By Jenna Walmer
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“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. And forgive us our debt, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil on. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:5-15
It has been almost five months now since NYC. Have you been living up to the challenge of saying the Lord’s Prayer every day? I know I do not say it every single day, but it’s become almost routine. However, it is important that this unique prayer Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t lose its meaning. My youth group began writing our own Lord’s Prayer and we have also looked into other versions of the Lord’s Prayer. As the original version may become monotonous to you, try researching new versions of the prayer, in other languages, in other versions of the Bible, or write your own to see what the Lord’s Prayer means to you.
Prayer is more than just reciting one single prayer daily, or multiple times a day. It’s having a conversation with our Heavenly Father about our fears, about our thanksgivings, and about whatever you really want to say.
The Lord’s Prayer was given to us to use as a model for prayer. When we pray, we should remember to pray to praise God, for his work in the world, for our needs, and for our help with struggles. In your daily prayers, do you incorporate all of these parts that Jesus provides? Which one do you use this most?
The Lord’s Prayer can be broken down even further to understand individual parts of it. This is handy to develop your own version and to understand praying more thoroughly. Throughout the prayer, Jesus indicates that God is holy, yet personal and loving. He then notes that His “kingdom” refers to his spiritual reign. By asking that his will be done, we are praying for God’s purpose to be accomplished in this world. We then acknowledge that God is our provider. He also leads us away from our tempters and helps us forgive others. This prayer is the formula that helps Christians live a life with God as their center.
Jesus also tells us not to draw attention by our prayers. When praying publically, make sure your prayers are heartfelt and focus on addressing God. Before praying, either publically or privately, make sure your intentions are pure and you mean what you say to the Lord. As we pray remember to keep sincerity in mind and your thoughts clear.
So in the upcoming weeks, look into the Lord’s Prayer and write yours down own. Make sure your public prayer is sincere, and not for show. Pray for those who persecute you and for God’s will to be done in this world. May the power of prayer help you live your Dunker Punk lives.
Jenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
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