I don’t know about you, but sometimes…just occasionally….my mind wanders when I pray.
In the morning, distractions of the day nudge their way into my thoughts, and at night, fatigue derails my train of thought completely.
To get back on track, I recite a section of the Lord’s Prayer as a sort of category, and then pray as fits that category.
After all, the Lord’s Prayer was Christ’s response to his disciples when they requested of him, in Matthew 5, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
His response was, “After this manner, therefore, pray ye.” – Matthew 5:9a
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. – Matthew 5:9b
After considering those words, I meditate upon the character and holiness of God, and praise him for how some of his specific attributes are currently impacting my life.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 5:10
Here, I pray for Christ to return soon, and ask for grace to live for him as I await the rapture. I also ask that he answer my requests according to his will for my life.
Give us this day our daily bread. – Matthew 5:11
Following this sentence of the Lord’s Prayer, I bring before him the matters that weigh upon my heart for family, friends, church members, bloggers, and others. I don’t run through my entire prayer list every day, though. For me, praying for fewer prayer requests (say, just for the “bloggers” section of my prayer journal) allows me to consider each request more intently.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. – Matthew 5:12
Next, I ask that the Lord bring to light any bitterness or ill-will that I might hold against another and request forgiveness for that; when I feel my conscience is clear in that area, I ask forgiveness for other sins.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. – Matthew 5:13
I conclude my prayer with a request that God would lead me from temptation, yet give me strength to defeat the temptation he does allow into my life, that my character might grow stronger. I acknowledge that he is ultimately in control of all things, and thank him for the peace this provides.
I hope Christ’s pattern of prayer proves helpful to you as well! I look forward to your insightful comments.