Many Expressions of Prayer

Prayers can have a variety of expressions. Many appear in the few short verses of the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught (Matthew 6:9-13 RSV with some editing).

  • Personal relationship with God (“Our Father who art in heaven”)
  • Praise (“Hallowed be thy name”)
  • Concern for society (“Thy kingdom come”)
  • Obedience (“Thy will be done”)
  • Petition (“Give us this day our daily bread’)
  • Confession and request for forgiveness (for “our trespasses”)
  • Forgiveness of others (“who trespass against us”)
  • Guidance (“lead us not into temptation”)
  • Protection (“deliver us from evil”)
  • Acknowledgement of God’s supremacy (“the power and the glory forever”)

Elsewhere in the Bible we find other expressions (NRSV):

  • Lamentation (“Out of the depths I cry to thee, O Lord!” Psalm 130.1)
  • Thanksgiving (“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” Psalm 107.1)
  • Commitment (“Here am I, send me.” Isaiah 6:8)

Howard W. Hallman lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is author of Living in God’s Kingdom: Here and Now, available from Amazon.

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