There’s a reason that those first set of petitions come before the second set of petitions. They help to anchor and help to establish what it is we’re doing when we pray. And that’s the case for every other prayer, whether we say those exact words or not. Yet the attitude of our hearts ought to be, I‘m speaking to God, my heavenly Father, and I want his name to be made great in all the earth.
The Lord’s Prayer is a model for us. It’s not the only prayer that we ever pray, and Jesus is not telling his disciples (or telling us), You just have to say this one prayer with these words. It’s a very short prayer, but it really is a model. And it helps us to pray every other kind of prayer.
There are going to be long prayers and short prayers. Our prayers are sometimes boiled down to Help or Thank you or I’m sorry. In a nutshell, we’re praying, God help me. I’m sorry for my sins. And thank you for the good things you’re doing.
The Lord’s Prayer orients us with all of those other prayers to remind us, most importantly, of the vertical dimension of our prayers. That’s why we start by saying, “Our Father.”
The Lord’s Prayer reminds us we’re not just giving a spiritual monologue. I know I can feel like sometimes I’m just doing a little soliloquy.