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How to Personally Pray the Lord's Prayer

I’ve started a new discipline that has really changed everything for me lately.

by Vera Schmitz


I’ve started a new discipline that has really changed everything for me lately. Normally, as soon as the kids and my husband walk out the door in the morning, I race to my computer to squeeze every available minute out of my work time. Right before Easter, I was burning out, and burning up my family. (Is it the same for you, that when you are racing to do it all, your loved ones get the leftovers?) You see, my sister Natalie and I are in the process of writing a book and I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m writing often and I’m writing a LOT of words. It’s been a challenge to say the least. I told Nat the other day that it would be like her getting up one morning, having occasionally exercised or done yoga, and deciding to instead do a CrossFit workout. And then, the next day, when you are sore, bruised, and can hardly walk, doing it again. And again the day after that, and so on. It was really wearing me down! But, as some of you read here, Easter kinda changed my perspective. And since then, as soon as the house is quiet, I grab my coffee, head outside, and take a 3 minute “stop-sign walk” as my kids call it, to the stop sign at the top of our street and back home. On my walk, I take in the sounds of the birds and a few early neighbors mowing. I let the coldish air enliven my senses. And, I pray the Lord’s prayer. I insert my heart into each line, letting my desires and needs and hopes and praises for the day come before God. It changes everything. I’ve traded my 3 minutes of hustle for a treasure: peace and an eternal mindset. If you haven’t prayed it before, or not in a long time, may I encourage you to do it? I’ve written up how I’ve been praying it for myself. I hope it encourages you, and gives you a template for how to pray this for yourself!

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

I start by talking to God about how he is above everything. I imagine him on his throne in the presence of all the angels and saints. I listen to the birds, and the sounds around me. I remember God is not bound by the realities of this world. And I pray something like this. “God, you are in heaven. You see all and know all and time is in your hands. I am very much down here on earth, where all sorts of things are pressing in on me trying to take my attention off of you. Help me to fix my eyes on eternal things. I worship you because you are above all things. Help me to remember the reality of heaven in my day, today.”

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

I acknowledge that God’s will is done through my participation here on this earth. He will do what he wants with or without me, but he is inviting me to be a part of bringing heaven down. “God, help me see all the ways you are bringing light and life down from heaven, through me, to others. Holy Spirit, I invite you to open my eyes to God’s will throughout this day!”

Give us today our daily bread.

I remember all the ways God has provided for me the day before, and I ask him to do it again today. “God, you tell us you will supply our every need. Give me everything I need to love my neighbor. Give me patience as a mother. Give me love for my spouse. Give me creativity and vision for my work. Help me to remember that I have abundance in you, not scarcity. Open my eyes to ways I can serve others out of that abundance today.”

And forgive us our debts, 

I reflect on the ways I’ve come up short before God. I ask God to reveal to me who I might need to ask forgiveness from. “God forgive me for all the ways I’ve not trusted you. Forgive me for all the ways my heart has chosen to put something else above you. Holy Spirit, convict me of my sin and reveal to me how I’ve lived with a “me first” attitude. Thank you for your gentleness in showing me. God, reveal to me any person whom I’ve hurt. Give me a heart humble enough to speak my shortcomings to that person.” 

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

I ask God to show me any person I am holding a grudge against. I ask God to help me to be gracious in my interactions with others. “God, show me my grudges and resentments. My heart is cold toward _________. Help me to forgive them. Give me courage to work it out with them. Because you were first gracious to me, help me to have grace and humility when others hurt me.”

And lead us not into temptation,

I ask God to be near, leading me in the direction of life in every detail of my day. I ask for specific protection from temptations I struggle with repeatedly. “God, be with me. Lead me in the way of life. I am tempted to rely on my own strength, Lord. I am tempted to become angry quickly. I am tempted to live in a scarcity mindset. Lord in my weakness, lead me instead in your strength, your love, and your abundance.”

but deliver us from the evil one.

I ask for protection from the enemy. The spiritual world is real, so I ask for a shield about my life. “Lord guard my mind, my spirit, my body, my family, my friends, and my home from any evil thing against me. Lord protect me, be a shield of protection against the enemy and his schemes and the war going on around me that I cannot see. Jesus, you are already victorious. You are in me. God, protect me in the name of Jesus. Truly, yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen!”

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Vera Schmitz

Vera Schmitz is the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Dwell Differently. She lives in Missouri with her husband and 2 sons.

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