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A Prayer for When You Can’t Pray

Every time you feel you can’t pray, you can start here, with the one prayer given us by our Lord.

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The Lord’s Prayer is the only formal prayer that Jesus offered us, the prayer He gave to His disciples when they asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:2–4). Every time you feel you can’t pray, you can start here, with the one prayer given us by our Lord. And since it is literally the Lord’s prayer, a personal gift from Jesus to each of us, we should offer it back to the Lord as a personal gift, embracing the meaning of each line as it reaches out to gather us into Christ’s waiting arms.

Our Father: Lord, help me to remember that You are my Father, a caring Parent Who will love and protect me much more than any human parent.

Who art in heaven: Heaven is Your home, Lord, and I thank You for letting me see glimmers of heaven every day here on Earth, in sunrise and sunset, in thunder and lightning and rain-bearing clouds, in the oceans with their rippling waves and tides and the rivers flowing into them, in roses and irises and snowflakes.  

Hallowed be Thy name: Father, let me honor Your name in my every word, action, thought.

Thy kingdom come: Let me remember, dear God, that this world is only temporary, that Your glorious kingdom will indeed come. I long to be swept up into it.

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven: Father, in this world, we are often so far from doing Your will as Jesus revealed it. Help me to live my life according to Your will and help make Earth more like heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread: God of abundance, thank You for providing so generously all that I need. Remind me to share what You provide for me so that all may have their daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses: Without Your continuous forgiveness, Lord, where would I be?

As we forgive those who trespass against us: I should be more forgiving, Lord; show me how.

And lead us not into temptation: Father, I often feel that I’m being tried. Help me to remember that my small trials are nothing compared to those of Your Son,my Brother, and give me the strength and faith to persevere.

But deliver us from evil: Dear God, intervene for me because I am weak, and without Your deliverance I am like a lost and wandering child. Draw me safely into Your protective embrace, Lord.

Amen: You, Father, are the final amen, the way, the truth, the life.

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