Lord’s prayer explained

The Lord’s prayer. It’s the prayer Jesus told the disciples to use when they asked Him how to pray. A question some people have is: should I pray the Lord’s prayer verbatim? The answer is: you can pray the Lord’s prayer word for word but if you know what the Lord’s prayer is asking for, then you can word your own prayer to God following the guidelines Jesus laid out for us to use.

The Lord’s Prayer – Seven PetitionsLord's Prayer

1. Our Father, Who are in heaven – You are acknowledging the closeness of your relationship to God through Jesus Christ. You’re recognizing God’s status, He is in heaven and you are here on earth.
2. Hallowed be thy name – Giving praise and worship to God. You should start your own Lord’s Prayer by giving praise to God. We are made to give Him glory and worship Him. You also acknowledge that God is holy and deserving of your praise and worship.
3. Thy Kingdom Come – You’re asking God to bring His kingdom to earth. This petition is asking for God to bring His kingdom down to you on a personal level, a local level, and a global level.

Personal: You’re inviting God to rule over your heart and life. So that His laws may be placed in your heart so that you may not sin against Him.

Local: You’re asking God to bring in His lost sheep. There are people who don’t know Jesus Christ in your city and maybe in your neighborhood, by saying this part of the Lord’s prayer, your petitioning God to help bring them into the light and out of the darkness.

Global: You’re asking God for Him to help bring His lost sheep in on a global scale. You are asking God for Jesus’ second coming and for Jesus to rule here on earth and bring His peace.

4. Thy will be done – You’re submitting to God’s will to be over your life and for His will to be done around the world.
5. Give us this day, our daily bread – This is a petition for God to provide all your needs for the day. Spiritual needs, food, clothing, whatever you may need during the day.
6. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors – This is where we ask for forgiveness for the sins we commit.
7. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one – You’re asking God to not allow you to enter a situation that would be too much for you to handle without providing a way to get out of it. You’re also asking God for protection against the devil’s attacks and traps that he may lay for you.

What else should I know about the Lord’s Prayer?

I already explained that you can say the Lord’s prayer verbatim or you can use what you learned about the seven petitions and make your own Lord’s prayer. There are some other points that are important to know as well

Below is the Lord’s Prayer and I will go through some points I think are important for us to know.

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.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

“Our Father” – Ever wonder how you never end the Lord’s prayer with the phrase “in Jesus name, amen”? It’s because we are in prayer with Jesus while we are praying this. He is praying with us. “Our” means you and Jesus are praying for your needs to the Father.

“Give us this day” – We do not earn God’s provisions. We are praying the Lord’s prayer to ask God to give us what we need, not because we earned it but because He loves us. Just as a father loves his child here on earth and wants to provide for them, so does our Father in heaven want to provide for our needs.

“Daily Bread” – the Lord’s prayer should be prayed everyday. People are made to communicate with God and Jesus set an example for us to follow; He was always in constant communication with the Father.

“as we also have forgiven our debtors” – The Lord’s prayer realizes that we need to forgive others in order for God to forgive us. In Matthew 6:14-15 we see this:

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

“Lead us not into temptation” – Jesus is the good shepard, we are His sheep. He leads us to safety, cares for, and protects us.

John 10:14-15 – I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Applying the Lord’s Prayer to everyday life

When I first started praying the Lord’s prayer, I remember having a hard time to remember it. I then wrote my own personal prayer to God. After a little bit I came back to saying the Lord’s prayer verbatim because I felt, for me, it covered what I wanted to ask God for my day. I still pray throughout the day about different things, but a practice I feel that has helped me in my walk with Christ is every morning before I get out of bed I always say the Lord’s prayer and thank God for the day. To me, it’s one more day I am alive and breathing, it’s one more day I can enjoy my life and give Him glory in my own small ways.

I hope that this review of the Lord’s prayer has helped you understand how much God wants to be in our lives. Jesus was giving us a way to ask for all our needs to be met by saying the Lord’s prayer. We must trust and have faith in Him to provide for us and help us with our day.


Please comment and share! If you have created your own Lord’s prayer, I would love to see it!

  • Dyanirene

    Thank you, Brian, for this article.  I teach the adult ladies Sunday school class and this week’s lesson included The Lord’s Prayer.  I have used a bit of your teaching and insight as part of my lesson.  Thank you for being faithful to God’s call on your life.

    • You are welcome. Thank you for taking the time to comment! I’m glad the article is of use to you.

