Praying the Lord’s Prayer When You Don’t Know How to Pray

I don’t know about you, but lately, I have been feeling weary. Our world today is seemingly filled with conflicts all around; how do we respond to this constant onslaught of crises? How are we to move forward in such an unstable world? 

My instinct is to pray. I know that I can’t do much to change the state of the world, but my God can. After all, Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Sounds simple enough, right? But what do you do when your words fail you? When you feel too weary even to pray? What do you do when it’s all too much and you don’t know where to start?

This is where I’ve found myself lately. I’ve wanted to pray, I’ve needed to pray, but I have been unsure where to start. In the past, God would often direct me to pray in a certain way, but lately, I haven’t had that same type of direction when I’ve asked God how to pray. 

Instead, I feel Him pulling me back to The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. 

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Using The Lord’s Prayer Model

This model has been so liberating for me. It’s helped give me a path forward when I don’t know how or what to pray (which is often these days). I hope that this simple framework will be as encouraging to you as it’s been for me. 

Start with Honor

First, we acknowledge who God is. We praise His holy name and give Him the reverence and honor He is due. We take a few moments to lift our eyes off our circumstances and fix them on Almighty God.

Ask for the Kingdom

This is the section that I’ve been particularly relishing in of late. Asking for the kingdom to come to earth—the perfectly just, perfectly righteous, and perfectly peaceful kingdom where there is no death, destruction, oppression, or harm. Asking for God’s will to be done in my life, my community, and the world. 

But I don’t stop there. I ask God how He wants me to participate in bringing the kingdom to earth. I ask for opportunities to do God’s will to make the world more just, righteous, and peaceful. 

Ask for Provision

We all have needs—physical, monetary, mental, emotional, relational—and God is our Provider. God has made it clear that we can boldly ask for His provision and help when we need it. We can look to God and trust Him to provide. The Lord’s Prayer says, “Give us our daily bread.” We don’t just ask for ourselves, but we ask for others as well. We lift up the needs of the community, trusting in our Provider.

Ask for Forgiveness

We’ve all messed up. We’ve all sinned and are in need of forgiveness. Thank God that He is willing and able to forgive. God is willing and able to lavish that mercy on us. And once we have received that forgiveness, we are able to extend that to others as well. The more we meditate on how much God has forgiven us, the more readily we are able to extend mercy to others.

Ask for Help

Just as our needs are all different, so are our difficulties or trials. We can ask for help in those situations. Temptation will come, but we can ask for God’s help in the midst of it. We don’t have to rely on our own strength to power through, but we can trust God and lean on Him and those He has placed around us.

Related Post: Our Good Good Father Revealed Through The Lord’s Prayer

Praying the Lord’s Prayer When You Don’t Know How to Pray

The Lord’s Prayer has been so encouraging to me over the past few weeks when I haven’t known how to pray. I’ve followed this model for myself and personal situations in my life and when interceding for people in conflicts around the world.

In this season, I’m learning that when I don’t know how to pray, I can turn to The Lord’s Prayer as a guide. And God has met me in that space. He has guided my prayers as I’ve used this blueprint and has filled me with hope and peace in the process. 

It’s easy to be unsure how to pray in this season, but I hope and pray that you are encouraged to continue to seek God through prayer. And, when you don’t know what to pray, I hope this simple guide will help you connect with our righteous, glorious, and Almighty God.

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