The Backdrop
Praying is not difficult. Anything we say to God is a prayer. However, to make sure we know how to pray, Jesus got very specific in teaching us how.

The What
Below is Jesus’ model for prayer from Matthew 6. In the left column, you’ll see Jesus’ prayer broken into phrases. In the right column, you’ll see space to write. In your own words, write a prayer that follows Jesus’ model. Write as if you’re writing to your best friend, because you are.

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one'” (Matthew 6:9-13).

The So What
First, a couple questions:

What does this model prayer teach you about prayer?

What do you sense that Jesus is making sure happens when we pray?

Jesus said: “This is how you should pray.” Take a minute to compare how you actually pray to how Jesus said to pray. Think about how you’ve prayed during the past 30 days: On a scale from 1-10, how do your prayers compare to the model prayer Jesus gave us (1 being “not so good” and 10 being “great”)?

1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

Seal the Deal
It’s easy to get lazy in our prayer life. We tend to pray on the fly, offer cookie-cutter prayers or simply get in a rut—saying the same thing, using the same phrases.

Before you finish this devo, make a commitment to revive your prayer life. Below are some ideas related to Jesus’ model prayer. Choose one or create your own.

1. Write a different prayer to God every day using the model prayer Jesus gave as a guide (similar to the exercise you just did).

2. Jesus’ prayer is broken down into 10 phrases above. For the next 10 days, dedicate each day to one of the phrases in Jesus’ prayer. For example, the first phrase is “Our Father in heaven.” Spend the day meditating and thinking about what that means. Spend a designated block of time (start with 10 to 20 minutes) meditating on that phrase. Make that phrase the focus of every prayer you pray that day.

3. Write each phrase on a 3″x5″ index card. Mix up these cards and put them in an envelope. Throughout the day, pull a card from the envelope and take a moment to pray that phrase.

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About The Author

Barry Shafer has been communicating the truth of God’s Word since 1984 as a volunteer youth leader, youth pastor, pastor, author and speaker. Barry, with his late wife Dana, founded InWord Resources in 1996 to strengthen youth ministry with discipleship materials and experiences that meaningfully engage teens in Scripture. Barry is author of Unleashing God’s Word in Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties/Zondervan) and has written numerous teen devotionals and small-group Bible studies. When Barry’s not studying, writing, being a diva spouse, or “daddy-ing” Reade, you can find him reading on the porch, biking on a trail, pulling for the Packers, or playing a little golf.