It’s amazing to think that Jesus Himself is interceding for us (Heb. 7:25, Rom. 8:34, 1 John 2:1). Did you know that there’s a prayer He wants us to pray for ourselves?
In Matthew 6 Jesus instructed His followers to pray this way:
Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever]. Amen.
Meditating on The Lord’s Prayer, it occurred to me that Jesus told us to pray this way for good reason. This prayer is not to be a mere formality. There are three “self prayers” contained here which I believe are crucial to good spiritual health:
- Give us this day our daily bread. It is easy in a land of plenty to assume self-reliance. Many of us enjoy an abundance. But asking God for our daily sustenance is a way of acknowledging it is His hand that provides. If we work hard and make good money, we need to thank Him for the health, ability, and opportunity to garner income.
- Forgive us our debts. This is a part of my prayer life I’d prefer to skip through quickly. I don’t like to think about what I need forgiveness from, and it’s not comfortable to ask the Lord against whom I might be holding a grudge. But it’s essential.
- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Last but certainly not least – in fact, I’d emphasize especially in these times – this prayer should be said regularly and sincerely for ourselves. A glance around tells us the Great Apostasy has already begun. Believers are falling away. The love of many has grown cold. I routinely ask the Lord that He “release me from the fowler’s snare” (Psalm 91:3) and highlight any pride or other blind spots.
We can and should, of course, pray this prayer over friends, family, and our pastors as well.
What other scriptures do you pray over yourself?