If you have questions about prayer, you’re in good company.
If you’ve ever worked up the nerve to ask the question, “How do I pray?” then you’ve probably gotten an answer like, “Praying is easy! It’s just talking to God.” Or, “Everyone knows how to pray!” But everyone doesn’t know how to pray.
Even Jesus’ closest friends asked Him how to pray. They spent a lot of time with Him, saw Him perform miracles, talked with Him about life, and heard Him teach, but they still had questions about prayer.
Jesus’ answer to the question, “How do I pray?” is known as the Lord’s Prayer:
The King James Version reads like this…
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.
Maybe you memorized this prayer when you were young, or you’ve heard a grandparent recite it at the dinner table on holidays.
Let’s take a closer look at this model prayer by breaking it down line by line.
The Lord’s Prayer starts by addressing God as “Our Father.” This is super important because when you call someone by name, the name you use creates a relational context. It makes a statement about the nature of the relationship you have with another person.
My name is Rene Clark, but not everyone calls me by that name. My kids call me, “Mom,” my nieces and nephews call me, “Nay Nay,” my students call me, “Mrs. Clark,” and my husband calls me, “Babe.” (Love ballads by Styx deeply influenced our relationship in the ‘80s.)