and I can talk to Him anytime I need to or want to because He is always right there. He’s a good father.
Which art in Heaven – Yes, God is in Heaven, He rules there, but He is omnipresent which means He is everywhere all the time. I acknowledge that He lives in Heaven but, by His Spirit, He is with me and in me. I sometimes look around my TV room where I meet with Him each morning and glance over at the big chair and say, “Good morning Father.” I then look over at the couch next to me and say, “Good morning Jesus.” And finally, in my own chair I say, “Good morning Holy Spirit.”, because He is with me and in me. Then I say, “Thank you all for another day.”
Hallowed be thy name – What does “hallowed” mean anyway? We don’t use that word so I say, “Your name is great and above all names.” “I glorify, magnify, praise, worship and lift up your name here in this room.” “I love you Father, you are great!”
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done Revelation 5:10 says, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” I pray for God’s kingdom to come on the earth and that I will do my part to help bring that about. I want God’s will to be done in me as He planned even before I was born. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42), I pray that God’s will, not mine, be done on the earth. I want to be a part of that large crowd who will witness the return of Jesus as His children, His people, and take over and establish His kingdom right here.
On earth as it is in Heaven – I add, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…in me, in my home, my family, my neighborhood, my town, my church, my county, my region, my state, in Washington DC and in the earth as it is in Heaven.” Notice that some versions say “in the earth” instead of “on the earth”. I heard someone say this could be because we were made from the dust of the earth so we are the earth; we were made from earth so we are the earth. This is another way to pray for God’s will to be done in the earth, us, as it is in Heaven.
Give us, this day, our daily bread – “Us” refers to God’s people but I add to that; I pray for God to give to “us”, which includes me, my family, and those in my “circle of influence”, which are those people I know or have an influence on. “Us” also would include those outside my circle of influence, those I don’t know, but who are looking in and notice God’s influence on my life and will be affected by that. “Our daily bread” refers to the things we need each day. In the desert, the Israelites were provided with food from Heaven, manna, which the people were only to gather enough for one day. Any extra they hoarded would rot. (Exodus 16). God knows what we need for each day and He wants us to trust Him for it. He will not give us a week’s or month’s supply because He wants us to depend on Him and not our stored up supply.
I also pray for specific things to be included in “our daily bread”. First, I pray for those who need salvation, the most important thing people need. I pray that they will be convicted of their sin, troubled and bothered in their lifestyle and that they may receive a revelation of the truth of how they have been scammed by Satan’s tricks. I also rebuke and bind the work of the devil in their lives, in the name of Jesus. Next I pray for healing for those who are sick or injured. I ask for God’s healing touch to be on them and that they will be healed and restored, to the glory of God. I mention several people specifically who are on my heart who need healing. And finally, I pray for all the other needs people may have; financial, relational, for strongholds to be broken and for wisdom in decisions, “according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). “Lord, give me what I need today to do what you want me to do today.” “How can I serve you today?”
And forgive us our sins, debts, trespasses – We cannot be effective as God’s people, we cannot do His work if we are “dirty” with the filth of the world. God wants to and will forgive us if we ask Him, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). And Jesus told his disciples when they asked him how many times we’re supposed to forgive someone, “seventy times seven”, (Matthew 18:22), which means time after time after time. So God will forgive us if we ask, confess, and repent of our sins. Debts are when someone has done something to us and owe us and trespasses are when we knowingly sin. Jesus died for our sins, paid the debt for us and loves us even in our trespasses.
As we forgive those who have sinned against us – It’s very important to God for us to forgive others. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions”. (Mark 11:26). Jesus said if we come to the altar with our offering and remember that someone has something against us, we should lay our offering down and go make it right, forgive, the other person, (Matthew 5:23-24). Even after Jesus gave this pattern of prayer, He went back and repeated the importance of forgiveness. So, it’s important.
And lead us not into temptation – We ask God to not lead us to a place where we’ll be tempted. Now, I wondered about this because I know, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1). Jesus was led into temptation but it was so He would be tested and have the chance to show the devil who was boss. So I pray, “Lord, lead me not into temptation unless it part of my training.” And if that’s the case…
But deliver us from evil – If God allows me to be tempted to see if I’m ready to be promoted to the next level of service, and I want that, then I pray for wisdom and strength to be successful then to deliver me victorious from the situation, the evil. I was going through a hard time a few years ago and was praying as I drove to work, “God this is too hard!” And, immediately, His voice in my spirit said, “Oh, you want out of the advanced class?” I replied, “No, no Lord, I want to be the best I can be for you, take me through this.” We can remain in Kindergarten and get by but God wants us to progress in His kingdom from “glory to glory”, (2 Corinthians 2:18).
For thine is kingdom and the power and the glory – The end of this prayer, like the beginning, is the acknowledgement that all this if for God’s kingdom, it’s His power that we use and it’s all for His glory and not mine. I heard a preacher use the acronym, Nby4: In God’s kingdom, by His power and for His glory, N by 4. So I pray, “God, today may I be in Your kingdom, operate by Your power and always for Your glory.”
Forever – Just like the end of the 23rd Psalm, “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER.” If we are God’s children and He is our God, we will be with Him forever!
AMEN. So be it! And Amen.
Make it a point to memorize and pray the Lord’s Prayer every day. It only takes 21 seconds so you could pray this several times a day. It will change your life.