The Bible teaches that God is far more interested in our hearts when we pray than He is in our words. In prayer, we are to pour out our hearts to God (Philippians 4:6-7), not simply recite memorized words to God.
Philippians 4:6 – 7 (NASB)
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Here is how it breaks down.
- “Our Father in heaven” is teaching us whom to address our prayers to”the Father. Our Father showing the father/child relationship;
- “Hallowed be your name” is telling us to worship God, and to praise Him for who He is. hallowed be Thy name, the deity/worshiper;
- The phrase “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is a reminder to us that we are to pray for God’s plan in our lives and the world, not our own plan. We are to pray for God’s will to be done, not for our desires.
Thy kingdom come, the sovereign/subject; Thy will be done, the master/servant;
- We are encouraged to ask God for the things we need in “give us today our daily bread.” give us this day our daily bread, the benefactor/beneficiary;
- “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” reminds us to confess our sins to God and to turn from them, and also to forgive others as God has forgiven us. forgive us our debts, the Savior/sinner;
- The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” is a plea for help in achieving victory over sin and a request for protection from the attacks of the devil. do not lead us into temptation, the guide/pilgrim.
Is there anything wrong with memorizing the Lord’s Prayer? Of course not! Is there anything wrong with praying the Lord’s Prayer back to God? Not if your heart is in it and you truly mean the words you say. Remember, in prayer, God is far more interested in our communicating with Him and speaking from our hearts than He is in the specific words we use.