The following template and commentary comes from Pastor Alan Clark from Gateway Community Church in Franklin, TN:
The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 is a pattern for prayer and is not intended to be prayed the same way every time. It is a simple pattern that we can pray every day and we do not have to say the exact words each time. Jesus pulled together the 18 prayers of His day and put them into a simple template. Here is the pattern:
- Celebration: Our Father!!! Who art in heaven
- Separation: Holy is Your name
- Invitation: Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
- Requests: Give us this day our daily bread
- Covenant: Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
- Confession: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
This is the template and we can work our own words into this pattern. Here is how I prayed the Lord’s Prayer this morning:
“Father You are amazing. I don’t understand how you can be as close as a Father but ride on the clouds. I just accept that you are loving, just, righteous, and most of all Holy. You are not just the God of earth, or air, or water, or thunder, or the present. You are God of all. I believe the Day of the Lord is coming and this world will be set straight. Please provide for my needs today and help me not to worry about tomorrow. Help me to treat others in this world as I want to be treated in heaven. “
That is very simple but it is also very effective. I often stop when I am praying for my needs today and pray for our children, our staff, families, and the church. I would love to hear your interpretation of this beautiful pattern of prayer. If you have the opportunity this week please write out your prayer using this pattern in the response to this blog.