Dallas Willard was once asked how he prayed. He answered that he prayed the Our Father every morning before his feet hit the ground. I can just imagine Satan’s reaction whenever Dallas Willard put his feet on the ground in the morning. It must have been something like this “Oh hell! He is getting up – take cover!”
Prayer and faith go together. You cannot have the one without the other.
In Biblical terms prayer is a personal communication or request addressed to God and faith is a strong or unshakeable belief in God without proof or evidence.
“Prayer is a necessity to man – it is a universal phenomenon; but while not exclusively Christian, it is most real in Christianity because the Christian life is a life of fellowship with God. In Bilbical religion the relationship between God and man is genuinely interpersonal. Prayer is essentially communion; God desires man’s fellowship, and man needs the friendship of God.1”
What follows is an example of how Dallas Willard prayed the Our Father. I am writing this from memory and have added a few of my own personal thoughts – this is basically a guideline of how he prayed. You can add your own relevant requests, praise, thanks-giving to the basic outline. You can also spend a lot more time on each section!
My God, my Dad, my Lord, my Pappa, my Father
whom art in Heaven
You are high above the earth. You are all seeing. You are omniscient. You know all about me and yet you still love me
hallowed be Thy name
You are majestic and wonderful. I praise your Holy name. Your name is powerful and mighty.
your kingdom come
Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit. May I be your hands and your feet here on earth. May people see your Kingdom in me.
your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
I pray Lord that I, together with all other Believers, will be able to love others in a way that will ensureYour will being done here on earth through us.
Give us this day our daily bread
Thank you Lord for the abundance that you shower upon me. For the home I live in – let me not take it for granted. Let me share my abundance with others. Make me aware of the needs of those around me.
and forgive us our trespasses
Lord, please forgive me for not living a life of love. For wanting my own way. For judging others. For repeatedly doing what I know is wrong in your sight.
as we forgive those who trespass against us
I need your help to forgive those who have hurt me. Who have made me feel that I am not worthy. Who judge and criticize me. Help me Lord, to be able to forgive myself for the wrong I have done.
Lead us not into temptation
Please help me to be satisfied with what I have. To be thankful for all I have.
but deliver us from evil
Lord, please break the chains that bind me. Break the habit of me feeling worthless, angry, inferior, proud, judgmental. Deliver me from addictions – be it alcohol, drugs, pornography, eating disorders.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever
Thank you Lord that nothing can ever befall me that you are not aware of. That no matter what happens you have already prepared a way out – help me to trust, grant me more faith to know that you are all powerful. I glorify your mighty name. I praise you.
So be it. I go into this day with my hope and my faith firmly placed in You, my God, my Lord, my Saviour.
May each one of us be the kind of person that when our feet touch the ground in the morning, Satan says “Oh hell, they are up. Take cover!”
1. The Handy Bible Dictionary & Concordance
Photograph courtesy of the internet.