Journaling Through The Lord's Prayer
Have you ever tried journaling through the Lord’s Prayer? If you need extra insight into Jesus’s teaching on prayer, I have included some of my personal thoughts from my time journaling in The Lord’s Prayer: A 12-Week Journal.
Our prayers don’t vanish into thin air! We pray to a real God who loves us and wants us to call Him “Father.” He is a God with us and for us.
Praying, "Our Father," in the Lord’s Prayer is to remember who it is we are speaking to.
What is the idea that comes to mind when you pray this?
May the first two words of the Lord's prayer transform whatever idea of a father we have in our head to Our Father, the One who created us and sustains us with His love. The Father who is continually protecting us whether we ask for it or not, the Father who coaches us along the right way, the Father who playfully wrestles with us to toughen us up in joy for hardships, the Father who disciplines in perfect love, the Father who is always, always, always there.
And not just my Father, but OUR Father.
He is the Father that unites us ragtag team of humans. We, the misfits and outcasts, find our identity and belonging and togetherness by being His kids.
How can we, unworthy, imperfect, messy children bear to stand in His throne room?
He says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Ah yes. It is because of Jesus, our brother, that we can approach Him. And so our souls shall say, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!"
Our Father is in heaven. Far away? Up in the clouds?
What about when you were a kid? Where did you think heaven was?
Well, Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is within you. He said it was near. He said the kingdom of heaven is like a sneaky seed that grows under your nose, and before you know it, it's a tree taking over, sprawling branches, providing rest for creatures of all kinds.
Look out for heaven in the happy moments. It's times like these with people we love that we can be sure of heaven, that we can be sure of God.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
But let’s not stop at the happy times, let's not pitch a tent and think this is it. These moments point us to what God has prepared for us with Him in heaven.
As a shadow is only an outline, a dark blurry image of the real thing, may we give abundant thanks for these glimpses of heaven.
If we are filled with joy in these moments, just think about the fullness of joy we will have in Christ! Let moments like these them draw us into greater gratefulness and excitement for what is to come! .
What times remind you that heaven, and the God of heaven, is real?
hallowed be your name.
What is holiness anyways? Here is one of my favorite videos that explains it:
Isn’t it so great that prayer starts with God, and not us? If we were the point, life would feel pretty lonely, indeed.
There aren’t many things we consider “holy” nowadays. We eat whenever, wherever, whatever we want, wear whatever we want, sometimes even say whatever we want.
But for something to be “holy,” it is special. The Lord’s name is holy, and how helpful that is for our souls. It’s significant that it’s His name to be made holy, set apart, set above, unlike anyone or anything else, ever.
As ones who bear His name, we represent His name to others. So this is both a declaration and a prayer for how we conduct ourselves, both in word (respecting His name in what we say) and in deed (loving others the way Jesus does).
Thankfully, God is not only for us, but with us! And because He makes us holy, that makes us special, too.
Can you think of other ways we do or do not make his name holy?
Your kingdom come,
“Your kingdom come” is a homesick cry, a groaning in eager expectation for the restoration of all things and all people back to our Father!
C.S. Lewis says we can’t be homesick for somewhere we’ve never been. I don’t really understand where we were before we existed, but I know that God has set eternity in our hearts, and we long to be home with Him!
By praying, “your kingdom come,” we renew our vision and purpose, we set our eyes above, and we plant our feet on the firm ground of hope.
When I pray this, I feel a surge of energy and almost lift my head as if I’m looking for Jesus to come riding in the clouds ⛅️
How does this prayer make you feel? What do you think about when you pray, “your kingdom come”?
your will be done,
God’s will is to bless mankind through Christ. 🌎 .
God's will is to love you in the person of Jesus. God's will is to be with you!
I didn't stay in dating relationships long before I got bored. My husband-material criteria was, "He has to bring me closer to Jesus." And so the Lord brought me Mattox. Never a dull moment with that one 😆 .
When we had our first baby, that was the hardest year of my life. I went through a really tough season with the Lord, but I will never forget Him telling me in the middle of it, "She is exactly what you need."
And so when we were preparing to have another baby, I equipped myself with the promise that whether difficult or easy breezy, I prayed this next baby would bring me closer to Jesus. That was something I could truly hope in!
And friends, His will is perfect. We call Sara the "trick baby" because we didn't think we wanted any more kids, but she is tricking us into wanting more babies, something I didn’t expect to say.
I never really grew up wanting to be a mom, wanting to have kids. I grew up thinking I would be some exec in a high-powered job, and i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t kind of woman.
But I found myself in a marriage with a husband who assured me that he wanted to be able to provide for us and I could do whatever job made me happy.
But the jobs that made me happy didn’t really pay! And because I find my value in performance and money is a marker of said value, I am still learning to find my value not in what I do but whose I am.
And this is just a little snippet of my plans being covered over with the Lord's perfect will.
Let us not try and plan what we will do in 5 years, but Who we will be with in 5 years. If the answer is with the Lord, then we will find ourselves in a good place.
on earth as it is in heaven.
One day, heaven and earth won't be separate.
One day, we will be face-to-face with the Lord as the angels are.
Okay so this is a big question and one we don't talk about very much: do you believe in angels? .
We're always on this quest to find life on another planet, but they are already here. How often do we acknowledge the other beings already among us in the spiritual realm?
