Matthew 6:9-11; Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
One aspect of prayer we often don’t think about is asking God to help us pray. Often times, the most meaningful prayers to us are the ones not filled with words, but with silence, as we wait for God to speak to our hearts and minds, so that we might know what to pray for in the first place:
Lord God, before we even try to pray, bring to our hearts and minds what and who we should be praying for.
In this moment of quiet, bring to our hearts and minds that for which we are thankful…
Bring to our hearts and minds that for which we should be thankful, but which we take for granted…
Bring to our hearts and minds ways in which we might express our thanksgiving and appreciation to you and to others, ways that might make a difference…
For these and for so many other things, Father, we give you thanks.
In this moment of quiet, bring to our hearts and minds those for whom we pray…
Bring to our hearts and minds those who need our prayers, but about whom we have forgotten…
Bring to our hearts and minds those for whom we should pray, but for whom we do not pray, because of old hurts or grudges or resentments or dislikes…
Bring to our hearts and minds those whom we know to be sick, hurt or vulnerable, and those who grieve…
Finally, bring to our hearts and minds ways in which we might express our prayers tangibly, that we might ourselves be your instruments in answering prayer…
Praying together as you have taught us, we say,
Our Father, 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.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.