Pray Better: Paraphrase the Lord’s Prayer

Advice from Tim Keller:

The Lord’s Prayer may be the single set of words spoken more often than any other in the history of the world. Jesus Christ gave it to us as the key to unlock all the riches of prayer. Yet it is an untapped resource, partially because it is so familiar…How do we overcome the deadly peril of familiarity?…The Lord’s Prayer must stamp itself on our prayers, shaping them all the way down. There could be no better way to ensure that than Luther’s twice-daily exercise of paraphrasing and personalizing the Lord’s Prayer as introduction to more free-form praise and petition.”

Tim Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, pp. 109, 118

Here’s my attempt of paraphrasing the Lord’s Prayer this past Sunday at LBC:


You are the Father of all Your people. We look forward to the day when will worship around Your throne with people from every tribe, nation, and language, proclaiming, “Our Father!”

May Your name be kept holy. May we bear Your name with integrity as we work, as we play, and as we live in the world.

We ask for Your kingdom to come. We thank You that You have brought us out of the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of Light, the kingdom of Your Son. Help us live as kingdom citizens even though we still live in a broken world. And we also look forward to the day when Your kingdom will come with all of its glory and splendor and Jesus will make all things new.

And while we wait for that day, we find that we encounter many troubles, trials, and difficulties here and now. May Your will be done on this earth. May we submit to Your will, O Lord, even when it is difficult and doesn’t always make sense to us.

We also ask that You would give us what we need for today–our daily bread. Give us not only the physical and material provision we need, but give us wisdom to make choices which honor You, patience to bear with others who sin against us, and grace to endure the troubles and trials of the day. May we be a forgiving people, for we have been forgiven much. Let us freely pass on Your costly forgiveness, which Jesus purchased on the cross.

Keep us from temptation. Help us learn to pray so that we will not enter into temptation. May we be watchful and faithful, alert to things which can derail our faith. Deliver us from the clutches of the devil as You already have delivered us from his servitude through Jesus.

The depth of riches of Your wisdom and knowledge are too great for us! How unsearchable are Your judgments and unfathomable are Your ways! No one has known Your mind fully, nor become Your counselor. No one has given You anything so that You owe them. For from You and through You and to You are all things. To You be the glory forever. Amen.

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