We talk about speaking things into the universe as if it's some impersonal environment. We talk about exerting our will over the world through the power of voice vibrations matching up with the electromagnetic field of the earth (or something like that...I'm reading into it).
But I can't help but think that the unseen power that flows through all life has a Name, and all of the universe responds to His voice.
When we pray "on earth as it is in heaven," it is that we will sync our will so perfectly with God’s that we become like the ministering angels of heaven: always with God and joyfully ready to obey quicker than Siri can say, “I’m sorry, I haven’t learned how to do that yet.” With God within, nothing is impossible.
When we align ourselves to and humble ourselves under Jesus through thought, word, and deed, He brings heaven to earth. It will be one, as we will be one with Him. ⛅️
Give us this day our daily bread,
There is a Father who takes care of you. There is a Father who cares for you.
What do you need today? Have you asked Him for it?
Parenting trains us to be His children. Each kid is teaching me that!
When you have a newborn, you can’t live on tomorrows grace today. You can’t think about how much sleep you’re going to get, you can’t even think about tonight.
You shrink your survival expectations to 3-hour blocks, when the baby eats or sleeps next: “Lord, sustain me through the next three hours!” And you look down at that baby in your arms and realize you’re still here now, she’s here now, because He creates her and sustains you both.
And you realize she has a good Father, and He will take care of you together. You don’t have to do this on your own. Give us this day our daily bread. Give us You!
*Picture 1 is me thoroughly enjoying the newborn snuggles bc I know they won’t last long. Picture 2 is my first baby...she clings to me like I cling to the hope of sleep 😴 😂. Picture 3 is our first baby who aspirated meconium and almost had to be life flighted to another hospital. The Lord brought her through then and He will take care of us today, too!*
and forgive us our debts,
Sometimes, I do dumb things like overeat or snap at my family and don’t want to pray because I feel unworthy and can’t face such a holy God.
But ever since I started journaling the Lord’s Prayer every day and having the invitation for forgiveness presented to me on the page every night, I could do something about this guilt between me and Him beyond promising that I wouldn’t do it again (a promise I knew I couldn’t keep!).
Jesus won forgiveness for us, and all we need to do is ask. The Lord’s prayer offers that, every. single. day. Because every. single. day, I mess up. And need forgiveness. If I were God, I would be tired of forgiving me, but He’s not like man (or woman). He forgives 70x7!
Being forgiven takes such a weight off and really does help sleep too, so you can start afresh the next day. And pray to lead us out of temptation to not do it again.
as we have also forgiven our debtors.
I never realized how I was holding on to small grudges until I started journaling the Lord’s Prayer every night and answering the invitation to forgive others as I have been forgiven.
Even if it was just small things like being mad about somebody saying something insulting like, “Oh, I thought you were the intern” at the gym where I worked, I was able to let go and laugh it off.
Or I realized how I was holding on to some past sin like somebody blowing me off or and knew that I needed to forgive them again and again, as God gives me grace, again and again. It never runs out. He can never stop loving us!
When I know how much I have been forgiven, it’s much easier to forgive others.
And lead us not into temptation,
Whenever I reach the section of the prayer journal: “lead me not into temptation” 80% of the time I say something to do with food and the other 20% of the time something to do with not being distracted.
Not that food is a sin, but I can easily get distracted by thinking that food itself will fulfill me and forgetting that it’s a gift from God meant to lead me to Him!
“Jesus said to them, “whoever comes to me will not hunger and whoever believes in me will not thirst .” John 6:35
What have you been tempted by and how has prayer helped reorient you?
but deliver us from evil.
What pain have you been living with, thinking it’s just normal?
Like for me, I thought stomach pain was normal until I had an allergy test and peanuts showed up. I stopped eating peanuts and feel a lot better.
I thought having a pit in my stomach before basketball practice when I was little was normal, or to cry when I got in trouble was normal, until I learned how to rest in the Lord.
Many of us punish ourselves and put ourselves through our own prison: because we think that’s who He is as a Father. That what you have done is no longer redeemable. That you are not worth saving. But, if we understand the heart of who He is, our perspective changes. Fearing the Lord does not mean to fear Him and who He is. It’s an invitation to take refuge in Him. In our biggest messes is when we should fear Him the most. We should fear not being close with Him, not being in His presence.
Then she asks, “What am I trying to prove by putting myself in prison?” Wow. Heart check! 😮
What do you need to be delivered out of, whether it’s a prison of your own making or something you can’t change in your own?
Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
We often say this with a monotone voice, but maybe we could practice saying it with a bit of WOOHOO! Maybe have our voice rise with each word until we raise our arms in triumph at the end!
“If it's not good, it's not the end." @alisakeeton .
We live in the pursuit of happiness. We live in the pursuit of God. We find happiness when we can participate with what God is doing now and hope for how He is using all the not good things to redeem them for the one glorious thing, us being together!
We pray the Lord's prayer, we wrestle with Him a bit on our dreams and desires, and in the end, we trust Him. For His is the kingdom, the power, the glory, forever. It will be good, because He is good. It will be okay, because we will be okay. Friends, let us rejoice in that tonight!
The Lord’s Prayer: A 12-Week Journal
Want a space to walk through the Lord’s Prayer as a guide for your daily prayers? You can get a journal to do just that, and let Him speak His own words to you every day. You can get more of a feel for what this is like, including a free sample, here.