  • Tp6976

    Bryan, I would like to share your explanation in depth of The Lord’s Prayer.  I wouild like to print it and hand out to my Adult SS class.  I cannot  copy and paste.  Do you have a way that I can receive it.

    • Tom-
      Thanks for taking the time to comment! Since you will be doing this for a Bible study, I can provide this in a Microsoft Word format.

      This got me thinking about how I could provide my articles for people to use in a Study setting. Might be something I will do in the future!

      • willie dejean

        How can I get this in a pdf format

        • Willie,
          If you look at the bottom of the article, on the right hand side it says “Printer Friendly” – Click on that and a window will popup allowing you to download a pdf version. Hope this helps!

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  • Bobcluff

    how can i print this information?

    thanks, and God bless


  • Printing is now available for all of Certain Christian’s articles

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  • please help

    i’m not sure if i understand the part where it stated “but deliver us from evil” so don’t lead us to temptation BUT deliver us from evil.we will be delivered from evil. i’m sorry if i sound like mocking or anything i’m really confused i always pray our father i understand almost everything but the deliver us from evil is a bit confusing sorry..please help me

    • Hey,

      Deliver us from evil is asking God for protection from the devil’s attacks and traps. We rely on God to protect us from the enemy (the devil).

      Hope this helps.

  • jew4jesus

    Hi Bryan! I stumbled on your site looking for the explanation of the Lord’s Prayer..Have a question! “Give us this day our daily bread”.. Could this mean that we need to be in God’s Word everyday? Jesus was the bread of life.

    • Hey Jew4Jesus!

      That is a good observation about reading God’s Word. You are also right, Jesus in John 6:35 said He is the bread of life. Bread for people during Jesus’ time was seen as a basic necessity of life, it was a major part of their daily diet. “Give us this day our daily bread” covers every need we will have during that day from food, clothing, even Spiritual needs.

      Reading God’s Word daily is a believer’s Spiritual food. God speaks to a believer from it and we grow and learn from reading it. The Holy Spirit works with us as we take time to spend with Him and His Word. Just like bread, if a believer doesn’t read the Bible on a regular basis, just as if they did not eat regularly, they become Spiritually starved.

      God is concerned with all of a believer’s needs, but we need only ask for that day and not worry about tomorrow!

      Thanks for your comment!

  • sunshi7485

    Nice! I understand, thank you for explaining it in plain english.

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for your comment.

  • Erin277

    I would love to print this out so I can use it to explain it to my 8 year old. Is there a printable option of this? I can’t seem to select the text (hoping to print just text, not all the ads).

    • Hey Erin, I’m glad that my post will help you with your child! If you look just above this comment section on the right side it says “Printer Friendly” click that and it will give you options for printing. Hope this helps and thanks for your comment!

  • LollyG

    I love the Lord’s Prayer, but I have to agree with my Mother-in-law, God rest her soul, that there may have been a misinterpretation in the translation of the Lord’s Prayer. Seems like instead of “Lead us not into temptaion” it may have been “Leave us not in temptation”. I mean, why would God lead us into temptation. Isn’t that what Satan would do. God would guide us away from temptation not lead us to it.

    • LollyG,
      Thank you for your insight. God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13) but we can tempt ourselves by our own desires and Satan can tempt us as well. So in the Lord’s Prayer we are asking God to not allow us to enter into a situation in which we will be tempted beyond what we could handle. We rely on God to be our compass and steer us clear of our own temptations and shortcomings.

      The second part of that is also key, deliver us from evil (or some versions say the evil one). We are asking God to lead us to righteousness and away from Satan’s traps.

      Christians are supposed to be led by God to be more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Good Shepherd in that He protects us and leads us throughout life. I believe your mother-in-law had the right idea because God is our deliverer as well, but I would consider the text correct as it is in the Bible.

      Hope this helps and thanks for your comment!

  • Tjayne79

    I know this is such a shallow question but if Gods plan is already placed then why do u pray?? Do u hope His Plan will change ?or do u hope that by praying His plan will already have u doing the right things?

    • Hey Tjayne79,

      It’s not shallow, you actually brought up a very thoughtful
      question. A good example of an answer to that question is a prayer that comes from Jesus the night before His crucifixion. In Matthew 26:36-44 Jesus is praying over and over to God the Father. He says; “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” So He is petitioning God for this cup (the coming suffering and death) to not happen, if there is any other way that the Father could accomplish His will. At the end is the key to your question, Jesus willfully submits to God the Father and says, Not My will but your will Father. After this intense prayer session, Jesus in the following verses seems to have a renewed strength and meets His betrayer and willingly goes to His trial and death.

