Do you often find yourself wondering how to pray, especially when you’re at your wit’s end? Learn how to pray when you don’t know how to pray.
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Raising strong-willed kids isn’t for the faint heart. It takes grace, patience, and a strong prayer life. Lucky for us, Jesus gave a great model in the Bible for how to pray – the Lord’s Prayer.
Mama, grab this step-by-step guide and receive inspiration, encouragement, and resources for your mothering journey – whether you’ve been doing this for 12 months or 12 years.
Using the Lord’s Prayer as Your Model Prayer
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6, NIV)
Some versions (like the HCSB below) add on a doxology at the end. Although it was added on later, I want to include it here – you’ll see why later.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.] (v.13, HCSB)
Step-by-Step Guide for How to Pray
When you have no idea how to pray, use the Lord’s prayer as the model. Each step listed below explains what it means and how you can apply it to your own prayer.
(1) Our Father in Heaven
I use this as a reminder of the closeness of our Heavenly Father. As you may know from other posts, my model for a heavenly father was terrible. When I start my prayer with “Our Father in Heaven,” it sets my heart right and reminds me who I am speaking to.
My Abba Father. Creator. Provider. Healer. Peace.
You get the idea. Acknowledge who He is.
(2) Hallowed be Your Name
If “Our Father in Heaven” helps me set my heart on who God is. “Hallowed be your name” reminds me exactly why I am turning to Him.
Hallowed means ‘holy.’ It means set apart for God. In this case though, he isn’t set apart for himself. He is the Holy One.
Start your prayer praising Him for who he is and why he’s deserving.
(3) Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven
The scariest prayer I pray is this one right here (especially when it comes to praying for my kids): “Your will be done, Lord.”
It’s the hardest because every time the Lord has asked me to do His will, it has been a bit scary. I would love to say I jump right up and say, “Yes, Lord. Your will be done.” But I don’t.
Maybe your pray time with the Lord sounds familiar when He asks you to do something:
“This makes absolutely no sense.”
“Surely, this can’t be you.”
“The numbers don’t add up.”
But you know His will for your life is greater than your own – and your kids. With only the courage and strength He can give you, say, “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
What is God pressing your heart to do that you haven’t been doing? More so, how have you been pressing your will on your kids instead of succumbing to His will for them?
(4) Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
When times are tough and life gets hard, I worry. Like, Olympic gold medal kind of worry.
My season as a single mom was particularly difficult.
I was working full-time, had started working on my Master’s degree, and doing my best at parenting Bug and Bubba (who were about 4 and 2). Many days started with, “Lord, give me my daily bread. Help me make it to 6 pm.”
Life with strong-willed kids can get like that…often. Mama, you can’t do this life alone. You get tired and weary. You need strength and peace and, for Heaven’s sake, you need a stinking nap.
Turn to the Lord who can provide all your needs. Your daily bread, if you will.
What are you worrying about that has no bearing on today? What do you need just for today?
(5) And Forgive Us Our Debts, As We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors
Strong’s Concordance tells us the word “forgive” is “to send away,” “let go,” or “release.”
When we forgive others their debts, we aren’t talking about money. We are talking about whatever it is we feel they owe us. We are abandoning any claims against them.
Like God has forgiven ours.
And sweet friend, that time you yelled a little too loud at your kiddos. He forgave that, too. I know what it’s like to have a mom-ster. Our strong-willed kids tend to bring it out more than anyone else, don’t they?
But this also applies to your kids when they continue to do the same thing over and over again. When it goes on so long, you become embittered by it. When you start to harness unforgiveness in your heart toward your kids.
You are forgiven friend (and so are your kids). If it’s something you’re struggling with, you would love the Taming Your Inner Mom-ster email challenge.
What is God asking you to release that you continue to feel someone owes you? What do you need to accept God’s forgiveness for?
(6) And Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From the Evil One
God does not tempt (James 1:13) nor does he allow temptation beyond what we have the ability to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Being tempted by the package of Birthday Cake Oreos in the pantry that you bought is a temptation that was well within your control.
But the Dr. Pepper chocolate cake your husband lovingly brought home from the local BBQ hotspot because he knows you love it (but forgot you are laying off all the sugary goodness of it) is a temptation from outside sources that you cannot control.
More importantly, when you’re tempted to yell…
What temptations do you need strength to stay away from? What outside sources do you need protection from?
(7) For Yours Is The Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever.
This doxology is an excellent example of how we should end our prayers – just as we begin them. With praise.
Maybe you find yourself praying to God as if he is a genie in a lamp instead of spending time with your Heavenly Father who is so incredibly deserving of your praise. Starting and ending your prayers with praise keeps your heart in the right place.
Where has He shown His power and glory in your life? Praise Him for it.
Defined as “so be it,” Amen is a declaration of truth. Declare all these things, in Jesus’ name, so our Father will be glorified (John 14:13).
Now, put that Birthday Cake Oreo back in your secret snack spot and go get your prayer on.