Many of us memorized the Lord's Prayer before we memorized our parents' phone numbers. Every Sunday, the say petitions are repeated. I don't know about you, but the Lord's Prayer became a heartless act of worship for me. While I was saying the Lord's Prayer, I was thinking about every but God.
During my senior year, I was led to an closer examination of the ever-popular prayer and was challenged to say the whole thing while staying focused on God. This was so much harder than I imagined. Stop right now and try and get through the entire prayer without your thoughts drifting to the worries of the day or the plans of the evening.
Adding intention when saying the prayer that Jesus Christ Himself gave us as a guide to praying was a hard process. After a while, I decided to break down each line and attach a deeper meaning to it. Instead of praying empty words, I would be utilizing the privilege of direct communication with the God of the Universe to refresh my soul.
Maybe this will help you or start you on a journey to explore a more meaningful way to say the most beautiful prayer in existence, since it is taught to us by our Father.
You are calling on the name of the Lord, Most High. The Bible uses so many terms for God, yet Jesus chooses Father. This stresses the intimate connection we have with God. When saying this, remember the love God has for you and all of the other names He possesses, showing His greatness.
Who art in Heaven
God is not of this earth. Everything here is constantly changing, often exchanging any remote consistency for chaos. God is above all of this and we have the ability to pray straight to Him. He lives in the most perfect place, yet still watches over us.
Hallowed by Thy name
One word: adoration. Take a minute a thank God simply for who He is.
Thy kingdom come
The campus pastor ends every sermon with "Come soon, Lord Jesus." What a simple, yet powerful statement. When you pray this, you are praying that the Lord would come down for His second return and restore the earth to how it was before the fall.
Thy will be done
This one is not easy. Ultimate surrender. Take up your cross and follow Him. No matter where He leads you, you are asking that your heart be open and accepting for that. Pray for contentment to accept everything that comes your way.
On earth as it is in Heaven
Heaven is perfect and you are asking God to bring that order to the chaos that is here on earth, reiterating previous petitions. This may seem repetitive but it is of utmost importance since our soul thirsts for God and our heart longs to return Home.
Give us this day our daily bread
Not only can you stop and pray for your needs here, but I always attached a bigger picture to this one. Jesus says He is the Bread of Life. So when I pray this, I think of it as asking Jesus to fill me with Himself each and every day.
Forgive us our trespasses
Use this time to reflect. Confess any sin on your heart and receive the forgiveness of Jesus.
As we forgive those who trespass against us
Ask God to take bitterness and resentment towards others out of your heart. If there is a specific person you are holding onto negative feelings about, release them to the Lord. Remember that we are to extend His grace to everyone around us, but we can only do that with His help.
Lead us not into temptation
Temptation is surrounding us everywhere, but God will always provide an out in any situation of temptation. Pray that He shifts your heart to gladly pursue the route of righteousness instead of falling into the trap of the devil.
But deliver us from evil
This is so powerful to pray out loud. The devil can't hear your thoughts but man he can hear you when you speak out loud. You are basically reminding the devil that your Deliverer already beat him. When you say this out loud, remember that God is backing up those words and ask Him to help you run into His arms and away from the devil's grasp.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
Everything is God's. Every single thing is the Lord's. This should grant some incredible humility while leaving you in awe of the immense power of our God.
Forever and ever
Everything in this world is constantly changing, but God stays constant. We are all searching for consistency and the Lord is the Refuge where you will find that.
Amen means "so be it." We often say Amen just to end a prayer, but it actually shows the absolute confidence we have in petitioning to the Lord.