I have been praying the Lord’s prayer in my daily devotions this summer. Think of each phrase in the prayer as a principle of prayer and not just a mantra to repeat.
Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom
Thine is the power
Thine is the glory
Forever and ever. Amen.
My favorite part of the prayer is “Hallowed be Thy name.” I meditate on the holiness of the Lord, put on worship music, and worship Him. I cannot sing the “me directed” songs here, only the “God directed” songs. Does anyone know what I mean by “me directed”? Those songs which declare our victory over the enemy, our hope of life of come, our this, our that. Those are important songs and are great encouragers. But “hallowed be Thy name” is not the time to encourage myself; it is the time to declare to God His holiness, His greatness, His majesty, His might. It is the time to praise Him for who He is. God directed songs.
When I banish the busyness of my life from the forefront of my thoughts, and the eternal focus on me me me, and focus on Him for a change, something wonderful happens. He draws near. Joy springs up. His love fills my heart.
Ladies, we can relate. Remember the marriage analogy? Our worship time with Jesus is like our intimate time with our husbands. It is the time to love and be loved. If my husband rushed through our time together to get what he needed out of it, and then off to his eternally busy life, I would feel, well, used, not loved. When my prayer time is always all about me, I wonder if the Lord feels used, not loved, too. I think so.
He is a person too. With feelings. Not a robot, not a cosmic gum ball machine: if I put in a quarter out comes the goodie. A person. A daily, personal, intimate relationship with Him is the greatest adventure of this life.
Previously: The poetry of intimacy
Update: continued in Thine is the kingdom, power, and glory, part two
I've been praying the Lord's Prayer lately too. It helps me focus before launching off into my own prayers (which can meander a bit). My favorite part is "your kingdom come; your will be done" and I always add, at least mentally, in me and in my family. It's an act of submission to His will.