Question: I was told by a member of our church that every Christian should pray the Lord’s Prayer, as given in Matthew 6, every day. What do you think about this?
Answer: The Lord’s Prayer was given to focus our minds upon the content, as we apply it to our daily lives. We are not to just repetitiously quote the words. Matthew 6:7 makes this clear,
"But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do..."
Therefore, Verse 9,
"After this manner, therefore pray ye."
...has no reference to just quoting the Lord’s Prayer; but applying the content to our personal life. For example:
- In Verse 9, "Hallowed be thy name," lets us know we are to reverence God’s name every moment of our lives in everything we do.
- Verse 10, "Thy Kingdom come." Does this mean Christ will not come unless we pray this? Of course not. Christ will come whether you and I pray or not. This does direct our minds and thoughts to always be looking for Christ’s return and living for Him. 1 John 3:2,3 makes this clear,
"...When he (Christ) shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is... And every man that hath this hope in him PURIFIETH himself, even as he is pure."
- Verse 13, "And lead us not into temptation." Just re-peating these words accomplishes nothing; but praying with understanding does. That is, "Lord, please do not leave me to go my own dangerous way which exposes me to grievous pressure from the enemy of my soul; which, in a moment of weakness, might cause me to fall into great sin."
"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." - Philippians 4:6
When "Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;...ye, being rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17)," one does not have to resort to reading preprinted, stereotyped prayers. Space precludes further comment, but I hope this helps a little. Good question!