      Our prayers should be always for God’s will to be done. We
      can always ask God to help us, but we must trust that God is in control of our situation and we should have faith in His good and perfect will.

      In essence, our prayers tend to not change God’s mind, but
      instead God gives us the grace and strength to do His will. A question that may pop up for you now may be, does God answer prayers? The answer is yes, if it is according to His will. God is concerned with our Spiritual growth to be more like His Son, Jesus. So some things that we go through in life aren’t pleasant, but we know that God will work it out for the best for those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

      Prayer is also like a conversation with God, we can talk to Him about anything and He encourages us to “pray without ceasing” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18) Just like when you have a conversation with other people here on earth, our prayers are a way of getting closer our loving Father in heaven.

      Hope this answered your question and thanks for your

  • Kev

    Wow! Thanks so much for simplifying this. I learned this prayer at a very young age, and apparently I had been completely miss saying it… For example I thought it was “Our Father, who arn’t in heaven” … :/ arn’t???!!! What’s the matter with me! Anyways I just could not understand what that meant. I’m 29 now and have been saying The Lords Prayer, every day (off and on) for about 15 years now. I really try to make a point of being present while I pray, and not just say the words from memory, I often need to restart and really focus on the words, but I just didn’t understand that part and felt that 29 was too old to be asking (yes I know, never too old) 🙂
    But I do have a question for you, after all that. More often then not, when I pray, I feel pressure making me sleep, or I’m uncharacteristicaly distracted… Now usually I don’t easily fall asleep, that’s why it feels odd. I talked to my aunt about it, she believes that this could be the evil trying to interfere, or an “atack” as she called it. I’m not afraid, I’m comfortable with God, but was just curios what others would think of this? When this does happen, I pull back from The Lords Prayer, and just chat with God, it always passes. Than I go back to Prayer.

    And a comment about my experience praying. I was lead to praying because I was asking for things I felt I “needed”, silly things, like money, or girls to like me… It may have been a less than ideal way to be motivated to pray, but it did get me praying, I chat with God very often, and I love it! I feel as if he is my best friend or buddy. But I really felt closer and more full from my prayers, when I prayed for myself to stop wanting. I made myself stop asking for anything beyond “bread”. Within days of this change, in my habits, more things were coming to me than I ever expected. No matter how badly I felt I needed something, I trusted that God would set me up with whatever is required. I am now thankful and more happy. Though, to be honest, I do ask for silly things, from time to time, when chatting with God.

    • Hey Kev,

      Thanks for your great comment! It pleases me that you are talking with God every day! Being present while praying is an excellent habit to develop. Often times when a person recites something from memory like the Lord’s Prayer, they can let their mind wander as they just say empty words. Empty prayers do not achieve anything, our minds must be present while we pray. When I wake up in the morning is usually my “Lord’s Prayer time” and sometimes I have found my own thoughts stray from what I was saying. I quickly pull those thoughts back and concentrate on my prayers.

      To answer your question, I believe your aunt could be correct but it could also be as you mention when you stop reciting the Lord’s Prayer and just talk with God your mind is more alert to what you are saying. This tells me it could be in part that you may be like me in how your mind may wander while saying something so ingrained in your memory. It is easy to get in the bad habit of repetition without any thought. You have done the correct thing by changing the way you pray to keep yourself alert in your talk with God. A suggestion I have for you would be to use the Lord’s Prayer as a model and create your own unique and personal prayer to God. This may help you because your mind will be focused on what you are saying and when you feel that it begins to be a repetition, create a new version of your prayer. You may be surprised as to how your prayer time with God will be more meaningful and fulfilling. Saying the Lord’s Prayer daily is fine, but not when we speak without thinking about what is being said! I imagine God may be just as frustrated with us praying without much thought as we are trying to talk to someone who is fixated on their cell phone during the entire conversation!

      Remember Kev, we each are blessed to have a relationship with God and we should put our focus on Him while we come to Him in prayer.

      Again, excellent comment and I am happy you decided to ask
      your question and give me the privilege of answering.

    • Walter Wong

      P – Praise
      R – Repent
      A – Ask
      Y – Yield.
      Perhaps you need more yielding than required, i.e. 100% trusting in the Lord’s love for you that He said He loved you and He is delivering it. He needs your heart to believe this and accept Him as what He said He is. You don’t ask forgiveness, as He had done and dust that once and for all on the cross. However, He does expect you to confess that is repetance or cleansing your heart from all unrighteousness. See 1 John 1:9.