Deepening Your Faith: A Contemplative Exercise On The Lord’s Prayer

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“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.” ~ Mt 6:7

Today, the Gospel of Matthew, chapter six, verses seven through 15 is where Jesus teaches us to pray by introducing the Lord’s Prayer.

Instead of a traditional reflection, I have a proposal for you. I invite you to join me in a contemplative exercise that focuses on the words of the Our Father. This exercise has helped me deepen my understanding and connection to my faith, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Contemplating The Lord’s Prayer

When I meditate or pray, I often reflect deeply on the words I am saying. This is direct outcome of my need to translate from Spanish to English, where switching between languages naturally prompts me to maintain the meaning of what I am communicating. This habit of mindful reflection has enriched my spiritual life, and I propose that you try it with the Our Father.

Breaking Down the Our Father

I’m going to share an example of the exercise but feel free to come up with your set of questions and method. The point of this isn’t to be perfect with doctrine but discovering what your heart is means as the words are said. Let’s begin:

  1. Our Father who art in heaven:
    • What do I mean by “Our Father”?
    • What kind of fatherly figure am I envisioning? Is it a loving, judgy, or nurturing father?
    • How does this shape my relationship with God?
    • By heaven, do I mean a place far away, a state of mind, a different dimension?
    • Who’s in heaven? Where is it? What does it look like?
  2. Hallowed be thy name:
    • How do I honor God’s name in my daily life?
    • Am I truly treating His name with reverence, or am I using it as an exclamation or curse?
    • What does it mean for me to make His name holy?
  3. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
    • How well to I understand what it means to ask God for his kingdom to come to my life?
    • How do I envision God’s will being done in my life and the world around me?
    • Do I truly want God’s will to be done? How often do I ignore his calling?
    • How often do I want God’s will to match mine because I think I know best?
    • What would it take for me to trade my will for His?
  4. Give us this day our daily bread:
    • Do I genuinely trust God to provide, or do I constantly worry about how to put food on the table and keep the lights running?
    • Notice the request is for the daily bread not for the rest of life. How would life be different if my prayers focused only on the present and leave the past and future to him?
    • What is my true request here? Am I seeking physical sustenance, spiritual nourishment, or both?
  5. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us:
    • How do I understand forgiveness?
    • Am I truly willing to forgive others as I ask for God’s forgiveness?
    • If God used my current forgiveness standards, how well would I fare on judgment day?
    • What challenges do I face in living out this part of the prayer?
  6. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
    • What are the temptations I struggle with? How do I seek God’s guidance in overcoming them?
    • What type of deliverance from evil am I expecting from God?
    • What’s different between requesting for the strength to deal with temptations and asking God to eliminate them altogether?
  7. Amen
    • It means “so be it.”
    • Do I truly mean it?
    • Am I fully submitting myself to God’s answer to this prayer? If so, why am I flustered when He doesn’t seem to answer?

Taking Your Time With It

Take a moment to step away from the habit of checking the box and invest the energy to meditate on this simple, yet powerful prayer.

Once again, it’s not about getting it right. It is about asking yourself what each part means to you and what are the implications for your life. It’s a way for you to understand where you stand and work on growing spiritually. At the very least, it provides insights on how you communicate with God.

Thanks for taking up the challenge and may it help you deepen your faith and discipleship.

In peace,


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