The Lord's Prayer: A Primer

Our Sunday school is putting a focus on some pretty basic things this year: the 23rd Psalm, the Great Commandments, the Apostle's Creed, and, of course, the Lord's Prayer.

The problem with teaching the Lord's Prayer is not just old fashioned words like "Thee" and "Thine" but also in unfamiliar concepts such as Hallowed (Holy, honoured) and Kingdom (the total rule of God, the only ruler with an actual divine right!)

I've been searching for simple wording, but decided that I couldn't make it as simple and concise as Jesus did (big surprise there!). I've opted here for slightly simpler language suplemented by explanatory notes. I hope it helps to highlight what Jesus' priorities were when he taught the disciples not only how to pray but what to pray about.

Daddy, our heavenly father, we bring to you our prayer list:

  • we pray that your name would be honoured:,

    • that people and all things would be moved to love, joy, holiness, awe and adoration when ever they think of your Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit and yourself;

  • we pray that you would set all things right:

    • that everything would reflect your justice and mercy, your goodness and truth;

  • we pray that all things and all people would do what you think best:

    • that all would love as you love, live as Jesus lived and obey your Holy Spirit;

  • we pray that all this would happen on earth, just as it does in heaven:

    • where angels and every creature constantly worships, obeys and adores you;

  • we ask that you would give us what we need each day:

    • that we would not worry about tomorrow, but trust and depend on you moment by moment,

    • that you would help us to focus on what we need rather than greedily seeking selfish desires;

  • we ask that you forgive us for everything wrong we have done:

    • we know that you want to give us a fresh start;

  • but be only as merciful to us as we are to others:

    • we want to obey you by loving others as we have been loved;

  • we ask that you not test us, or make this harder than it needs to be:

    • we are not interested in showing off how strong we can be - we just want to live holy lives in your sight;

  • instead, keep us away from evil:

    • help us steer clear of temptation, guard us from the lies others tell us, and from the lies we tell ourselves:

  • we ask all this, not only because we want it, but because

    • you are the Lord of all things and your way is good;

    • you have the power to accomplish all these things;

    • you are glorious and deserve all this and more, forever.