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.’
Most Christians and countless others have memorised this prayer. The problem, raised by many, is to know what to do with it. Are we to recite it when alone? Is it intended for public repetition in unison? Does it simply provide a pattern for prayer? Am I supposed to take up the themes in it for prayer? We can probably say the answer is “yes” to all those questions, if for no other reason than many have been greatly blessed in all these uses of the prayer. So, it is far better to make use of the prayer than to be paralysed in your use of it because of some doubt.
Very significantly it tells us of the variety our prayer is to have. Included in it are praise, a desire for submission to God’s reign, a request for daily provisions, the need for forgiveness, help in the spiritual battles of life, and much more.
Just a simple suggestion. On those occasions when you feel the need to pray but struggle to start, try starting with these words. If you still feel cold in prayer, then try expanding on each of the petitions. Before too long you will be engaging in glorious conversation with your creator.