Teach us to pray

A question for you this morning:

If intercessory prayer is as important as we think, why is it not touched in The Lord’s Prayer, the model given when His disciples asked for a lesson? He said—

“After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13

I suppose this word “us” could be considered interceding for mankind along with ourselves, but Jesus’ prayer seems to have four basic components: praise, submission, request, and more praise.


I actually think my own prayers are getting a little top-heavy in the intercession department. Part of this is because I am too fearful and stubborn to bring my own needs.

Now I am curious: what would happen if I took this prayer as my model for a month? What would I learn about God? About prayer?

In April, I would like to pray Jesus’ words daily, in some way. Some days I will recite them, some days read them in another translation, some days use them as an outline / framework / launch pad for my own praises and requests. Anyone want to join me? At the end of the month, we’ll talk about this again, and share whatever we learned.

Do you have anything to say about the Lord’s Prayer, for starters? An answer to my question above?

Lord, teach us to pray.

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8 years ago

Great thoughts, Shari. I think my requests to praise ratio needs some leveling. Where is intercession in this prayer? I would have thought it was a fleshing out of “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

8 years ago
Reply to  Tim Shenk

Tim, I agree. I think maybe “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…” is not so much a statement of resignation as a pledge to partner with God to see that His will is done here on earth.

8 years ago
Reply to  Rosina

Yes, I think “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is coming into agreement with the Father’s will – even when I do not know what it is in its specifics. That phrase has become powerful for my faith this past year.

8 years ago
Reply to  Janelle

I like this!

Joy Weaver
8 years ago

Good question ! I have no answers, I just feel I have so much to learn about prayer!

I feel I am very selfish with my prayers…about me and my family.

I would like to join you to pray Jesus” words daily.

8 years ago

Totally agree. Absolutely true. It is so much more comfortable to pray for others and intercede for those on our long prayer lists than face our own needs. I’m on for the month of April.
Mary Yoder

8 years ago

Have you ever heard of Ffald-y-Brenin in Wales? They use the Lord’s Prayer as a basis for their ministry. Their approach is very simple, but very powerful, too. The local houses of prayer they’ve started are composed of people who pray 5 minutes a day (total) for 5 people, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Each day uses one part of the Lord’s Prayer as basis for blessing the people they are praying for.

I read the book on Ffald-y-Brenin (The Grace Outpouring) and watched some of their training videos. That ministry is what I want to do when I grow up.

I’ve never considered myself especially good at praying. I totally identify with the feeling of not knowing HOW to pray and wishing for Jesus to teach me.

8 years ago

Shari, I think any model of prayer taken for a month will take a person deep into the truths of the prayer. You will be blessed in Him and in His words.

8 years ago

While i can’t say i ever thot about intercessory prayer in reference to the Lord’s Prayer, i’ve often wondered about our prayers that are basically us telling Jesus what He needs to be doing in our or someone else’s life. How much of our prayers are also based on a “get on your knees” kind versus the kind of prayer that is an outpouring of our very lives. A continuation of conversation between us and what should be our best friend. There’s a place for getting on our knees but there’s something very powerful about constantly talking to Jesus while we work and think. It becomes less of a formal rote, more of a heart RELATIONSHIP.

8 years ago

The Lord’s Prayer was in my thoughts as I prayed yesterday and will continue to be so in the coming month.

8 years ago

And another question about prayer (What, you didn’t ask for more questions??) Why, when Jesus said, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet…” do we have Prayer Meetings?

8 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

Now that I can’t help you with! 🙁 Anyone else?

8 years ago
Reply to  Shari

Because the early church in Acts met and prayed together?

8 years ago

I’m really grateful you’ve brought this thought line into my consciousness. I’ve already applied the Lord’s Prayer to a difficult situation we are facing right now and have already learned something. But I’ll wait to share that insight till we reconvene at the end of April to discuss what we’ve learned. I’m definitely joining you this month.

8 years ago
Reply to  Lynnelle

Oooh. Can’t wait!

Joanna Yoder
8 years ago

I am in.
I need this.

8 years ago

I am in! Excited to see how the Lord will work and the truths that He will continue to teach us through this prayer!

8 years ago

Could it be that the Lord’s prayer is the kind of prayer that gets us in the place where we can actually intercede for others in the right spirit? Jesus is always interceding on our behalf, and intercessory prayer for others is following his example, not?
Love your blog, Sheri!

8 years ago

Even though the Lord’s prayer is very profound and reaches deep, it is also simple and straight forward. I find myself sometimes resisting the most simple and basic things that Jesus teaches us. I want to reinvent prayer (and I do poorly at it, I promise). And I want to say lots of original words of my own.

I do love this prayer and I want to participate in the challenge you set before us!

Mama Zook
8 years ago

I’m sure God is smiling, Shari! What a great challenge!! Knowing and experiencing God and His will is a great book we are doing in Bible Study and it has also challenged me to be alert and see what God is about right now! It has helped me to get in tune with Him to a greater degree! This blog subject just increased that awareness to another level! Thank you for sharing!

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