5 Ways To Personalize the Lord’s Prayer

A Christian woman praying the Lord's prayer

By Trisha Sheffield

Prayer can feel difficult sometimes—knowing how and when to do it or what and how to say it. 

We can find comfort in knowing we aren’t alone with our uncertainties and questions. Even Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray and He provides a direct answer—what we know as the Lord’s prayer.

The Lord’s prayer, also called the model prayer, is what Jesus shared with His disciples when one asked, “Lord, teach us to pray, just like John taught his disciples” (Lk 11:1 HCSB). 

5 Areas To Personalize the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s prayer can be more than a simple recitation. Following the pattern Jesus offers, we find five areas to focus on and personalize our prayer life. 

 1 – Use reverence and praise. 

“Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.” – Matthew 6:9 HCSB

In this one short sentence, we see reverence and praise. It’s easy to fly by those first words, but how we think about and view God matters.

Using the Lord’s prayer as a guide, we begin with reverence to rightly position our hearts and minds. Speaking His name reminds us of who He is—a good and loving Father.

As reverence flows to praise, we remember His holiness. 

This introductory portion of the Lord’s prayer couples the tenderness of His love as a gracious father with the qualities that make Him worthy of our honor and praise.

We serve a holy, mighty, and loving God. 

He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. And yet, He longs for a relationship with us. He desires to hear and answer our prayers.

We address God in various ways—Father, Almighty God. Each draws our attention to his rightful place of loving authority. Pick one that feels natural to you, then move to praise Him. 

Next, select an attribute of God to focus your praises on during prayer—loving, faithful, trustworthy, compassionate, gracious, forgiving, merciful. Offer worship to God with the words that come to mind. 

A Christian woman with her arms raised in surrender as she prayers the Lord's prayer

2 – Submit and surrender. 

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10 HCSB

Submission and surrender aren’t words our culture tends to hold with much regard. We like to push them aside because of the presumed weakness they imply. 

However, we should strive to live in submission and surrender to the will of God. 

With each passing day, we want our lives to become increasingly aligned with God’s will. To do this, we submit to His will.  

Nothing about relinquishing our will is easy.

Determine where you’re holding tight and trying to power through a situation causing stress or hardship. What keeps you up at night?

Whether an issue with family, a health crisis, fear, or worry about cultural shifts, open your hands in surrender to the Lord.

3 – Trust God for provision. 

“Give us today our daily bread.” – Matthew 6:11 HCSB

Each of us has needs and burdens we long for God to answer. 

God is our provider and sustainer (Mt 6:31–33). When we ask for His perfect provision, we acknowledge our dependence on Him alone. 

Asking isn’t a bad thing. No request is too big or too small. Our Father desires to bless us (Mt 7:11). When we align our hearts to His will, our requests follow suit. 

Name your “daily bread.” Be specific.

Making requests of God brings us closer to Him, but also invites vulnerability as we acknowledge our needs.

When we lay our needs at His feet, we have a front-row seat to watch Him work. Our faith deepens, and our eyes are opened to the Father’s love. 

Not every prayer is answered in our time or way, but we can see good in how God orchestrates all things.

Hands breaking apart a loaf of bread while praying the Lord's prayer

4 – Extend forgiveness. 

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12 HCSB

We are sinners and, even with the best intentions, stumble daily. But when we confess our sins, God forgives us (I Jn 1:9). 

Just as God forgives us, we should forgive others. An unwillingness to forgive creates a barrier to intimacy with God.

Refusing to forgive others reveals a lack of understanding about our own sin, Christ’s sacrifice, and the forgiveness God grants us when we believe in Jesus.

Take time to be silent before the Lord. 

Ask the Holy Spirit to pierce your heart to recognize sin. As things come to mind, confess them. 

Confession is an essential aspect of prayer to restore our relationship with our Creator. 

A Christian woman holding up a tag that says, "I am Forgiven" remembering the Lord's Prayer

5 – Ask for protection. 

“And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13 HCSB

Temptation surrounds us, and we need God’s help to overcome in areas we struggle. While God does not tempt us (Jas 1:13), He can deliver us from the difficult situations we sometimes face (1 Cor 10:13). 

Jesus faced temptation (Lk 4:1-13), and we can expect to as well. 

Being mindful of our fallen nature, we can lean on Jesus daily to recognize our weaknesses and ask for His strength to overcome temptations. 

Temptation is personal and powerful. 

The areas we may be tempted to sin might hold no sway over the next person. 

When we recognize our weakness and lay that struggle at Jesus’ feet, He will meet us in our times of need.

This is not a one-and-done practice. 

Some temptations hold us tightly, but we can look at how God has delivered us in the past to find strength in the present. He is always faithful.

Determine where you are tempted. What situation will you face today where you may struggle? Give it to God.

Hands holding up a Bible

Let the Lord’s Prayer Become Our Guide

Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer. This powerful prayer brings us into closer communion with our faithful and loving Father. Each line delivers important truths and reminders.

The next time we find ourselves at a loss for what to say or where to begin in prayer, turn to the words God gave us. 

May it become more than a ritual. May it become a guide to deepen our prayer lives. 

Trisha Sheffield

Trisha Sheffield writes at trishasheffield.com to offer faith-focused encouragement and equip people for the empty nest season of life. She is active in her local church and community and enjoys speaking to groups about the transition from home to college. She and her husband have two adult children, one precious daughter-in-law, and a delightful English Lab. Connect with Trisha: Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

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