Teach Us to Pray

by | Mar 11, 2022

We intuitively know we need to pray.

And whether we follow Jesus or not – or even have any religious affiliation at all – when crisis hits our impulse is to pray. To realize our assumptions of control and order and security have lost their grounding. To cry out to a higher power.

If you’ve been around church in any form there’s a good chance you’ve heard, learned, or prayed the Lord’s Prayer – the prayer recorded in the Gospels (Matthew 6 and Luke 11) where Jesus taught us to pray.

I’d like to offer it as a model for us today. Whether you are personally in a place of fruitfulness or chaos, war or peace, this prayer of Jesus attunes our hearts to him and grounds us in God’s sovereignty and ultimate goodness.

Use the commentary below as a base for your own prayer – I’ve attempted to weave in both common workplace themes and the broader themes from our suffering brothers and sisters around the world.

Use it and allow Jesus to teach you to pray today.

Our Father in Heaven,

God, you reign above all, and I thank you that I can talk to you as a good Father today. You love me. You care about me. And you’re our Father – I come to you today not just on my own, but as part of a global family. Connect me to my brothers and sisters around the world.

Hallowed be your name.

There is no name above your name. You are powerful. You are good. Help me honor you and revere you in my thought, word, and deed, in the way you deserve.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord, help us experience your kingdom now. Bring peace where there is war, justice where there is inequity, reconciliation where there is broken relationship. Let the peace of Jesus rule in my heart, in my workplace, in the world.

Give us today our daily bread,

I am overwhelmed by all there is to do but trust you to provide for me today. Provide me with the energy, creativity, and courage to do my work well. Provide me with the wisdom to do the right work. And as I think about my brothers and sisters in Ukraine and so many other war-torn places, provide for their very real material needs – food, water, shelter, safety. Show me my role in how you bring about your provision.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Your grace is beyond my comprehension. Help me be honest with you about my shortcomings, help me be humble with others when I mess up, and help me exercise the same grace you have shown me. As I pray against the injustices around the world help me remember that there is no one beyond your reach.

Lead us not into temptation,

I am tempted to find security and significance apart from you – to cut corners, to position myself above others. Expose the areas and the things I functionally place above you and give me the strength to avoid them.

Deliver us from evil,

Let me not be asleep to the reality of evil in the world. Our enemy is cunning, and I am not strong apart from you. You are my security, my safety, my confidence.

And in a very real way, my brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing destruction and fear – deliver them, God.

For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.

Lord, even as I pray amidst all the uncertainly, crisis and fear, I know that you are working all things for the good of those who love you. You are not surprised. You are not shaken. You are still causing your kingdom to grow, steadily and unwaveringly, to the day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that you are Lord, Jesus. Help me live with the confidence that comes from truly knowing and believing that reality today.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Make your work matter.

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Ben Kirksey

Ben Kirksey is the Chief Operating Officer for Workmatters and Director of Workmatters Institute. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas (2006, Economics and Political Science), and alumnus of Teach for America. He realized a passion for integrating faith and work while at Northstar Partnering Group (now Field Agent™) and subsequently co-founded the Workmatters Institute in 2010, joining Workmatters to lead the Institute full time in 2013.