Prayer

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God’s book, the Bible includes lots of prayers for different situations.

The Lord’s Prayer

When Jesus’ first followers asked him how to pray, this is the prayer he taught them. It is known as The Lord’s Prayer and was written down by Matthew in chapter 6 of Matthew’s Gospel, his eye-witness account of Jesus’ life.

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honoured.
May your kingdom come.
May what you want to happen be done
on earth as it is done in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
Keep us from sinning when we are tempted.
Save us from the evil one.

The Message version of the Bible puts it this way:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

David, a Hebrew shepherd boy who became king of Israel and Judah about 1010–970 BCE, wrote many prayers called ‘psalms’. You will find them in the middle of God’s book, the Bible.

Psalm 63

If you want to know God, or if life feels like a dry desert, these are words you could use. David wrote this psalm when he was in the desert.

God, you are my God.
I seek you with all my heart.
With all my strength I thirst for you
in this dry desert
where there isn’t any water.

Psalm 51

David knew that God is willing to forgive us when we admit our failures. He prayed this prayer after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged for her husband to be killed when she became pregnant.

God, have mercy on me
according to your faithful love.
Because your love is so tender and kind,
wipe out my lawless acts.
Wash away all the evil things I’ve done.
Make me pure from my sin.

Psalm 139

In this psalm, David talks about how God knows us intimately. David invites God to search his heart and to help him to live in the way that is right.

Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know what I’m thinking even though you are far away.
You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
You know exactly how I live.
Lord, even before I speak a word,
you know all about it.
You are all around me, behind me and in front of me.
You hold me safe in your hand.

… God, see what is in my heart.
Know what is there.
Test me.
Know what I’m thinking.
See if there’s anything in my life you don’t like.
Help me live in the way that is always right.

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